THE EXTRAVAGANT PIETY OF THOSE WHO WANT TO SERVE GOD IN DEFIANCE OF ALL REASON AND COMMON SENSE

“Be” in order to “Do” meant a life of equilibrium. Zeal for mission in defiance of the needs of the body produces few results. Writing to the superior of the Aix community, Eugene insists on equilibrium.

The obligation of seven hours of sleep is imposed to remedy. The extravagant piety of certain men who want to serve God as they see fit in defiance of all reason, common sense, justice and enlightened religion. What can a man do, there’s no cure for crackpots. I urge you to order Father Aubert on my behalf never to take less than seven hours sleep. This young priest needs a lot of sleep, he isn’t willing to admit it but it is obviously so. I noticed it a long time ago and others too have made the same observation. I don’t permit any excuses. I positively insist that he submit to this ruling.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 8 September 1836, EO VIII n 582

Good advice for all of us to prevent us becoming crackpots!

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to THE EXTRAVAGANT PIETY OF THOSE WHO WANT TO SERVE GOD IN DEFIANCE OF ALL REASON AND COMMON SENSE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “Be” in order to “Do”. The image of two children playing on a ‘seesaw’. If they are fairly balanced in weight one will have to forcefully push up from the ground, which will cause the child on the other end to end up being very close to the ground. A balancing act.

    I remember when I was sobering up how often the ‘older, wiser’ members of AA would remind me that I needed to learn to eat properly and to get sleep and all in one day. As an addict I had never had any real balance in my life and my ‘doing’ came only from my ‘doing’ as I could not stop running long enough to see if there was any ‘being’. Balance.

    “Be” in order to “Do”. This might well be one of the greatest secrets of having a good life. And Eugene recognized this from his own life; when he first realised he could not ‘do’ the ministry that he felt called to ‘on his own’.

    Perhaps this is just a part of being human; I remember even Jesus taking time to go off and rest, to be on his own and pray. I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3 – a time for everything. How easy in our humanity it is to run and try to do everything at once.

    Eugene, speaking to his sons who he loved dearly and speaking through another – in this case a Superior. How grateful we are to experience that kind of love today – through the members of our families, our communities.

Leave a Reply to Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate Cancel reply

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