Although he had to stay behind in Aix, Henri Tempier played an important role in the Barjols mission. On questions of health, he was the only one who had any hold on Eugene and he had forbidden him to tire himself out. So, after a few weeks of being obedient, Eugene wrote to him:

My health is better, I am sincere in telling you this. So I beg you to give me a little more scope.

Letter to Henri Tempier, December 1818, O.W. VI n.37

 How to explain this meek obedience in Eugene? On Holy Thursday of 1816, the two of them had made a vow of mutual obedience. The foundation and spirit of this vow was confirmed and developed in the 1818 Rule, under the title of “the Admonitor of the Superior”. Consequently, Tempier wrote to him:

… I have never closely examined just how far you are obligated by the vow of obedience that you made to me. I believe, however, that you wanted to submit yourself in every- thing that does not touch the administration of the mission, as you explained better afterwards in the Constitutions, in that case, l order you to keep to this program, or better, if I cannot judge your case accurately due to the distance which separates us, you have only to consult Mr. Brun, a doctor … in the area, and to go absolutely by what he says without interpreting my will otherwise.

Letter from Henri Tempier to Eugene de Mazenod, 11 November 1818,
O.W. II 2, n.11

“Love is a better teacher than duty.”   Albert Einstein

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Trust. That is the word I keep hearing here today. Trust in God, in His love and trust in those he sends to us. Trust in our Spiritual Directors. Trust in certain friends.

    Many many years ago I made private vows to God and the Church (I know!). And even though it has taken me over half of my life to live into them they have only been possible because I trusted God and his love for me. And it was God in the people around me that I listened to and was obedient to.

    It is still thus – it the community that I belong to and am a part of. It is the Oblates and Associates that I find myself trusting, listening to and even “obeying”. It sometimes requires discernment! It also requires a certain amount of openness and a lot of trust. And I think that there is a “giving over to” somewhere in there.

  2. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    Well, I have arrived at my new assignment at the regional novitiate in Godfrey, Illiniois, United States. We are preparing the house and program for the new class which will be arriving in August. This past year, there was no novitiate in Canada/United States.

    But the reading speaks to me. For it is the relationship with in the community of one or two that are unique and special. It is the relationship of acceptance-regardless, it is the trust to be-regardless, it is freedom to make mistakes-regardless and the freedom and ability to love and be loved-regardless.

    Who is your Tempier???

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