Eugene recalls his personal salvation history:
As I make myself more familiar with the idea of what I already am by my election and what I am to become by my consecration, it will be advantageous to examine attentively the Holy Spirit’s way of acting towards me both at the time of my ordination and during the course of my priestly ministry, and my cooperation on the one hand and my infidelities on the other hand, with the abundant communications of his grace.
Learning from those times when he had not cooperated with God’s grace in the past, he prays for forgiveness and for the ability to allow the Holy Spirit to mak up for his weaknesses and failings.
Thus I will ascertain the loss attributable to my fault, shed bitter tears before God, and full of trust in his mercy, I will dare hope that this living Spirit who is to come down into my soul will restore all I have let deteriorate, strengthen, consolidate, bring to perfection everything in me for me to become truly his right-hand man, the Elias of the Church, the anointed of the Lord, the priest according to the order of Melchisedech who has nothing else in view but to please God by fulfilling all the duties of my ministry for the building up of the Church, the salvation of souls and my own sanctification.
So may I be able to say with the apostle St. Paul: “I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry. I was once a blasphemer… The grace of our Lord has been abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus… . To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Tim. 1:12-17)
Retreat journal before being consecrated bishop, 7-14 October 1832, EO XV n 166
Like Paul and Eugene, each of us has been called by God in the ordinariness of our lives – and given the strength to be God’s instruments in and through our everyday occupations.