THERE IS LITTLE THAT I DESIRE, AND THE LITTLE I DESIRE I DESIRE BUT LITTLE

Two weeks earlier Eugene had written about his non-stop activity as Vicar General of Marseilles. He did not enjoy the work, and it was “one of the most painful of penances” – yet it had to be done, and he saw it as being done for God. It was all a passing shadow in the sustaining light of God.

I give it no further thought as, thanks be to God, without being a St. Francis de Sales or a St. Teresa, there is little that I desire, and the little I desire I desire but little. It is not only in recent days that the world’s show has seemed but a passing shadow to me; I live in habitual awareness that I have only a limited number of days to live, and obliged as I am to work from dawn to dusk, I do it only as a duty, like a man who has been given one of the most painful of penances by the Master to whom all obedience is due.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 18 February 1832, EO VIII n 415

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One Response to THERE IS LITTLE THAT I DESIRE, AND THE LITTLE I DESIRE I DESIRE BUT LITTLE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Eugene seems to be separating himself from the world – stepping back from and watching life around him rather than being in it. Even choice is something that he looks at from a distance. I picture him as a very young man in exile – no schooling or friends, sitting on a door learning Italian and connecting with others when he asks for help with a word. There is a quality of being lost and separated from. There is a sadness about him. I find myself looking at how the other Oblates handled this and how he was loved by them. They are there with him even as they live out their own lives doing that they must do.

    I wonder if Eugene realised how much of himself he shared in what he said and what he didn’t say. I have somehow met a new face of love this morning. Eugene continues to shed his light on all of us. There is within me a small satisfaction that he did not ‘have it all together’ – this man who followed God, gave himself so totally to God and was so wonderfully human. This begs me to look further, deeper…

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