During Eugene’s time, many young people died from various illnesses and infections. The Oblates, always guided more by missionary zeal than by good health sense, were prone to catching chest infections and illnesses like tuberculosis. Eugene encourages patience to those convalescing. Today his advice is just as pertinent and the invitation to let our spirit rest in God in suffering and diminishment is just as important
I leave it to you to judge, my dear child, as to whether I am touched by your pining and your trials; but my grief would be greater still were I to believe you to be too much affected by your state. We are surrounded here by young people like yourself who have vomited blood, not occasionally and in small quantity but very copiously and continuously for fifteen days in a row, but they keep on their way. The deacon Camoin, Rouden, Beaussier are in this situation; so, my dear, you will get better as they do, although somewhat more slowly and with some extra treatment.
The essential thing is that you practice patience interiorly and that your spirit be at rest in God.
I did not forget your anniversary. I was surrounded by our whole family and you know that you are never absent from my heart…
Letter to Marius Suzanne, 20 March 1827, EO VII n 268
From our Rule of Life:
“Our members in distress, those who are sick or the aged among us, contribute greatly to the coming of God’s Kingdom. We will be particularly concerned for them and will surround them with all the affection that binds us together as members of the same family.” CC&RR, Constitution 42