In these first moments of my retreat, I come up against an altogether singular obstacle to devoting myself seriously before God to the great topic that calls for my complete attention, namely, an involuntary mental state that persists in seeing as a dream everything that has happened up to now with regard to my election to the episcopate, and all the preparation that has gone into accomplishing this great work of the Holy Spirit in me. I have in my hands the Apostolic Briefs of my canonical institution, I have before my eyes the various dress items of my new estate, I devote myself seriously to the consideration of the lofty dignity to which, all unworthy as I am, I am elevated, the duties this dignity imposes on me, etc., but even so, it still seems as if it were all happening to someone else.
Retreat journal before being consecrated bishop, 7-14 October 1832, EO XV n 166
The words of the writer, Nikos Kazantzakis: “Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality” is what times of prayer and meditation do.
Eugene’s retreat was a time of prayerfully allowing his eyes to be transformed into the eyes of Jesus the Savior.