In the midst of the difficulties caused by the Icosia crisis and the absolute uncertainty as to what the French government would allow him to do – or even if they would allow him back into France – Eugene remained focused on discerning God’s Wisdom that would never let him down.

My dear friend. I am trying to ground myself ever more securely in the principles I unfolded in my last letter, namely, that one must discern within the course of events and even within the course set by man’s deliberate choice a higher course set by Providence which governs all by its wisdom.: “(Wisdom) reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well” (ed. Wis. 8.1) and that creatures who place their trust in God and call upon him in their need do not go unremembered before him, “… we know that you acknowledge us as yours.” (ed. Wis. 15.2). I need this when I am tempted to be vexed at not having followed a particular inspiration that I believed to be better than its opposite which in fact I settled on, whether out of deference for the opinion of others or for any other reason, especially when drawbacks result that are difficult to remedy.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 28 October 1833, EO VIII n 470

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I look at some of my own decisions and actions – which may, at the time, have seemed necessary, reasonable, even good; at the course of actions that they helped set into motion. Not always resulting in good.

    God ‘acknowledging us as his own, forgiving, embracing and making all things right within us. Eugene seems to be looking back – not just at the government, but also his own actions – his reactions and his responses.

    Our humanness – a part of us, created by God. Eugene who returns again and again to scriptures, reminding us of what it means to be loved by God. Forgiveness of others, and particularly ourselves – looking always to God, seeing everything through the eyes of our beloved Saviour…

    Eugene was well grounded in the spiritual practices of St. Ignatius, the ‘examen’. He is sharing with Tempier of this from the safety of being held in a loving embrace, being one of God’s own. I think of the small steps that children make – falling off of a bike and the small steps taken to try over again. It is the small steps in our lives towards God who is our one sure foundation.

    I began this reflection with thoughts of “…forgive us… as we forgive…” and now as I prepare to greet the day I my heart whispers “…give us today our daily bread…”. It is with a gentleness that begin to sing “Only in God will my soul be at rest… He alone is my rock of safety…”

  2. Jack says:

    The image of the “arch of wisdom” over creation is beautiful sight indead.

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