I WILL TRY TO PROFIT FROM MY SOLITUDE IN SOUL AND BODY

Having been given the heavy burden of being appointed Bishop of Marseilles. Eugene’s health suffered.

Everyone, relatives, friends and doctor, having got together to insist on my going out of town to enable me to recover from the state of ill-health I have fallen into following a series of heavy blows experienced over some six or seven months, I agreed to exile myself in the country and spend a fortnight in the most absolute solitude.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 2 May 1837, EO XVIII

The following day:

Here I am at St. Joseph’s since yesterday evening. I will try to profit from my solitude in soul and body… My door will be closed to all and sundry, and my diary idle, so long as no business gets in over the walls.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 3 May 1837, EO XVIII

Here, in solitude, he prayerfully prepared himself to assume his new responsibilities later in the year.

An invitation to us to spend time in silent prayer before attempting challenging tasks.

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One Response to I WILL TRY TO PROFIT FROM MY SOLITUDE IN SOUL AND BODY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Yesterday I took the Eucharist to my friend who is battling cancer and to his wife. Of necessity there has been a certain withdrawal from their regular activities and friends as he accepts the challenge put before him. I think of my own quiet delight in being able to do this for both of them, for being a small presence in their lives.

    The Lord takes such delight when asked to help and guide us; with a love that can never be measured or limited we are led and often carried. I am reminded of the idea of a kaleidoscope which I was reintroduced to me a couple of years ago. To look into this simple tool, closing one eye and putting the other up to the aperture; thus cutting our all other light and images. It is then that we see an ever changing vista of brilliance and wonder. If we allow ourselves we discover that we are seeing things, some small and ordinary in a new way.

    I think of Eugene – relying on his family and friends, his community advising him to accept the Lord’s invitation to join him in solitude. Much as we ourselves are invited today to allow ourselves to be led into sitting in the presence of God without interruption.

    Be it for a week, a day, an hour or simply an instant – we sit God’s presence, being one with that brilliance and wonder that we experienced as a child holding up a kaleidoscope to our eyes.

    A new way of listening.

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