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


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  1. John Mouck says:

    Eugene is a saint and he felt that way!

    If you read my mind, you would think, ‘Wow, Eugene stole that thought from John.’ lol
    I have so many defects of character that I seem incapable of correcting. I finally had to give up my futile attempts at controlling my life and hand it over to God with the realization that He created me, imperfections and all. At times I may not much like myself but I guess He always does. All I can do is hope and pray that I see what HE wants me to do and that I have the courage to carry that out.

    I too have taken a personal inventory of my life and written it out. It took a long time with many re-writes to make sure I was being honest and taking ownership and not blaming everyone and everything else. It was not a pretty sight. I am not proud. I re-read, re-write, and make additions frequently. Oddly enough, that keeps me from dwelling on the past and hoping for the future.

    I certainly will never travel in that Circle of Saints, but at least I now have hope, hope that one day I will reside with Jesus and Mary, the saints, and all the people they call “friend”.

    Thanks for writing that Eugene.
    Thanks for posting that Frank.


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