Conversion is a daily task that helps us to re-focus on our priorities. What means was Eugene to use to achieve the desired conversion? The practical Eugene did not do this in his head – it was by examining the quality of his actions, of the way in which he put his spirituality into practice in everyday life.
I am feeling somewhat vague about it, but I will achieve conviction by challenging my way of carrying out my duties.
I will subject them all to a close scrutiny, first those of a priest, then those of a religious. In examining the former I will look at myself in my role as vicar general, and while delving deeper into the latter I will dwell especially on myself in that of superior.
“By their fruits you shall know them” – thus the true depth of conversion could only be measured by the way in which he shared the fruits through his ministry and responsibilities. During his retreat he would use two practical means of evaluation:
The Pontifical on the one hand and the Rule Book on the other will provide me with material.
Retreat resolutions, October 1831, EO XV n 162
The “Pontifical” was the book of ceremonies and duties that he had to fulfil as Vicar General to his uncle, Bishop Fortuné. The Oblate Rule was the code that he had to live by and uphold in the Congregation.