ANYONE WHO IS SUFFERING, OR NEEDS ME, CAN COUNT ON MY HELP

The 26 year old Eugene continues to reflect on his personality – with some interesting insights on his affectivity and how this is in the service of others:

There is nothing carnal mixed up with these desires which issue from the noblest part of my heart. This is so true that I have always disdained any relationship with women, for those kinds of friendships between the different sexes find their origin more in the senses than in the heart.
A person’s rank in society does not enter as a factor at all into the feeling that brings me to love someone who of a truth loves me. The proof of this is the unbelievable affection I have for the servants who are truly fond of me; I hate being separated from them, it is a wrench for me to leave them, I take an interest in their welfare, and will not overlook anything to secure it, and I do not do this out of magnanimity or greatness of soul, motivations of that kind influence me only when it is a question of people who are cold, but out of feeling, tenderness, really the only word for it is friendship.
You must not think on that account that I do not feel called to do anything for anybody except those who love me. Quite the contrary, anyone who is suffering, or needs me, can count on my help.

Self-evaluation written for his spiritual director in 1808, O.W. XIV n. 30

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One Response to ANYONE WHO IS SUFFERING, OR NEEDS ME, CAN COUNT ON MY HELP

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “There is nothing carnal mixed up with these desires which issue from the noblest part of my heart. This is so true that I have always disdained any relationship with women, for those kinds of friendships between the different sexes find their origin more in the senses than in the heart.” What a statement from a 26 year old young man who was certainly a man of his times. It appears that Eugene wants more than just the fulfillment of sexual desires and casual friendships – he wants to love. He was not just a casual type of guy, rather he was full of passion and fire. One can picture him charging forward no matter the direction. The term “all or nothing” seems to fit him well. His wild and wonderful love affair with God has begun and is reflected in how he wants to live and who he wants to give himself to – in love and service. God first and then through him all others. I see in this the beginning of his “oblation”, the giving of himself and his all to God.

    Eugene’s love is beginning to grow, outward and it is not just dependent just on someone loving him. “You must not think on that account that I do not feel called to do anything for anybody except those who love me. Quite the contrary, anyone who is suffering, or needs me, can count on my help.” He is at the door way and stepping out to love those who are considered to be unlovable, those who are poor and abandoned, the poorest of the poor, those who even his beloved Church have been unable to touch.

    I have wondered where this was going this morning, but as I have been writing my thoughts have been turning, to my experience of love, of being loved and of loving. Who in my universe, my Church, my community is suffering, needs me, can count on my help? I am thinking this morning of the many who themselves love and serve, day-in and day-out, each week and all year long, throughout the years. Most of them a part of the Church, and while it is true that they have been touched most certainly by the church they too go through times of poverty and alienation, sorrow and suffering and just plain tiredness. They too need, and deserve to be loved and nourished and clothed. Ah, even as I write this the word community/family comes to mind, and my souls starts to sing “here I am Lord…”

    It would seem that today I have come to a new, or perhaps better understanding of Eugene. I feel like I can relate to him a little better. In some small ways we are a lot alike and his spirit lives on. It is a wonderful way to greet this day and I take this with me as I prepare to join my community, my dearest friends and celebrate with all of them. There is such joy in coming together to celebrate and praise our God.

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