On a pastoral visit to some rural parishes for confirmation, Bishop Eugene commented on the knowledge of the children.
A visit to Caillols where the parishes of Saint Julien, Camoins and Chateau-Gombert had come together… I was very pleased with the childrens’ attention to my instruction which was drawn precisely from the indifference or rather the carelessness that they, as all other children, give to supernatural matters. Oh! how poorly do they instruct them! It is only too true that no one makes an effort to stimulate in their souls the sentiments to which they are nevertheless susceptible. They dryly teach them the letter of the catechism, more or less well explained, but do not try to bring out God’s goodness, the infinite love of Our Lord Jesus Christ for people, and do not form their hearts.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 13 September 1837, EO XVIII
While never watering down religious teaching and moral demands, Eugene always tried to communicate his passionate love for God in response to the love which he personally experienced from Jesus the Savior.
An important reminder to us who are teachers of the faith as parents, catechists, teachers or preachers: it is all about God’s goodness and the infinite love of Jesus Christ, with all the commitments and responsibilities entailed in that relationship and its expression.