Eugene had been staying in Nice, in the hope of being granted permission to open Oblate missions in the Kingdom of Sardinia. The negative answer eventually came, and he now prepared to return to Marseilles.

... The plans I spoke to you about in my last letter have met shipwreck: heavy storm clouds cover the heavens. So there is no point in my prolonging my stay where nothing further remains for me to do. It is a pity, an immense apostolate is closed to us. They are turning down a providential offer of assistance: God knows how greatly they stand in need of our ministry! The fault will not be laid at our door.
I have done everything that depended on me, nothing remains but to lament how hard it is to do good in circumstances where so many succeed in doing evil and to adore God and his ways even when I find them very hard. It is the disposition I have tried to adopt in the latest misfortune which has befallen us, for I have felt very deeply the loss of our dear Father Capmas.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 24 January 1831, EO VIII n 383

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Again this morning the relevance of Eugene and his life meets me face-to-face. I can either turn away or look at what is happening in my life. Do I see this an opportunity to listen to the Spirit, finding a way that God might be speaking to me in what is occurring in my life – or do I brush it off as a coincidence and continue in the space I have been in?

    How do I meet opposition, especially when it is about something that I care deeply about? At one time I might have been able to get angry and ask what is all this about and then pass over it because I did not want to face whatever it was. I might have looked at it and taken it on myself – making it ‘all my fault’, wallowing in guilt and burying myself in thoughts of failure. If it had been something really important I might simply have quit and tried to walk away from all of it because it was not going my way, because others did not see how right I was. How many times did I want to quit a job because things were not going the way I wanted them to?

    It has become the norm for me to awaken each morning, filled with the excitement of a new day, of starting fresh whatever it is in my life that I have not completed the day before – it might be something as small as greeting the mornings darkness or coming to this place to listen to Eugene and discover somehow where God is leading me.

    Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. For what do I give thanks? Of course for all the usual things, life, family, friends, my country, this magnificent planet that I have been given to live on – but this morning something more. I thank God for putting Eugene into my life, for the Spirit working in and through Eugene, and for all who have shared Eugene and his spirit with us, with me. Today I am reminded once again of how greatly God loves me, knows and cares what is happening within me. I think of the small quiet whispers of my Beloved that have following me in the past couple of months – “see how I love you”. Today I hear those words in this reminder from Eugene to ‘adore God and his ways even when I find them very hard.”

    Thank you Lord for you unending love.

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