In reviewing the course of his spiritual journey, Eugene becomes aware of an important area of growth that has happened in his life. Whereas in the previous retreats he had concentrated on his sinfulness and an almost morbid preoccupation with his weaknesses and failures, now he has a different outlook. Awarte that his faults and sins will persist, he is now able to say, “I am not bothered by all that” because he understands more fully that it is God’s love that keeps him going.
I notice first that in the midst of my extreme distress – for I am seeing myself as I really am, namely, absolutely deprived of any virtue, having only the desire for it and the will to work to get it – I note, not without surprise, that I am not bothered by all that. I have a great trust in God’s goodness. “For you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety”: Ps. 4, and I have a kind of hopeful assurance, that he will grant me the grace to improve, for one thing is sure, I am not worth much right now. And the examen, of which I will leave some written extracts for my instruction, will convince me of this each time I come upon this paper.
Retreat Notes, July-August 1816, O.W. XV n 139