In France it is customary that people wish each other for the New Year – whereas in several other countries this is done for Christmas. For the Bishop this meant hours of meeting people formally to exchange greetings and good wishes.
Eugene found these moments heavy, but saw them as an important part of his role in the city. He survived them by trying to live them in the presence of God.
And then began the grand general reception. It lasted all day. I had to repeatedly raise my heart to God to offer him the wearisome duty of my position. As annoying as it is, there is a good side to be considered. It is a tribute to the head of religion in the diocese. A lot of people meet him. We exchange a few kind words.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 1 January December 1840, EO XX
The visits were so numerous that a second day had to be set aside to continue the process.
January 4: A day of visits like yesterday. All our actions can be acceptable to God when we offer them to him. It is out of duty that I do thisdrudgery. Besides, some good comes from this meeting of the pastor with his flock.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 4 January December 1840, EO XX
A good attitude for us to cultivate when we have to face the dull routine of some of our daily occupations.