In this era of “fake news” and subjectivism, it is interesting to read this comment of Eugene to the superior of the scholasticate, where young Oblates were preparing for their future mission.
It is impossible to insist too much on the importance of study: and not just theology and philosophy, but the humanities too. We must oppose modern errors with up-to-date weapons.
I never cease to be astonished at seeing so many able young writers amongst our enemies, using such art and skill on the side of lies and deceptions of every kind.
We must prepare ourselves for this kind of combat too. We must have a good understanding of our own language and practice to use it well. It will be time well-spent. Get some fire out of that flint stone. You must strike it to start a fire, the spark is only produced by the blow.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 3 January 1831, EO VIII n 377