Eugene was not afraid of expressing his feelings for others, and his strong need for friendship.

Generally speaking I love with passion everybody I believe loves me, but theirs must be a passionate love too. So gratitude is the final constituent that goes to make up my heart’s passion.
This feeling is so intense in me that it has never wavered. I have always longed for a friend, but I have never found one, at least one such as I am seeking; it is true that I am hard to please for as it is my nature to give generously I expect the same in return.
Even so I do not spurn some friendships of an ordinary, less exalted kind, although they are not really to my taste. In such cases I give in proportion to what I think I might experience in return. St. Augustine is one of the men (I am not thinking of him here in his capacity as a saint and doctor of the Church) whom I love best as he had a heart of the same calibre as my own, he understood what love means; when I read his Confessions, where he speaks of his friendship with Lipius, it was as if he were writing in my name. I like St. Basil and St. Gregory very much. All those stories from history that tell of various similar examples of heroic friendships make my heart sing for joy; at that moment I experience a longing in my heart to meet such a treasure.
In short, I need to love and as I know inside me what a truly perfect love would be like, I will not ever be satisfied with those ordinary friendships which are good enough for most people. I aim at a friendship which, to sum it all up in a word, would make but one being where there were two.

Self-evaluation written for his spiritual director in 1808, O.W. XIV n. 30

In the pages of Eugene’s life we find “this longing for a friend” expressed towards several people: Tempier, Suzanne, Aubert etc., and also his frustration with Tempier for being so reserved.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I myself sometimes want for others to love me in the same way that I love them, fully with everything that they are. Perhaps because that is the way that I love, with no reservations, with great intensity, I give it all. And I do not always understand when it is not returned in the same manner. Is there perhaps something wrong with me that I always want more and cannot be satisfied?

    My first true experience of love came not through my parents as one would expect but truly through and from God directly. So it was with God that I had my initiation and what an initiation it was! It was, it is everything and yet even now as I thank God I find I want and yearn and ask for more! I want it fully, spiritually and physically – my very being. I think that I am hoping for that in my friends, my family, my community. It is not why I love, for I love because I am compelled within to do it, it is as if I have no choice, the matter has been decided for me and so I do it, or I die. No it is not why, but if is how. It is how I love, with everything that is in me. It is not perfect, oh my goodness it is not perfect, but in truth it is who I am. It is very human just as I am very human. Yes, as I write this I realise that I love with my being. This was and is initiated by God, and I have asked him for this everyday of my life in my prayer to become and be one with Him. Such wondrous gifts God bestows, to love with our beings.

    “….I love with passion everybody I believe loves me, but theirs must be a passionate love too. So gratitude is the final constituent that goes to make up my heart’s passion.” I look to Eugene for my example, my model, his love, his heart as big as the world. His struggle in wanting more from his dearest and closest friends. I think that he got what he wanted from Tempier but not in the way he expected or perhaps hoped for. That is part of the human side, of forever wanting more, yearning for more, to be filled fully and absolutely and we never quite get it.

    Indeed Lord I am grateful for all that you have given me and how you fill me. I thank you for St. Eugene, it is good to hear of his frustrations, of his wanting more. I can so much relate to that. Yes indeed Lord I thank you. You have given me your very self in love and as if that wasn’t everything, you have given to me Mary, you have given me St. Eugene and a host of others. I am full of gratitude this morning. Take me too Lord, and use me as you will for that would be my greatest blessing and joy to be able to be of use to you, to be somehow a model, to be your reflected light and to give voice to who you are. Indeed Lord thank you and I praise you past the ends of the universe for who you are. I love with a passion that you have instilled with me and my being gives thanks.

  2. John Mouck says:

    Not a very saintly transcript; not one of his finer moments.
    Fortunately, for me at least, God is nothing like Eugene in this regard.

    • Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

      I don’t know John. I loved his honesty and his attempt to be open and state what his frustrations were. He dared to share that aloud. As humans we tend more often to share our anger or our petty jealousies. He tried, at a very young age to express how he loved and how he wanted to be loved. Such trust! It was pretty human. Am beginning to think that is very much a part of us being “saintly” as you put it, being holy. We are all created human, and with the divine within – I don’t think we ever get rid of our humanness – at least until our body dies and them am not exactly sure what is going to happen. But I think if we continue on in spite of, or along with that we will do okay. I have my weaknesses and frailties, my sin if you want to call it that, yet in spite of that, or maybe because of that I continue to seek God, seek God’s embrace and give to God all I have. It takes tremendous courage and daring because the risk of rejection and aloneness can be so very great. We continue to give and share and to be as we have been created by God. We are the ‘both and’ with the the false and the true self as Rohr puts it. Eugene reminds me of St. Paul – both so similar in that they knew their woundedness and yet did not run from it. It is part of what makes them so holy, so “saintly”, such great role models. Eugene was being himself, which when you look at it was pretty darned great.

      Of course God and how God loves is another story. But then God is God.

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