In 1836 and early 1837 some Oblates had either left or had had to be expelled from the small Congregation. Each one was a cause of suffering for Eugene and the Oblates
In the midst of the consolations I experience at the sight of the good done by our small group, I have the grief of seeing the devil screening us, and that among the grain shaken in the sieve there are some kernels that are lean and shrivelled enough to pass through and thus be removed from the threshing floor of the common Father. What disastrous illusions there are in this matter! I will protest before all and before God against these apostasies till my last breath and beyond, for it is before the judgment seat of God that I summon all those who are guilty of it.
He then reflects on oblation as a permanent commitment
There are some religious who dare to say that they had made their oblation only with the idea of quitting the Congregation someday. What a horror! Let them study theology. They will learn that it is not allowed to place any condition, any mental restriction in making vows, and the formula of oblation pronounced verbally must be made seriously and from the bottom of the heart. Otherwise, it would only be a lie, hypocrisy, the profanation of a holy and religious act.
Are we allowed to play games with God and with people, to consider an act made in the presence of Jesus Christ at the holy altar as only a vain and laughable ceremony? Would there be anything sacred on this earth if vows, that is, oaths made before Jesus Christ and accepted by the Church in his name, do not express what they signify? I cannot make head or tail out of this ….
Letter to Joseph Martin, 9 January 1837, EO IX n 600