Eugene was fully aware that the youthful, 25 year-old, Fr Mille found the burden of being a formator so heavy – as do most Oblate missionaries who are in houses of formation.
Once and for all impress this upon yourself. I have not sent you to Switzerland to exercise the exterior ministry but to direct, instruct and look after the community that is entrusted to you; this has been repeated and explained too often for there to be the least shadow of doubt about the course that you must follow in your situation. Apply yourself unreservedly to giving edification by your regularity to those at whose perfection it is your duty to labour.
Then he gave beautiful words of encouragement to Mille:
They will repay what you have done for them when, come to the end of their studies, they begin to work in our Father’s vineyard; it is then you will harvest what you are now sowing. You will have a double portion in all their works and it will amply repay you for the sacrifice you are making for them. God will reward you precisely for what you omit, or better, for what you do not do, in virtue of holy obedience. He alone can assign a value to your actions ….
Letter to Jean-Baptiste Mille, 21 April 1832, EO VIII n 420
I have quoted these words over and over again to all Oblates involved in the formation of our new members: you are a missionary through the mission of those you have accompanied in their formation journey. When they are in the missionary field, “you will have a double portion in all their works and it will amply repay you for the sacrifice you are making for them.”