Eugene charges his friend, Henri Tempier, to remind him every day, if necessary, of the necessity to remain humbly in the will of God and not to let his position as a bishop go to his head and inflate him with self-importance.

In other words in this last phase of my life I think I can say that I am firmly resolved, through the overflowing abundance of graces that I will receive, to try, by diligent application, so to conform myself to God’s will that not a single fibre of my being will knowingly swerve from it.
I am telling you this quite frankly as you are my director and also for you as my admonitor to remind me of it, if needs be, every day of my life;
for you know me too well not to understand that the greatness of the dignity to which I am going to be elevated, all unworthy as I am, will change nothing of my interior dispositions nor in my bonds of trust and of religious simplicity, with you in the first place and also with everyone else, due proportion being observed. That is enough on that topic.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 10 October 1832, EO VIII n 436

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Eugene wants so greatly to conform to God’s will – not just a little bit, but in his usual passionate, ‘all or nothing’ way. He reminds his dearest friend that will only happen if ‘every fibre of his being’ is focused on conforming himself totally to ‘God’s will’. He will need to always see through the eyes of the crucified Saviour – nothing less will suffice. Seeing always through the eyes of Jesus on the cross – the endless immensity of God’s love for him he will remain humble.

    There is something very real here. I can ask my dearest friends to pray for me, telling them that I want to love God, to respond fully with all that I am. But to charge one or two to remind me of my deepest desires and wishes, to charge my brothers and sisters with that – that demands immense love and trust, immense humility – not just of God but of those in my community – who I love and dare to be open and vulnerable with. I think of the vows that Eugene made, that the Oblates have made – they are simple – poverty, chastity, obedience and perseverance – without a whole lot of qualifiers.

    Do I want to live that truth – do I dare? Do I dare to say it aloud – to one, to many? I must be mad for sitting here this morning I find myself wanting to do just that. All or nothing.

    To remain true within that. I am so human, just like Eugene was and yet he knew within himself that his love and trust for Tempier and the other members of his community would not diminish at all. Standing at the edge of a precipice – a daring leap.

    One of the reasons I come here every morning – to be reminded…

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