A Good Friday to remember! Thirty years earlier Eugene had received the grace of experiencing the meaning of the Cross in his life. Now in 1838, he had been publicly slandered by a former domestic servant – who was later to admit that his words had been invented. Seizing on this public event, some who were hostile to the Church in Marseilles were about to print a booklet on Good Friday to frame the bishop in an even worse light.
Eugene had wanted to spend Good Friday meditating peacefully at the foot of the Cross – but the Savior had other plans for him to experience the Cross in a more holistic way.
April 13: Good Friday. Why should such holy days be troubled and my soul, which would like to remain in meditation at the foot of the Cross, be diverted from the only thing that should occupy my mind and my heart? The reason is that evil people are on the lookout today as they were in time of our divine Saviour. Let us thank the Lord who has had me share abundantly in the bitterness of his Passion this year. It is up to me to profit by it.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 13 April 1838, EO XIX
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:19-20)
“ Not that I have . . . already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians. 3:12).
As followers of Jesus, Eugene and Paul encourage us on our daily journey – as difficult as it may be.