YOU MUST MAKE WAR ON THAT SNEERING MANNER THAT DOES NOT SUIT MEN LIKE OURSELVES

One of the major ways used by Eugene to maintain the Oblate missionary spirit among them was through regular correspondence with the community superiors. In this way he guided the overall direction of the communities, encouraged and also corrected. Here we have one example written to Fr. Courtès, superior of the Aix community in which he refers to problems caused by pride in a community.

… If experience had not taught me that even the holiest and most fervent of communities are not exempt from some kinds of affliction, it would have amazed me that one could come across conflicts even of a merely fleeting character amongst ourselves originating in pride. Unfortunately, it is our nature’s sad lot that pride is very difficult to defeat completely. In this regard you will do well to stress the duty of mutual respect we owe each other and you must make war on that sneering manner that does not suit men like ourselves…

Eugene then gives news of the other communities of the Congregation:

… The Calvaire community is excellent, the progress of the Fathers could not be bettered, Billens goes from strength to strength and N.-D. du Laus as well is exemplary in its regularity. This latter house has become quite important. Father Guibert is equal to the task which, thanks to a certain Bishop (ed. The Bishop of Gap with his Jansenist leanings), is a very difficult one.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 12 June 1832, EO VIII n 424

 

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One Response to YOU MUST MAKE WAR ON THAT SNEERING MANNER THAT DOES NOT SUIT MEN LIKE OURSELVES

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I have sat here this morning trying to figure out when truth and acknowledgement of only myself (not others) when it becomes pride and arrogance. When have I looked and sneered – trying to raise myself up above another? I know what it is to recognise the sneer of another. How often have I worn that sneer? When have my own needs to be better than, to be smarter than, to know more than, to have received more than – when has all that taken over? Pride never brings joy or satisfaction – there is an empty quality to it that does not make room for love and compassion.

    Eugene’s suggestion of mutual respect – that can help to keep me from measuring and comparing in a manner that can turn to arrogance or sneering at something we, I consider to be less. Our way, our knowledge, our customs and practices – these things can all be good but if we take inordinate pride in our values and customs and ways of being then we set ourselves above others and the walls become high around us with no doors to allow others in or even ourselves out. Respect will lower those walls and allow us to recognize others, love others, have compassion for and walk with.

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