AFTER FIRST ALLOWING NATURE TO EXPRESS ITSELF, ONE MUST LEARN TO CALM ONESELF AND SEE THINGS ULTIMATELY WITH THE EYES OF FAITH, IN A SUPERNATURAL WAY

A letter from my mother in desolation over her grandson. A letter from my sister filled with resignation. A letter from Father Flayol telling me how edified he was with the piety of my nephew, Eugene de Boigelin…

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 22 July 1837, EO XVIII

Madame de Mazenod was unhappy that Louis had chosen the Jesuits and not the Oblates. Eugene was disappointed too, but saw the bigger picture of the decision as a response to God’s call.

Nothing more natural, my dear mother, than the feelings Louis’ decision had brought on you. I understand your upset, and up to a point I share it; but pardon me for saying they are excessive in your case.
After first allowing nature to express itself, one must learn to calm oneself and see things ultimately with the eyes of faith, in a supernatural way.
All things considered is it then a misfortune for us that Louis consecrate himself to the religious life? …But it is not for you or us to decide things like that. To God alone belongs the right to call each one where he will and as he wills. Louis is a wise and reflective person; he is not taking this step without having pondered it in his heart.
… So all this should be an encouragement to you, my darling mother, not to upset yourself as you are doing. Your health must suffer as a result, and that would be sheer futility, as God in his goodness would take no notice and inexorably his will will be done. Let us wait patiently for the explanations Louis gives us, and submit ourselves in advance to a sacrifice that will have its compensations even in this world. Goodbye, darling mother. Do not come to Marseilles before the second week of August. Tender and affectionate greetings.

Letter to his mother, 26 July 1837 EO XV n 188

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to AFTER FIRST ALLOWING NATURE TO EXPRESS ITSELF, ONE MUST LEARN TO CALM ONESELF AND SEE THINGS ULTIMATELY WITH THE EYES OF FAITH, IN A SUPERNATURAL WAY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Sometimes from the limited view of our happiness we might believe or think that there is only one way to attain that level of being – the same way that we did, and our parents before us, and their parents before them… Sometimes even the smallest amount of change can be threatening to us. It takes immense courage to ‘break the mold’, to challenge current practices and to strike out, seemingly on our own. If we see someone we love ‘rocking the boat’ it is natural to ask them to stop before they cause the boat to capsize.

    Jesus did that – he rocked the boat. As did Eugene and Eugene’s followers, as do many of us do today.

    At some point in our lives we need to let go of ourselves, our way and allow the other to grow as they have been called to grow; to be uprooted and replanted elsewhere in a garden of God’s choosing.

    Eugene’s love is what propels his words to his mother. He shares his experience and reminds her to see Louis as she would if she were looking through the eyes of Jesus on the Cross, seeing him in the light of love.

    I am reminded myself to see others in that way – I am reminded by those around me who themselves love and have learned to see in this way. For me it has been largely by the Oblates and other members of the Mazenodian Family; I imagine it was to be the same for Louis with those who Ignatius and became members of the Jesuit Family.

Leave a Reply

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