A DAY SPENT IN THIS DISPOSITION GAINS MORE MERIT FOR US IN HEAVEN THAN YEARS IN HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY

I often speak of Eugene’s ministry as being one of leading others to his same experience of the Savior. Here we have yet another example. He shares with Henri Tempier, the spiritual strength and consolation that his relationship with the Savior gives him.

Before speaking to you about business, I will encourage you in your trials and all the perplexities into which you are plunged by present events and by all those with whom you have dealings. It is precisely in such circumstances that one ought to make one’s soul fly as high as it can go, sustaining its constancy and energy, multiplying all the resources of our intellectual faculties so as never to allow ourselves to be cast down by adversity, or overcome by the obstacles and difficulties.
I know that our ministry of peace often presents painful difficulties because it is attached to all the duties of conscience, but God will communicate to us the light of his spirit if we invoke him with confidence.

From all the difficulties that Eugene had suffered in the past, and from his present sufferings, he is able to encourage Henri Tempier by pointing him to his same source of strength:

After all, tribulations are envisaged by Providence as a means of sanctification for the elect. Far from giving in to the tiresomeness of life mingled with the bitterness of adversity, it is then that one must resolve to live in greater conformity with our divine model and serve his Church with the most perfect absence of self-interest.
A day spent in this disposition gains more merit for us in heaven than years in happiness and prosperity.
I simply communicate to you the thoughts that are most familiar to me in the sorry position in which I find myself. They are true, let us not be convinced otherwise.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 2 September 1830, EO VII n 362

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

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One Response to A DAY SPENT IN THIS DISPOSITION GAINS MORE MERIT FOR US IN HEAVEN THAN YEARS IN HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    While I am drawn to it, to the sentiment that Eugene expresses to Henri Tempier, I find myself struggling with some of the wording. I want though to resist the temptation to dissect Eugene’s words for that would end up being simply a distraction that would leave me feeling empty and could goad me on to greater dissatisfaction with not only Eugene and his words but with what is happening around me.

    Yesterday afternoon a dear friend treated and taken with more than 50 of his friends and family to the Cirque du Soleil performance of “Volta”. This was his way of celebrating 60 years of vowed life, with all its challenges, sorrows, consolations and joys – and this was his way of expressing and sharing his gratitude for all that he has received and experienced in his life. The story line of Volta was of a man’s journey through a life that measured and labelled but that left him feeling empty. His eyes are opened when he meets those who are different, full of life and joy and who seem to be free and do not need to act in the ‘expected’ way. This is the story of him as he watches and then slowly allows himself to become free with his new friends. It is the story of a man’s transformation as he becomes who he is in the deepest part of himself, the story of his struggles and yearnings that help him to experience great freedom and joy. He did not leave the world he was part of, but he found a new way to live in it.

    I sit here for a moment thinking that all this must sound quite trivial compared to what Eugene and Henri Tempier were experiencing almost 200 years ago, but I find surprising correlations to life today. To give such a gift born out of gratitude, to receive in joy such a gift for simply being a part of another’s life – there’s no measuring here, only being in the present moment, as were the people in the story line and those of there to watch and experience.

    Many levels this morning and I am grateful for all of them.

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