THIS TIME I CAN SAY THAT I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED. MAY IT REALLY HAVE BEEN ON MY SAVIOUR’S CROSS!

Eugene was no stranger to opposition and to being publicly condemned for political or ecclesiastical reasons. His personal moral behavior had never been doubted or questioned, so this first public calumny cut deeply into him.

I was careful to try and understand all those who persecute me with such vengeful anger, because I pardon them with all my heart. If it were not for the resulting scandal, I think the good God would give me the grace to go and thank him for the humiliation which weighs upon me and which the Cross my Saviour bore to Calvary helps me to bear.

That is sufficient for Good Friday! This time I can say that I have been crucified. May it really have been on my Saviour’s Cross! That sweetens all the bitterness.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 13 April 1838, EO XIX

Because the unfounded accusation made against Bishop Eugene had caused such a public controversy, the person involved was found guilty and sent to prison. Five years later, on his deathbed, he wrote to the bishop acknowledging that all his calumnies had been false and begging Eugene’s forgiveness and prayers.

 

Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,  and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.”   

(Ephesians 4:31-32)

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One Response to THIS TIME I CAN SAY THAT I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED. MAY IT REALLY HAVE BEEN ON MY SAVIOUR’S CROSS!

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am ‘bothered’ this morning as Eugene speaks of God giving him the grace to go and thank him for the humiliation”. The words ‘self-flagellation’ come to mind; but perhaps he was looking at it as being a way of “turning the other cheek”.

    It was in this light that I looked at the rest of Eugene’s words, pondering them and what they truly mean. I think of how I ask the Lord to allow me to hang on the cross with Him – not for him, and not for any to see how holy I may or may not be. No – it is so that I can be there with him, present there with him. I am quite unable to take away another’s pain or suffering, but I can be there with them. I do not seek martyrdom, for what if I ask for that and am not ready or able to follow through with it; what if I look at my Beloved on the cross and turn away out of fear or doubts?

    I find myself asking God to give me the strength and the courage to never turn away, to always continue to walk and be with him, ever present to and in him. Even if my steps be small and timid, let them be there. And may it not just be a cross of my own making, but rather the real thing.

    It’s funny but I do not seek out the cross so much myself, but rather it does seem to find me.

    This is not anything that I can reason out. And the only way that it can happen is if I can follow Paul’s directions in his letter to the Ephesians. Being “kind to one another, tenderhearted…” I think of Eugene’s words as he was dying: “Charity, charity, charity…” Love, love, love… being compassionate and tenderhearted, forgiving…

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