From the first day of the coming together of the Missionaries, Eugene insisted on the quality of life of each member, and the importance of “being” men of Jesus Christ before their “doing” as men of action. They had to be concerned with the quality of their humanity, deeply Christian and striving for personal sanctity themselves before they could preach to others. If the “doing” became exaggerated, then the quality of the “being” of the missionary would suffer and so it would become a vicious circle.
In this retreat Eugene realized that he had not lived a harmony between these two aspects, and now he was suffering the consequences in an intense way.
I have to acknowledge that the multiplicity of tasks that overwhelms me, have done infinite harm to the accomplishment of the resolutions I took under God’s inspiration.
That state of continual activity I am in is unbelievably prejudicial to my interior life; and the way I carry out my duties is visibly harming my health.
So all this must be dealt with.
Retreat Notes, July-August 1816, O.W. XV n 139