THE MISFORTUNE OF SO MANY FAMILIES TOUCHES ME DEEPLY

Eugene was no longer in Marseilles and his first instinct was to rush back to the city because the cholera had spread from Toulon and Aix to the city. Father Tempier wrote:

“The Bishop [Fortuné] really would like you to stay away from the epidemic’s influence, since you are absent in any case. We have just received a letter from the Mayor who would like us not to ring the bells as death knell for those who are dying, for he claims that the sound of the bells is frightening the people. Such a request is ridiculous; we haven’t taken any decision in this matter.” Letter of Henri Tempier to Eugene de Mazenod, 16 July 1835, EO2 n 70.

Eugene’s reply shows his distress and grief at the tragedy:

I am in such anguish to know that you are once again in the danger-zone that I would like to go and share it with you, for your own consolation and mine…
We are going to pray for you every day; tell my uncle how much I feel for him, for you and all our friends; the misfortune of so many families touches me deeply. Say just one word and I’ll be there.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 19 July 1835, EO VIII n 523

The life of Eugene was marked by how the suffering of others always impacted on him and compelled him to respond. He saw and experienced the world through the eyes of the crucified Savior, and his response was to try to be the cooperator of the Savior to those in need.

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to THE MISFORTUNE OF SO MANY FAMILIES TOUCHES ME DEEPLY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    What a beautiful summation of Eugene’s heart and being!

    ‘The life of Eugene was marked by how the suffering of others always impacted on him and compelled him to respond.’

    Eugene wants nothing more than to be with all those he loves – his heart belongs not only to himself but to all who are suffering. I think for a moment when Eugene and Tempier exchanged their vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Obedience to their crucified Saviour, to the Church and to each other; not measuring what this would mean; giving and letting go of themselves for a greater freedom. Who has not at some time or another sat with their Beloved and ask that their hearts be replaced with God’s own. We do not stop to measure or speak of it but that is what has been planted within us and our lives become it’s breath. That breath becomes our prayer, our dialogue, our ‘being’ with God.

    ‘He saw and experienced the world through the eyes of the crucified Savior, and his response was to try to be the cooperator of the Savior to those in need.’

    Such immense love that fills our being, overflowing to all we meet. It is only how we see, but how we experience our world. Through the eyes of our crucified Saviour our focus changes to one of immense and endless love. It is in this way that we are drawn to becoming a cooperator of crucified Saviour to all those in need.

    I am again reminded of those first Ten Constitutions and Rules – not in being able to recite them word-for-word, but being drawn to open my little green book and breathe again the words of their headings. In this way my eyes and my heart meet as my breath becomes the headings of these words.

    This morning our prayer begin with the breathing in of Eugene’s heart, and allowing it to become one with our own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *