THE DIFFICULTY OF FINDING A HANDFUL OF DISCIPLES AMONGST ALL THOSE HE HAS RANSOMED WITH HIS BLOOD

Father Mille, the formator of the young Oblates in Switzerland had given a progress report to Eugene on some of the students. One had behaved badly and had been unfaithful to his vocation – something that Eugene always found painful because he saw it as a rejection of the direct call of Jesus to come and follow him.

I needed to learn what you said about the fervor of the retreat to console me for Saluzzo’s defection. What he went through can in no way be called a temptation; he was completely overcome by a deplorable infidelity. If he returns, for which I have only faint hopes in view of his resistance to the grace of the retreat, he will have God to thank for a second call and I exhort him to be more faithful to it than he was to the first, unless he wishes to play fast and loose with his eternal destiny.

But then he expresses his consolation at those who are faithful and generous in their desire to follow the call of the Savior:

Well done, Sicard! Here is a heart docile to the inspirations of grace! What hopes for the future his generosity holds out! Oh yes, my son, I ratify the promise you have made to your God who is so good, so little known, and who has difficulty to find a handful of disciples amongst all the men he has ransomed with his blood.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 17 November 1831 EO VIII n 408

Using the language of his own Good Friday conversion, and that of the PREFACE  , he observes how few of those ransomed by the blood of the Savior respond to His call. An invitation to renew our own “yes” today as we recall that we are “ransomed by His blood.”

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to THE DIFFICULTY OF FINDING A HANDFUL OF DISCIPLES AMONGST ALL THOSE HE HAS RANSOMED WITH HIS BLOOD

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Eugene was sometimes so very exacting and I wonder if that did not come from his own experience of love of our crucified Saviour – he saw everything through the lens of that love. How then could he understand someone taking part in such love, in giving himself over to that love and then turning away from it for something less, something else than the perfect gift given to him.

    As I was reading about Saluzzo I thought for a moment of St. Peter’s rejection of knowing Jesus – three times and how he repented and returned to Jesus and how he must have suffered through the trial and crucifixion of his Master, Jesus, for he knew what he had done. But he did come back. I think of the many who come into AA only to sometimes leave – falling off the wagon as some put it – but they return asking themselves how they could have done that. I was one of those – it was for a brief period only I tell myself – and then ask how I could have done that when all of life was within my grasp. It is not unimaginable for me today as look back but perhaps I have become a little more forgiving of myself than I was back then. I think of all of the events in our lives when we see another do something that we are unable to understand and how we ask “how could they have done that?”

    Reminding, renewing. I know that sometimes the reason for me returning here to this place each morning on not always simple or 100% pure. I come to be reminded, I come to renew myself, to be led and to look at how sometimes all I can utter or groan is ‘Lord have mercy’. Words like “ransomed by His blood” – in truth I still want to gloss over them, clean them up – they are so hard hitting, so uncomfortable – if I let them they hurt yet I will them remain here with me this morning as this new day begins, with a mixture of sorrow and joy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *