WE WERE PUTTING IN A PLACE OF SAFETY MEN WHO COULDN’T RENDER THEM ANY SPIRITUAL HELP

As our brother novices aren’t yet in a position to offer their ministry to the unfortunate members of the faithful who are struck by the epidemic, my intention was to withdraw them from the danger-zone, having them leave Aix and head for N.-D. du Laus. So I was quite upset that Father Courtès took it into his head, without warning me, to risk the lives of these young men, for whom I’m responsible before God and men, and impose on them a temporal service in the cholera hospital.
No one would have dreamt of raising an objection while we were devoting all our priests to the service of the cholera patients that we were putting in a place of safety men who couldn’t render them any spiritual help.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 25 July 1835, EO VIII n 526

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One Response to WE WERE PUTTING IN A PLACE OF SAFETY MEN WHO COULDN’T RENDER THEM ANY SPIRITUAL HELP

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This speaks to me about how we might allow ourselves to cared-for and led. This morning I feel a surprising humility and no small amounts of gratitude for this has been my experience. It also dawns on me exactly what the novitiate is all about and how it is that place of safety until those who are there are ready to take their place within their family, their community.

    “A father’s communication with his many children… that is one of the most agreeable occupations of my life” (1857) As Eugene has done with me since this place first opened its doors, he calls me not only to love, but to look at how I love. There is a strange humility in all of this as well as self-forgiveness and gratitude. My heart wants to blurt out: “look Lord at how you guide us, how you bring us home to yourself”. In and with and through – each other.

    I think of the courses that I am taking and how I am learning. I learn first of all that there are steps in where I am going; steps and stages and they are unfolding one at a time so that they do not get muddled all together. It is a little like unwrapping a priceless gift in life; there are layers of colours and textures. My horizons seem to be filled with brilliant colours, lights and shapes. It is like looking into a kaleidoscope and turning it ever so slightly slowly so that I am able to see each tiny change in the vista before my eyes.

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