Often in Eugene’s writings we come across the struggle between good and evil where ministry is concerned.

Console yourself by realizing that it is a new trick of the enemy of all good from whom it would not be reasonable to expect the least respite.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 11 October 1824, EO VI n 154

These are days of misfortune; it seems that the demon has received powers as extensive over us as over Job. May the Lord grant us his resignation!

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 15 October 1824. EO VI n 155

In the Preface to the Rule of Life, Eugene had set this out in his missionary manifesto for the Oblates:

Thus, it is supremely important, it is urgently imperative, that we lead the multitude of lost sheep back to the fold, that we teach these degenerate Christians who Jesus Christ is, that we rescue them from Satan’s power and show them the way to eternal life. We must spare no effort to extend the Saviour’s empire and to destroy the dominion of hell. We must check the manifold evils of sin and establish the honoured observance of every virtue. We must lead men to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.

Preface to the Constitutions and Rules

“With his death and resurrection, Jesus has ransomed us from the power of the world, from the power of the devil, from the power of the prince of this world. The origin of the hatred is this: we are saved and that prince of the world, who does not want us to be saved, hates us and gives rise to the persecution that from the earliest times of Jesus continues until today.”     Pope Francis

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    There is a very small wow in all of this today. There is a solace in reading this and realising it a little. Even the fact that Eugene wrote to Hippolyte Courtès two times in less than a week gives me hope for I find sometimes that to wait a month to speak with say my spiritual director is simply too long. I find myself somehow taking heart in what is written in the preface to the Oblate way of life (constitution and rules) and in what Pope Francis says even while I find it hard to understand because I guess I am used to thinking of living evil as being the “big things” like mass murder or total suppression of a peoples. The phrase that comes to mind is “soul destroying” and it is all made of the everyday stuff, of the breathing in and breathing out. For me who once belonged to satan, (I refuse to capitalise his name) I would think that he would have much bigger fish to fry than me.

    I spent much of yesterday, simply walking through the day, putting one foot in front of the other. I made it a day of celebrating the goodness in people around me because to do other than that would have been giving in to something I did not want to go back to. I don’t think it was ‘escaping’ so much as finding a way to not give in to darkness and hopelessness, because I fear that road is too easily slippery and quick. Today will begin with the Eucharist, not a want so much as a need. And I shall spend the day with two friends whose love will embrace me simply by being in the ordinary of it with me.

    I thank you Frank for all that is given here in this place, it strikes me that can be, it is a place of, a way of oraison.

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