Whose memory have I engraved in my heart and carry with me daily?

After Eugene’s death in 1861, a card with the image of Mary was found in his breviary. On the reverse side, he had written:

A precious picture for a desolate and inconsolable father. It was twice kissed with a sweet rapture by our beloved Father Suzanne, a few moments before his holy death (January 31, 1829).
The heavenly smile depicted on his face, when immediately afterwards he looked up at me as if in thanks, vividly expressed everything this blessed man wanted to express of love and trust in his beloved Mother, our great patron, Mary.
My son, your traits like your virtues are engraved on my soul in indelible characters! I will love you in your absence as I loved you when you were the apple of my eye. What am I saying, absent! Are you not ever alive in my heart, present in my thoughts?
My beloved son, who will console me over your loss? The memory of what you meant to me? Alas! I have you no longer! The thought of the eternal happiness you are enjoying? Summon me then to your side, for me to share it.
He whom you called “your all” after God.
Charles Joseph Eugene de Mazenod. O.M.I.

Reflections on the death of Fr. Suzanne, 9 March 1829, EO XV n 159

“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.”   George Eliot

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    What a witness to love! So who is engraved in my heart? Have I ever loved so deeply as Eugene seems to have done? Perhaps I have not loved so greatly for there is more than one there. I automatically want to say no for never have I written or though of another like Eugene has written. I stop myself – what does it look like in ‘my’ heart, with my memories – not measured with the yardstick of Eugene’s love, but rather my own. Who do I carry in my heart, so that their image appears at random and I think of how they loved – how they touched others? I think also of how they love now, different from before and I continue my relationship and love with them. There is within me a truth so deep that I will not discount it. And my heart is big enough that it holds not only the dead so that as I look this morning there are faces and memories of those who have died along with those who still live. My memories and thoughts seem to fill me for a moment. For there are those who I never knew in my lifetime who fill my thoughts and my prayers, my way of being.

    I think that God has blessed me greatly for I have been given a heart that loves wildly and without reason. Dare I say that my heart is connected with many who have gone before me but are still with me, as well as those still in my midst. It is their traits, their charisms and spirits, their ways of being that I carry and know.

    I think for a moment of Eugene sitting with Marius Suzanne who was suffering so greatly that Eugene too suffered. Those who have touched me so indelibly – they to have suffered, they know suffering – it is this which connects us and etches itself to become a part of my living heart.

  2. Peg Hanafin says:

    Thoughts to ponder. How many hearts have we touched with our care and concern.? Have we reached out to those who need us? If not, why not?

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