Having encouraged Jourdan in his suffering and invited him to place his confidence in God, Eugene now resorts to two further approaches to help him. The first is linked with the authority of the superior of a community of religious.

Dear friend, trust in my experience. I know this kind of trial, pay no heed to it. Remember that our Lord wishes that his children be led by the way of authority and obedience; it is thus that he manifests his very holy will: “qui vos audit me audit” [ed. Luke 10, 16: “He who heeds you, heeds me”].
Now, I declare To you in the name of God that you are in his friendship…

Secondly he refers to the opinion of the community in his regard, which he must pay attention to.

….Rely in this matter on the decision given to you by our dear brothers who love you so much and whom you sadden, as you do me, by the obstinacy you show in not relying on their decision about the situation which it pleases God to let you undergo.
Courage, my dear friend. Very great saints have been tried like you, but they became saints in spite of these circumstances because they did not cease to obey; courage, once more, my dear friend, we are all down on the floor praying for you so that you will bear this hard trial like a valiant soldier of Jesus Christ. This so amiable Master, our model, did not yield to despair in the garden of Olives; into what an agony he was plunged nevertheless! Hold on to him and fear nothing, drink the cup of his bitterness since he deigns to let you share in his passion, but do not doubt that he will soon fill you with his sweetest joys. Until then you must keep your peace and obey.

Letter to Jacques Antoine Jourdan, 30 March 1823, EO VI n 99


When life caves in, you do not need reasons – you need comfort. You do not need some answers – you need someone. And Jesus does not come to us with an explanation – He comes to us with His presence. “    Bob Benson

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I find myself sitting back and simply letting all of this become a part of me. I realise that but a short time ago I would most likely have reacted to and balked at this posting because of words such as authority, obey and obstinacy.

    Trust comes to mind, trust is the word that I am hearing today. To trust in my community, in those whom God has surrounded me with, with whom I walk. I realise that I am grateful, as I ‘sit back’ in this presence, amidst those who love me. In a time when I am feeling the fear of a few ‘what ifs’ and self-doubt, I need to stop and listen to God’s whisper of love and trust in his voice spoken through those he has given me.

    “…Jesus does not come to us with an explanation – He comes to us with His presence.” How comforting is this? I want to say it is ‘sweet consolation’ but that sounds more like something Eugene would say than myself. So I will simply thank God for this message today which could have been written directly to me rather than to an Oblate 200 years ago. I will step out, perhaps still with a little fear, or rather inspite of it. And trust.

    • Joyce Fegan says:

      How lovely to hear other peoples thoughts and feelings being shared with fellow Christians on the journey of life. Thank you.

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