IT’S AN ACT OF JUSTICE THAT HAS BEEN RENDERED ME AND I’M STILL OWED SOME REPARATION

Grudgingly, Eugene had written the required letter to the King, but a sense of bitterness remained at the way he had been treated for so many years.

I have the feeling that there is an expectation that I thank the King; and there’s the rub; for when all is said and done, it’s an act of justice that has been rendered me and I’m still owed some reparation. What’s there in that to get excited about? Perhaps you’ll find the tone of my remarks shocking. I am waiting.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 1 September 1835, EO VIII n 540

This tone made for a very cold letter to the King and the Minister of Worship, which was not judged in Paris as being suitable (Tempier and Guibert agreed on this too), so Eugene was asked to rewrite it! “A sentence or two more would have done wonders,” wrote Father Guibert on September 4, as he requested a fresh letter for the Minister of Worship

Eugene finally responded:

My dear Tempier, my letter of yesterday will have caused you pain; and so I’m hastening to write again today to let you know my second thoughts; believe me that you and my other friends are the main reason for this resolution for it isn’t right that you should be saddened through your affection towards me and the desire it inspires in you.
Very well, then, I have decided to write to the Minister, as if I ought not to be shocked by all his suspicions, injurious to my character.
Without further ado I am copying you out my letter, which has already left. I hope it will make you happy.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 15 September 1835, EO VIII n 543

Thus the Icosia affair was finally settled and Eugene could return to Marseilles in October and await the invitation to come to Paris to make his oath to the King and have his citizenship restored and his episcopal status recognized. This happened three months later in January 1836.

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One Response to IT’S AN ACT OF JUSTICE THAT HAS BEEN RENDERED ME AND I’M STILL OWED SOME REPARATION

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I want to rejoice – with Eugene and with those who love him: his uncle, Bishop Fortuné, Henri Tempier, Guibert, Jeancard and I imagine countless others who knew and understood what was happening to Eugene. Their love was measured in their fidelity to and with him; for they did not tire of the whole mess and walk away, but rather continued to walk with him and when steps seemed impossible for him to take on his own they helped to carry him.

    The Good Shepherd comes to mind. The immense and unending love of God comes to mind. It is the love that Eugene himself had helped to instill in the hearts of his congregation, in his family, and his friends. It was love that carried him so that he could finally let go of that which he carried.

    I begin to think this morning of others who have wronged me – caused hurt within me and treated me unjustly. But I refuse to give in to the temptation of allowing hurt to grow into bitterness which could so easily overtake me and my life. Bitterness can be sly as it hides itself within hurt and then gradually takes over all of the heart – in much the same way that thistles do in an empty lot leaving no space for anything else to grow.

    So I look at how I have reacted out of hurt – acted-out on family and friends. They did and do not deserve to have their love trampled on just because life has been at times “unfair” to me. “…and so I’m hastening to write again today… you and my other friends are the main reason for this resolution for it isn’t right that you should be saddened through your affection towards me and the desire it inspires in you.”

    A friend told me once about how Eugene shed his light on me and it is true. From this I find love and hope and can see a way for myself to walk and in turn share that light with others. The weekend beckons and soon, very soon, we will intentionally come together from all corners of the world in Oraison, in communion with one another in God. A Blessed weekend!

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