Eugene shows the concerns of his fatherly heart: severe when correction was needed, but loving nevertheless. The two young Oblates he writes about had been ordained priests for a couple of months.

Give G[ignoux] a good shaking up, show him no mercy. What a pity that with all that talent he should surrender himself to that useless mysticism that will end up leaving him in a complete fog and deprive him in the meantime of all possibility of doing some good.
Take care not to discourage Marcellin; he mustn’t be made too conscious of his mediocrity, that would quite incapacitate him; he has good qualities, he should be helped to exploit them.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 29 October 1833, EO VIII n 471

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    It is with love that Eugene speaks and advises Tempier, encouraging him to use that same love when dealing with two particular young Oblates; telling him to be honest and real with Gignoux so that he doesn’t try to hide within that ‘useless’ mysticism – and to gently lead Marcellin, encouraging him so that he will be able to recognize his own goodness and gifts.

    I think of how God tends to each of us, allowing us to see ourselves as we are and all the while ensuring that it is done within Gods tender embrace. I remember years ago when my spiritual director suggested that I try to do the ‘Examen of Consciousness’ each night. Scary thought. The next month I reported back that I was still ‘trying’ to do it – and then shared with her that the only way I could do it was to allow myself to be held by my Beloved (within a tender embrace) and to look at myself through the eyes of our crucified Savour, Jesus – love.

    I think of my grandmother who always told me to treat others as I would like to be treated. She was not shy about stating my weaknesses and brokenness – its just that she always made sure that I knew that she loved me even as she pointed out my weaker traits: firm correction and loving guidance.

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