Yesterday we read Eugene’s reaction in his personal journal to the incident where Father Guigues had received opposition from some young people. Today we read Eugene’s response to him which reasserts the pastoral attitude which he expected all the members of his religious family to have.
I have just received your letter of the 15th and I am leaving aside everything to reply to it. May God save you, my dear friend, from refusing Communion to those, who, being guilty of the mischief which you mention to me, have been repentant. You yourself admit that they were only carried along by their exuberance and not at all by hostile intention. Oh! you are sent by God to forgive greater sins than theirs and even greater scandals than the one they may have given by their thoughtlessness. Once they had been reconciled, it was your duty to admit them to the Holy Table…
Remember that you are sent to sinners, and even to hardened sinners. You must expect resistance from the devil; he will not easily let go of his prey. This resistance manifests itself now in one way, and now in another. Jesus Christ is always the victor, “Christus vincit.” He demands sacrifices, “Christus imperat.” He establishes his reign in souls, “Christus regnat.” This is all that we desire, this is the result of and compensation for our labours.
Letter to Bruno Guigues, 20 February 1837, EO IX n 605