WE HAVE TAKEN TO HEART ITS MESSAGE OF FREEDOM WHICH WE AS MUCH AS EVERYONE ELSE MUST BE ENTITLED TO

Eugene continues his description of the public honoring of the Cross in Marseilles, despite the opposition of the civil authorities.

The only ones put out were the mayor and some members of a sect opposed to religion. Letter followed letter on the subject, visits and warnings from the police, threats and dreadful ire.
Luckily, in the interval that has elapsed since the glorious days (of the revolution), we have taken to heart its message of freedom which we as much as everyone else must be entitled to.
In line with that our replies were firm and our determination to exploit our rights steadfast. Although the mayor wrote that if the Bishop would not renounce his project to hold the precession, he would hold him responsible for every eventuality, the procession took place. His threat would perhaps have intimidated other men, as on the vigil and the day preceding the vigil he had let a band of thugs roam the town singing the Marseillaise and end up by breaking windows in the St. John district.
But we placed our trust in the Lord and in our people’s good sense. The Bishop wanted to take part in the procession. Nothing like it has been seen since the mission. Good order, piety and joy overflowing amongst the faithful. The presence of the crowd around the cross went on throughout the day and it was quite a job to move them out from the Calvaire – from the outer boundary I mean. Needless to say, that the church was full too – when we wanted to lock up at nightfall.
There were no incidents, whether in the course of the procession or later, that could have given the least cause for alarm; on the contrary, tears flowed from all eyes as countless throats cried out with full voice: Long live Jesus, long live his cross! etc. Given the situation, it was very moving.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 7 May 1831, EO VIII n 390

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One Response to WE HAVE TAKEN TO HEART ITS MESSAGE OF FREEDOM WHICH WE AS MUCH AS EVERYONE ELSE MUST BE ENTITLED TO

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Most of us, at least most of us in my small part of the world have not have to put up with any days of revolution and especially not an ongoing revolution that had long after the beginning ‘3 glorious days’ of revolution. But that doesn’t mean that we are not able to see what that could mean in our everyday lives.

    Recently something happened that affected and changed a very small part of my word, a core piece of my world and the world of some of those I am connected to. Nothing so great as a 3 day revolution or that could cause death or prison or anything of that nature. But it struck at our hearts, engaged our fears and emotions; there was hurt and a sense of powerlessness, with each of us having to fight for our inner dignity and to look at who we are and what we truly want. And of course how we would look at that big “C” that had been dumped in our midst – ‘change’.

    As with Eugene and his people, we needed to not to react with violence or anger, we needed not to just ‘quit and give in’ – to a power that was greater than we were. No, we needed to respond, looking deeply into ourselves, deciding what was important, vital in our lives and how we wanted to move forward. With that we came together, sharing our hurt and how we wanted to continue. Each of us in turn had to come to this joint realization, on our own, so that we could come to it together.

    “Luckily, in the interval that has elapsed since the glorious days (of the revolution), we have taken to heart its message of freedom which we as much as everyone else must be entitled to. […]But we placed our trust in the Lord and in our people’s good sense.” This morning these words seemed to float above the rest and they gave meaning and comfort to me. Here we have ‘community’, strengthened and renewed by what we have each gone through separately and then together.

    I think this morning of those Trappist Monks in Algeria struggled with – each separately so that they could stand together at the end – it was not so dire or deadly physically for us, but still we had to go through our own struggles and fight for what we wanted; and we are all a little stronger and closer. The freedom that we have, the strength and the bonds that unite us; wow. Thank you Lord for giving us each other, the strengths and beauties of each other. Thank you St. Eugene for lighting our way,
    for being with me, with us, to guide and share the journey.

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