After describing what clearly is a mystical experience, Eugene continues:

I concluded from this that our good Savior had wished to give me proof that he accepted the sentiments that I had just expressed to him in the simplicity of my heart.
I share with the same simplicity what has happened with you, for your own consolation and for your encouragement.
Do not bring it up again to me, and continue to pray for me.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 23 August 1830, EO VII n 359

This beautiful short text is an indication of Eugene’s ongoing relationship with “his good Savior.” Significant is his injunction not to speak about it again. Eugene was always very private about his consolations and personal spiritual experiences. While being very private about his religious experiences, their fruits were abundantly obvious in the quality of his life, leadership and ministry.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I sit here and reflect on why it is that I come here every morning and sit with the gift that is Eugene. When I think back to how I came to know the Oblates – so much more than just knowing they were a group of priests. It was in reading the report “Immense Hope” that my heart was turned inside out. Unable to understand the whys of what was happening and afraid that it could be seen by some as a heresy I still had the thought that ‘God was giving the Oblates to me as gift – and giving me to the Oblates as gift’. What did that mean or look like? How would that work? It was somehow a ‘soul deep experience’ that I could barely find words for.

    One day I met St. Eugene, introduced to me by an Oblate whose gift of sharing the depth of his love of Eugene has firmly entrenched him in my heart. It was like a grand seduction as I began to learn more about ‘Eugene’, hearing small snippets and phrases that he had said and that touched depths of my heart that I did not know existed. Later I was introduced to this place, where daily ‘Eugene de Mazenod would speak to me’ and in learning about Eugene himself, about the Oblates and their particular stance in life I began also to slowly learn about myself. Learning about and becoming a member of this Mazenodian Family allows me to learn about myself and move forward and grow. The word ‘call’ and ‘vocation’ keeps flitting about from the corners of my mind. It has been and still is an inspiration to me and a way of looking at myself and how I wish to grow and be.

    Although Eugene did not seem to have the intention of sharing much about himself with all of us, here we are 160 years later, getting to know him through his writings. Knowing him and seeing how his spirit lives in today’s world speaks loudly to me. Here I am inspired, here I come to understand what lies behind the words, and how I too can walk along side of and with the members of this family. It is both personal and communal at the same time. I am so very grateful.

  2. Susan and Raleigh Brotherman says:

    Eleanor, your words — beautiful — resonate with my feelings and small descriptions.
    We live just a few blocks from Oblate! What a treasure! Yes, we will be praying for all taking the new course. I so look forward to studying it myself.

    God bless!
    Susan Brotherman

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