PRAY TO GOD FOR ME, FOR THE GRACE TO ACCEPT THE DESIGNS OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE WITH PERFECT RESIGNATION

My worst fears have been realized. It is with sorrow that I inform you that the Lord has called our dear Father Capmas to himself … after a long and painful agony. I am told that although unable to make himself understood because of the extreme weakness to which he was reduced, even so he entered with deep piety into the spirit of the prayers made with him… Pray to God for me, for the grace to accept the designs of divine providence with perfect resignation. “God has given, God has taken away”[ed. Job 1, 21] and it is our duty to add: “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

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

To his confidant, Heri Tempier, he shared his suffering in accepting God’s will:

One must confess that sickness and death are finding their mark amongst us in an uncanny way: men less submissive to God’s will than ourselves would be dismayed. The thought does not discourage me – I think that this is because I am sufficiently used to bending myself to the impenetrable designs of divine Providence. At the same time I certainly do not boast to being insensitive to the blows that seem at times about to crush us.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 11 January 1831, EO VII n 380

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One Response to PRAY TO GOD FOR ME, FOR THE GRACE TO ACCEPT THE DESIGNS OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE WITH PERFECT RESIGNATION

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    In the course of these postings over the years when reading of the death of one of the early Oblates, I have taken the opportunity of going to the Oblate Historical Dictionary and reading what is written about that person. Today has been no different and it explained a little of why Eugene mentioned ‘my worst fears have been realized’ and later prayed ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord’ even as he was experiencing such sorrow.

    At one time I would not have thought it possible to praise God in the same breath as I was reeling with sorrow at the loss of a loved one.

    “The thought does not discourage me – I think that this is because I am sufficiently used to bending myself to the impenetrable designs of divine Providence. At the same time I certainly do not boast to being insensitive to the blows that seem at times about to crush us.” I might be tempted to think that Eugene is a little bit ‘off’ as he speaks of prayer and blessings, especially after reading the historical record of Fr. Capmas and the fears that Eugene had surrounding his death – how deeply did his caring really go? I stop for a moment and think back to the death of a dear friend who died, an Oblate. I had been able to accompany him in a way as he was dying, we had gotten to know each other well as we talked, shared and prayed together. That praying together –
    when he was no longer able to give voice to the words or hold the rosary in his hands without help. And on the last day of his life here on earth and I went to say goodbye to him and tell him it was time for him to go home, that Our Lady was there ready to take him home to God. I was happy for him because he was where he wanted to be and at the same time filled with a sorrow because I would no longer get to be with him in the way that I was used to – and so I prayed to God and thanked him for bringing my dear friend home.

    Even in this Eugene reminds me, and prompts me when necessary to look at what it’s all really about. Oblation, surrender – this is what they look like when they are lived out daily.

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