Yvon Beaudoin narrates:

“It is the crucial point in this difficult episode of Bishop de Mazenod’s life. The faithful “Roman” appears abandoned by the Curia, at a time when the police are free to expel him from France whenever they like and so separate him from all his loved ones: his uncle Fortuné, Tempier, the Oblates, etc. With good reason Rey writes that the year 1834 was a year of anguish for the Founder.” (EO 8 pages XXV-XXVI)

We pick up his anguish in this sentence from his letter to the Vatican:

I wish I had a less sensitive heart, I would love less, be less tied up in a host of things which affect me very deeply within and I would be happy.

Letter to Bishop Frezza, Secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Affairs at the  Vatican, 28 November 1834, EO XV n 175

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1 Response to A YEAR OF ANGUISH

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Once we have given ourselves over in love then nothing less shall ever suffice. And I am reminded of the song “I only want to say” from Jesus Christ Superstar. In our humanity it does not always look flowery and perfect, not peaceful and serene. Nor does it look that way for Eugene – he has given his heart to those he loves through his love for Jesus, for the crucified Saviour. It is with the Saviour that he ‘hangs on the Cross’.

    It all sounds so impossibly ‘pious’ – as if it’s a story tied-up with pretty ribbons and a bow. Today there seem to be expectations that always we must ‘fight back’, to ‘strike out at another’ when we are unjustly wronged. There are times when our choices seem limited to ‘quitting it all’; and there are times when we are called to simply ‘stand’ midst the storm, seemingly powerless and wait it out. It is then that God invites us to stay with him – not because pain and suffering is beautiful, but rather to ‘stand with’ he whom we have given our hearts to.

    Eugene was also called by the Church to stand alone, to suffer it ‘in silence’ – unable to ask for others to rally round him; not to call attention on those he loves lest they too be singled out by the government.

    If he loved less it would not be so difficult. Eugene knows himself well. It is not about how others see him, but how he sees others. It is always about seeing through the eyes of the crucified Saviour, through infinite love.

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