God in his goodness wishes us to tread the path of trials and tribulations: let us accept everything from his hands.
We need to be fully rooted in these great principles, for at this very moment a great misfortune threatens us.

The “great misfortune” was the final illness of Father Joseph Capmas, of whom Yvon Beaudoin writes: “Father Capmas had entered the novitiate at 39 years of age. He had been novice master for some months, then missionary in the Upper Alps and finally chaplain to the soldiers ill in the isolation hospital (the “Lazaret”) at Marseilles.”

Perhaps at this very moment our dear Father Capmas has breathed his last. I have just today received a letter informing me that he is very near the end. However, just as the post was leaving he began to recover consciousness but this slight improvement does not give me much hope. You can imagine my anxiety. For three days I won’t receive any further news! It is a truly mortifying situation: I feel it deep down in the depths of my being. You know the man and understand like myself what a loss he will be to the Congregation if the Lord takes him from us. But he is the Master of all and of everyone!

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 10 January 1831, EO VIII n 379

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “But he is the Master of all and of everyone!” The word “oblation” comes to mind – that total and utter giving of one’s self to God and how it is lived out in the minutiae of our lives. So very much more than a ‘one time’ event or occurrence as would happen on a day of ordination, marriage, taking of vows, being sworn into public service.

    It might just be what leads up to the taking of those vows, being ordained or married etc., and then how we live it after those momentous events.

    How many times in my life have I agreed to something, accepted something and then tried to make little deals with God? How many times in my life have I silently and secretly made excuses and rationalizations, gone into denial and tried to ‘rework or reword’ something?

    I am immersed these days in my studies as we look at conversion – not a one-time event but rather a journey, ongoing with both heights and depths, yes ongoing and on-growing. I think it must be that way also with our oblation. The ‘paschal mystery’ comes to mind – and that too is ongoing, living, not just a one-time event. The words ‘the continuing unfolding of the kingdom of God’ come to mind. And I am still ‘unpacking’ the gifts, the graces I received from my retreat a few weeks ago and I realise how in my brokenness I continue to stand and strive and be healed.

    It is in this way that Eugene declared, believed and lived that “he is the Master of all and of everyone!’ A brief thought of how I learn from Eugene and walk differently because of that. And how I share that and another learns from and with me, we learn together and that is community. And so this morning my “he is Master of all and of everyone” is filled with wonder and joy and no small amount of gratitude.

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