In our hectic multimedia and multi-tasking lifestyle, we need to hear the call of Eugene to an equilibrium activity and spirituality.
It disturbs me to see you overloading yourself with engagements; I don’t at all approve of that way of doing things, it has the two-fold disadvantage of leaving your men worn out and of keeping them overlong outside the house. This relentless application to works of the exterior ministry is absolutely against the Rules.
Eugene reminds the young superior of the need for equilibrium between missionary zeal and religious life, between “doing and “being”
Let us put aside every consideration of too human origin… beware of driving yourself as if it were a challenge. In God’s name, go back to the bosom of the community to renew yourselves in the spirit of your vocation, otherwise it is all up with our missionaries, they will soon be no more than sounding cymbals.
The community leader had two important tools at his disposal to achieve this. The first was the Oblate Rule which was an objective norm that all were committed to. The second was the weekly “theological conference” which was usually a reading in community of a religious book aimed at the spiritual growth of the community..
The responsibility falls on you, it is my duty to alert you to it. Hold fast to the observance of the Rules, amongst other things, be faithful to the theological conference, remember that this is obligatory.
Letter to Bruno Guigues, 27 May 1835, EO VIII n 516