As Father Magy accompanied Eugene in his vocational discernment, he expressed the heart of all spirituality: it is a lifelong response to what God has done in a person’s life. In the life of each of us there is a God-spark that lights the fire of our lives and gives meaning and purpose. In Eugene’s case it was the realization of being seen and loved through the eyes of his crucified Savior.

“The source of your confidence lies in what God has already done for you; it should be a joyful pledge of what he wants to do for you in the future, if you do not obstruct his action. Your vocation is as certain as it could ever be. That is all you need to know. “

We have seen how the spark that lit Eugene’s fire also led him into struggle and confusion. Fr. Magy’s advice was realistic: “For the rest, entrust yourself blindly to God. Nor should you count on the sweet consolations that it pleased God’s fatherly goodness to have you experience to give you support and encouragement. It is especially in abandonment, darkness, and temptations that fidelity becomes evident. Your moods fluctuate. God is always the same and deserves to be served with the same quality of zeal. On foggy days, remember the sunny days.

The truth that has seized upon you is not revealed to you by the senses which cannot seize it; it is a heavenly beam. This beam of light no longer shines, but the truth remains.” Letter from Father Magy to Eugene, August 1808, quoted in Rey I, p. 88

“On foggy days, remember the sunny days” was the invitation of Jesus to the disciples who had experienced his transfiguration and needed to remember the light in the darkness of Gethsemane and Calvary. It is the invitation that continues today, that in moments of darkness and lack of consolation, we must never lose sight of the  spark that gave us light – and continues to do so. This is where our spirituality begins.


“From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us.”   Pope Francis

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    So this is what it is to walk with, to be accompanied. I feel as if I have once again I am handed a gift of such immense value and I want to say to God that each breath is but a sigh of gratitude and with that is a deepening surrendering of my being.

    There is something deeply personal here, while at the very same time it is communal and shared with all who enter into this sacred space. To be in communion with – this is like a small foretaste of heaven. But for now, although I am alone, I am not for I look at where God has brought me, led me, planted me.

    Each morning I come here, to where Eugene speaks to us – to where Eugene speaks to us quite literally as well as through his sons, through his friends. Personal and communal. I am reminded of a series of pictures I once looked at. “Where’s Elmo?” To find this one face in the midst of hundreds. Here am I in the midst of thousands and yet most instantly my God knows exactly where/who/how I be.

    Every word that Fr. Magy wrote to and about Eugene touched me most personally. It is like he knew and spoke to me even down to the ‘fluctuating moods’. I am grateful. I look at how Eugene shared this by keeping the letter(s) that Fr. Magy wrote and which his sons now share. I remember when I first felt as if God had given the Oblates to me as a gift, and I to them as a gift. It would be how I would come to know my own self more and more, all in coming to know and walk with others. And quite specifically Oblates and members of their extended family.

    There is a song that we sing on Holy Thursday – Song of the Lord’s Command by David Haas. It begins “Do you know what I have done for you, you who call me your teacher and your Lord….” Yes Lord I know a little. Recently Ron Rolheiser wrote a piece titled “Lacking the Self-Confidence for Greatness”. That too spoke to me and where I sit these days. ‘Do you know what I have done for you?’

    What God has already has done for me, what God is doing for me… It is that which I hold on to. Thank you Lord for all who you put in my life, this is how You give me and bring me deeper into your being. I am blessed.

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