IN SPITE OF WHAT MY MISGUIDED REASON MIGHT URGE ME TO BELIEVE, THIS RIGHT TO PEOPLE’S LOVE BELONGS ONLY TO GOD

Continuing our reflection in the Diary entry of Easter Sunday 1839, we see Eugene meditating on the difficult lesson he had to learn when he naively believed that because he loved people and treated them in a loving way they would love him in return. Initially some in the city of Marseilles taught him this lesson.

There would be some interesting things to say on this topic! But I would deviate from the thought that led to this digression. I wanted to say that I went to extremes in the love I showed my fellow man from my earliest youth. I had especially been excessive in supposing that I deserved a similar attitude from those for whom I wanted to do so much good, and to whom my heart was ready to dispense still greater love in return for the love they were willing to give me. In spite of what my misguided reason might urge me to believe, this right to people’s love belongs only to God. Whatever my reason may allege for expecting men’s gratitude, it is mistaken.

People may do wrong by being ungrateful, unjust, and not responding to the good done them, or desired for them, but I should not complain about this. The same rule which applies to external actions and services must also apply to the feelings and dispositions of the heart.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 31 March 1839, EO XX

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to IN SPITE OF WHAT MY MISGUIDED REASON MIGHT URGE ME TO BELIEVE, THIS RIGHT TO PEOPLE’S LOVE BELONGS ONLY TO GOD

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “In spite of what my misguided reason might urge me to believe, this right to people’s love belongs only to God. Whatever my reason may allege for expecting men’s gratitude, it is mistaken.”

    I have had to read Eugene’s words a couple of times, needing to find a way to realize what he is saying. The image that I have is of a child at the beach who has waded beyond her comfort zone and looking back at the shore begins to work very hard to get back to safer shallow waters; already forgetting that her mother who was in front of her watching, is now behind her following as she continues to guard the child.

    That image changes for it is me who is moving back to safer waters and not my mother that follow but Jesus who accompanies me, Jesus who guards me. And as I sit here with Eugene my body becomes more relaxed and I hear myself silently singing a few lines from the “Deer’s Cry”:

    Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
    Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
    Christ on my right, Christ on my left…
    Christ in the heart of every man who thinks to me,
    Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me.
    Christ with me.

    I realise yet again that Eugene’s words have been given to me – as a father who speaks to his sons and daughters. It is God himself who speaks through Eugene and Frank and with whom we begin our days.

    I have found my own words today to share with Eugene and any who might hear.

    I dare to sing “I arise today…”

Leave a Reply

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