However, one must proceed, it is what God is imposing on me, let me be brave and count on his grace. For that above all it is necessary to work seriously at becoming a saint. This new phase of my life must be a time of complete renewal…

He recalls the moments in his life when he had experienced God’s closeness in a particular way

Now or never is the time for me to carry myself back to the times when I was so fruitful in good thoughts, generous sentiments, to go back to my consecration, my priestly ordination. Then there were holy inspirations, even some lights to understand them, a certain fidelity to correspond to them, but how short it was!
Instability! Temptation! Dissipation! Weakness! Work, contradictions, disgust, a certain disapproval of the human race have almost destroyed the zeal I burned with once upon a time. I really need to reinvigorate my soul. God provides me with the opportunity since he imposes on me a weighty duty that I will be able to fulfil properly only by following in the footsteps of the saints. It is already a signal grace to understand this much; now I must correspond with it and obtain the rest.

Retreat preparatory to taking possession of the episcopal see of Marseilles, May 1837, EO XV n 185y

An echo of the life and missionary program he had set for himself and his missionary family in the Preface of 1818: “We must lead people to think rationally, then as Christians, then help them to become saints.”

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I think of of how each new day can bring about renewal in our lives.

    Yesterday my day began by sitting with a new person in my life in order to be able to introduce her to other members of our family. Not so much wanting to know the details of what her past jobs entailed, but by asking her how she would describe herself – what was she most grateful for and what gave her joy. An hour later I found myself filled with gratitude for the time spent getting to know her. As I walked to the bus to return home I felt renewed and was reminded of the same words that Frank has quoted to us from the 1818 Preface – “We must lead people to…” I realised I was seeing her through new eyes, through a heart that had been reinvigorated by God and what an immense gift this was to all of us. Indeed, I told St. Eugene that she was going to fit right in with the rest of us and how we are blessed with that.

    Yesterday morning I was renewed, and after a good sleep I am once again renewed as I begin my day with joy, gratitude and new hope. This is how we lead each other and those we meet to “think rationally, then as Christians, then help them to become saints.” Not an imposition on the part of God but rather a tender invitation.

    It is not yet dawn but I can hear the heavy equipment being used to remove the snow and ice from the street one block over – that will make my walk much easier – and – it means that our street is next! This is how today I am inspired to following in the footsteps of the saints, most particularly this one who I get to sit here with every day.

    I don’t think I renew myself – but God, my Beloved is a master at this.

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