In vain I write to you to stop, to catch your breath, and you keep on just the same.

Eugene’s frustration with Fr Mie is obvious! He then appeals to reason.

I make known to you the difficulty I have to fulfil the engagements I have made, but that makes no difference, you take on new ones yourself. Finally, I thought you were at Nimes on the point of responding to my reiterated summons; but now I see you off to Campestre where you propose to remain three weeks, not bothering about but just putting aside the retreat prescribed by our Rules which is to begin the 24th in all our houses.The Jubilee [of Digne] will open on All Saints Day, consequently you must go there. But before it would be well for you to make your retreat. That is why, on receiving my letter, you will finish what you can finish, and you will leave the rest for a more opportune time, which for the diocese of Nimes will be in the month of January, the time when ten of our Fathers will go to evangelize these regions.

Finally, Eugene takes off his gloves and orders Mie to obey immediately!

At present my dear Father, I beg you to excuse me if I do not confine myself to advising you as I have done hitherto, but good order demands that I stipulate to you, as I do by this letter, to you and to Fr. Moreau, to leave everything so as to be able to be at Marseilles for the evening of the 24th, when our retreat begins. I would betray my duty if I did not act as I am doing; do not take this amiss, my dear Father, and get here.

Letter to Pierre Mie, 11 October 1826, EO VII n257


“Obedience of the law is demanded; not asked as a favor.”   Theodore Roosevelt

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    My ‘ego’ gets in the way of me sometimes and it is can be so insidious that it is hard to see and recognize. That’s where humility and obedience will be graces that help me. Humility, which is not self abasement but rather ‘truth’, is accompanied by obedience which allows me the strength and freedom to be transformed and live more fully in God. I think of a line from scripture but must first look it up because I don’t know where it comes from. From Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves…Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

    It is not blind obedience but something that takes in more than just the me. And if the cross is there in that obedience – it is not the other who ‘needs’ to be transformed but myself who will be if I am open to it. Pierre Mie was not just affecting his own self but the heart of his community as well. Today I am okay with obedience but I must pray that I am just as open to it tomorrow and the next day.

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