I HAVE A CLEARER KNOWLEDGE OF MY DUTIES AND I THINK I HAVE OBTAINED, WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE RESOLVE TO DISCHARGE THEM FAITHFULLY

Writing to his confidant, Father Tempier, Eugene described his spiritual state after his episcopal consecration.

The Holy Spirit, the object of so many saintly people’s prayers, made his appearance on the great day, and I assure you that not a day has passed since then, and I could even say an hour, that he has not imparted indescribable spiritual experiences to that person whom he deigned to choose and sanctify.
I did not count in vain on his powerful help for my whole retreat was made in a spirit of trust. I feel renewed and am in a spiritual state that I cannot put into words.

He had always had an awe-filled respect for the status of bishops as the successors of the apostles, and now he finds himself as one.

All my life I had been filled with respect for the episcopate, I had always considered it in a great spirit of faith; it was, so to speak, an instinctive reflex of my soul. If I had not held myself back, I would many times have been carried away and fallen prostrate at the feet of some good bishop, as one does before the Pope. I wanted everyone to think as I did and to render noble acts of homage to these successors of the apostles. I was ready to let them walk right over me so as to exalt them the more, and now the Lord raises me myself to the summit of this greatness and what is more, now he is making me understand that I still fell short in my estimate of this plenitude of the priesthood of Jesus Christ.

Conscious of his personal weakness and sinfulness, the gift of the Holy Spirit gives him confidence to fulfil his responsibilities.

This profound conviction of my soul sits very well with the feeling of my own lowliness, personal poverty and unworthiness; but none the less I am sure that, through God’s mercy, I have completely changed. I have a clearer knowledge of my duties and I think I have obtained, with the Holy Spirit, the resolve to discharge them faithfully.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 20 October 1832, EO VIII n 437

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One Response to I HAVE A CLEARER KNOWLEDGE OF MY DUTIES AND I THINK I HAVE OBTAINED, WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE RESOLVE TO DISCHARGE THEM FAITHFULLY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I sit here reflecting on Eugene – who he was called to be. And what does that look like for me in my life. I sit here and I could spend all my time thinking of who I am not, what I am not called to do, who I am not called to be. I look at how I learn and am guided, journeyed-with, been a part of… as a member of this Mazenodian Family and I am filled with pride and gratitude – this becoming ‘an instinctive reflex of my soul’.

    This morning another day begins and with it a new class in my studies – with them I am seeing through new eyes for things are clearer, brighter, filled more with life and love than not. “The Holy Spirit …has imparted indescribable spiritual experiences to that person whom he deigned to choose and sanctify.” Here Eugene shedding his light on me and my life. My life has been like that – daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.

    Focussing on all that I am given, how I journey and with whom, I think this morning of Mary Immaculate and her Canticle. Mary, our Mother, whose life was more hidden and perhaps ordinary. I repeat Eugene’s words slowly – they do apply. I think of my daily prayer for more than 30 years – Lord make me little, make me hidden, make me a light for my neighbour’s feet.

    “This profound conviction of my soul sits very well with the feeling of my own lowliness, personal poverty and unworthiness; but none the less I am sure that, through God’s mercy, I have completely changed. I have a clearer knowledge of my duties and I think I have obtained, with the Holy Spirit, the resolve to discharge them faithfully.” Eugene I celebrate with you and I give thanks for all that the Lord gives to me, for who He calls me to be and who he has set me down to walk with. Mazenodian – Lord all that you give to me!

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