Continuing his retreat reflection, one sees here Eugene’s conviction that one has to “be” in order to “do.” In evaluating the good that has clearly emerged from his foundation of the youth congregation and that of the missionaries, he evaluates the quality of his “being” in communion with God as the life-giving force of his activity.
I took note today that I was not mistaken and already some good has come of my ministry. I could even say some very great good, if I were to focus less on what it actually is than on what it may bring forth in the future, if my infidelities put no obstacle.
The youth foundation and that for missions were mine to do perforce, as God in his goodness had placed me in a position to do them; but how much better things these would have been, if I had put less of myself into them, if I had been more docile to God’s inner voice, worked more for my own perfection, at least in profiting from all that was a distraction to me perhaps, because of my superficiality and dissipation, to make progress instead of going backwards. That is the point I have to reach with God’s grace.
Retreat Notes, July-August 1816, O.W. XV n 139