WHAT IS KILLING ME, IS THE THOUGHT THAT EVERY DAY I HAVE TO DO TWENTY THINGS OVER AND ABOVE WHAT I AM ABLE FOR

Apart from the non-stop activity, Eugene carried the responsibility of nurturing the infancy of the group of Missionaries. The identity of the group was being formed. The methodology and goals of their missionary activities were being worked out as they responded to new situations. The arrival of the first novices forced the group to clarify their values and spirit so as to be able to transmit this to new members. The Youth Congregation was growing and needed more attention. The criticisms of some of the parish priests of Aix also added to his burdens. His health began to suffer:

If I told you everything I have to do as a matter of course, it would shock you. And what is killing me is the thought that having to do in the course of the day twenty things over and above what I am able for.
This is causing an involuntary interior agitation in all that I do, that heats up my blood. I think it is one of the chief causes of the ups and downs of my health. Can you imagine that I find myself myself reduced to the point of having to take salep. But I am talking too much of my wretched self…

Letter to Forbin Janson, July-August 1816, O.W. XV n 138

 

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1 Response to WHAT IS KILLING ME, IS THE THOUGHT THAT EVERY DAY I HAVE TO DO TWENTY THINGS OVER AND ABOVE WHAT I AM ABLE FOR

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This is not an easy one to reflect on -nothig seems to ‘leap out’ at all. It’s not exciting or inspiring. It is the ordinary and every-day that is such a huge part of our lives. But it does speak to me. Could Eugene have delegated. Probably, maybe. It is easy to judge from this period of time but as I reflect on it I think that most likely not. Eugene had a vision, he was starting a “way of living, a way of loving, a way of being”. It needed to start out that way. He saw quite clearly what needed to be done, and then probably saw even more as he went along. This was a new “family” and the rules were being made as he went along. And dear Eugene – he would have wanted it to be done properly, by giving his “all”. I think today we would call him “driven” (or passionate is the word I prefer). And he did suffer because of that. I wonder if he ever though that “he had to do it all”.

    I think of a couple of times in his life when Eugene’s health, his physical limitations came into play. He was not happy at being limited as to what he could not do. I look at how he had to “let go” of doing things, and the gifts that brought to him. Sitting here this morning I just had for a brief moment in time an image of Eugene, open, vulnerable, incredibly strong and full of life. An image or a feeling, a response of incredible love, of seeing his heart somehow. A father.

    I started out with this being ordinary and uninspiring. Seems I had to let go of something myself.

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