A LONG TIME AGO YOU RECEIVED THE FIRST ABSOLUTION I EVER GAVE IN MY PRIESTLY MINISTRY

Writing to a priest friend who was stationed in Rome, Eugene expressed his sorrow at discovering that he would be absent for his episcopal consecration. He then recalled a very special sacramental bond that Eugene had never forgotten.

If you knew the depth of my feelings of friendship towards you, you would conceive some idea of the disappointment I am experiencing at not seeing you, and above all in my present circumstances. It is not yet known in Rome, but the Pope has just named me Bishop of Icosia and apostolic visitor of Tripoli and Tunis. I shall be consecrated, unless some unforeseen obstacle arises, on Sunday the 14th of this month.
My thought was that my first blessing would fall on you, as a long time ago you received the first absolution I ever gave in my priestly ministry. My best wishes will reach you wherever you are; but, my dear friend, do not forget me in your prayers, and, on the day of my consecration, say Holy Mass for me; you will readily understand my need.

Eugene then expressed his sadness that none of the people he was close to would be present to share this important moment of his life with him.

I am all alone here, and I assure you that poor human nature will be well and truly crucified; but I am not counting in vain on God in his goodness making up for all the heart will suffer by way of privations with the most abundant spiritual graces.

To Father Martin de Loirlieu, chaplain at the Church of St. Louis-des-Français, Rome, 4 October 1832, EO XV 165

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A LONG TIME AGO YOU RECEIVED THE FIRST ABSOLUTION I EVER GAVE IN MY PRIESTLY MINISTRY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I have never thought of something like this before – the ‘firsts’ in Eugene’s life – the first baptism, marriage, the first absolution… This brings a small point of happiness just to learn of it.

    His words to Fr. Martin de Loirlieu capture my heart this morning. “I am all alone here, and I assure you that poor human nature will be well and truly crucified; but I am not counting in vain on God in his goodness making up for all the heart will suffer by way of privations with the most abundant spiritual graces.” Eugene recognizes and acknowledges his sadness that he is unable to share this time with those he loves. Yes, it is a privation, but it is also what he said yes to when he made his Oblation so many years before and that he renewed in his retreat. He acknowledges and accepts the Cross that is before him because he trusts implicitly that God will give him the graces – in abundance – that he will need. I am reminded of St. Paul in prison. All of this is born out of a great love that is nothing more than a dim reflection of God’s love for him.

    I am reminded of a recent piece by Fr. Fabio Ciardi as he wrote about Eugene’s death: “Saint Eugene de Mazenod died offering his life as the perfect fulfillment of the Will of God. No one took it from him; he gave it freely, as a gift of love, to that God who had given it to him.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *