Eugene writes to Father Courtès, the superior of the Aix community, about an Oblate he has just sent to join his community:
… I am quite aware, my dear friend, that you will not get much out of the man I have recently sent you: I was not really thinking of him as an addition to your strength. He had to leave N.-D. [du Laus] as his health was suffering from the acute cold that is found in that part of the world. Before that he had persuaded himself that the climate of Marseilles was no longer doing his chest any good at all. Thus we had no choice left and he had to be called to Aix. He has arrived there, and if I am to judge by his letter he is ready to do his best there. I hope he keeps his word, but this wretched nature of ours, when it gets too much attention, leaves weak people open to strong temptations. I think it then my duty to tell you for your guidance that our dear Brother is prone to excess in this matter. It is unbelievable how far in the past he has carried his precautions in this regard.
This Oblate’s exaggerated preoccupation with his health drew a strong conclusion from Eugene:
Death must have been in his eyes a really great evil and he must have quite lost sight of the fact that it opens the gates of heaven to us, seeing he could impose so many sacrifices on himself for its avoidance.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtés, 7 January 1832, EO VIII n 413
With what eyes do I see death?