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.”