THE INABILITY TO REACH SUCH A GREAT NUMBER OF SOULS LIKE THEM CAUSES ME GREAT PAIN AND SORROW

Yesterday, we read Eugene de Mazenod’s description of how edified he was being with the contemplative Sisters. The entry continues:

I returned home filled with these sweet thoughts.

On the way I met some poor unfortunates who were certainly not walking in the presence of God. This contrast produced in my soul a movement of indignation and disgust that I cannot express. 

Seeing these nocturnal persons, the most abandoned in his understanding because they were so far from Jesus Christ, he experienced his helplessness in being able to help them.

The inability to reach such a great number of souls like them, the pain of seeing them loosing themselves without being able to do anything to turn them away from vice and help them save themselves, causes me great pain and sorrow to be the pastor of a flock of which so many sheep are estranged from their bishop. One could say of them: “They do not belong to this fold.” (ed. Jn 10:16). It is because they no longer belong to Jesus Christ. I only have prayer; I have no other way to fulfill my duty towards them.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 22 April 1839, EO XX

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1 Response to THE INABILITY TO REACH SUCH A GREAT NUMBER OF SOULS LIKE THEM CAUSES ME GREAT PAIN AND SORROW

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I began this morning by reading Eugene’s entry in his diary for that day. Firstly his visit to the Visitation Monastery about which he wrote: “How to explain the happiness that all these holy women enjoy, and which makes them prefer their status to anything more attractive that the world could offer? It is not possible to attribute this to anything other than the anointing of grace, the communication of the Spirit of God.”

    These holy women who “neither bask nor drown in the God’s love; rather they simply embrace it, allowing themselves to become permeated in every part of their being”.

    This morning we witness Eugene’s reaction and response to those who have lost their way. I picture them as perhaps being alcoholics and drug addicts: I am sure that if Eugene had walked past me in when I was young he might have described me in the same manner as those helpless souls whose pain and suffering touched him. “They do not belong to this fold.” They were the lost sheep, the very ones that Jesus came to find and save.

    Eugene’s response: “I only have prayer; I have no other way to fulfill my duty towards them.”

    In the past few days I have watched the news and seen the suffering of those refugee’s half-way around the world whose camp was burned. They are left without any means of caring for themselves, abandoned in their misery on the side of the road. And I had to hold back my tears as I asked God to hold them and maybe see to a little miracle or two; it was all I could do.

    In each case Eugene praises and gives thanks to God. The cross and the resurrection.

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