IN THE UNCERTAINTY AND PAIN OF THESE DAYS, SAINT EUGENE DE MAZENOD HELPS US TO FOCUS.

In the darkness and insecurity we are living through, we recall a 25 year-old in Aix en Provence whose life was insecure because he had no clear sense of direction.

I looked for happiness outside of God and for too long with resulting unhappiness.

As he struggled to find meaning in what was going on he understood the presence of God in a new way one Good Friday, looking at the Cross, and realized the only focus that could made enduring sense for the rest of his life. As he looked at the Cross he learnt to focus from darkness to light

Detail of an icon written by Lauretta Agolli

Never was my soul more satisfied, never did it feel such happiness; for in the midst of this flood of tears, despite my grief, or rather because of my grief, my soul took wings towards its final end, towards God its only good whose loss it felt so keenly.

 Just the memory of it fills my heart with a sweet consolation. Thus I had looked for happiness outside of God, and outside of God I found only disorder and anxiety.

Let me at least make up for lost time by redoubling my love for God. May all my actions, thoughts, etc., be directed towards that end. What more glorious occupation than to act in everything and for everything only for God, to love God above all else, to love God all the more as one who has loved God too late.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Retreat Journal, December 1814, EO XV n.130

“Just the memory of it fills my heart with a sweet consolation” – an invitation to recall the “God-moments” in our lives and to allow them to help us to refocus on what counts.

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One Response to IN THE UNCERTAINTY AND PAIN OF THESE DAYS, SAINT EUGENE DE MAZENOD HELPS US TO FOCUS.

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “I arise today, through the strength of heaven”. Eugene and Frank’s invitations to discover or rediscover “God moments” in our lives has in the past couple of weeks taken on a different hue – I am beginning to see things differently – as if a bright light has been turned on and dissipated the surrounding darkness in the furthest reaches of my being.

    Although I have been involved in the Oblate Studies Program, I jumped at the opportunity to enroll in the new Eugene 100 course. Not sure of why I felt drawn to another course, still I followed my instincts and enrolled – there would be no papers to write and no exams. Since we first met Eugene has been a model for me in how I celebrate the joys and high points and how I crawl through the darkest hours towards the Light.

    My early life was filled what seemed to be an indelible darkness that no light could penetrate, where hope and trust were unable to survive. I believed that God did not love me; that I had been created as a punishment to my family and so the world. And as I grew up I carried that darkness like a banner which announced to the world who I thought I was.

    40 years ago I met God and heard Jesus say my name. The journey that continues today has led me to cover mountain tops and rescue me as walked through the deepest valleys.

    Eugene 101 is an ever evolving invitation to look and reflect more deeply on my past. I have begun to look and see how God never did abandon me but rather held me up so that I did not drown in the darkness.

    In our world and all that is happening today there is a temptation to give into the panic, the anger, the darkness… Again and again Eugene sheds his light on us, becoming our model, our inspiration, our friend…

    I arise today through the strength of heaven…

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