Continuing form our previous entry, we see how Eugene recommended that Louis Dassy not get carried away by his zeal for archaeology. The point he makes is relevant to all of us in our multi-tasking society: do some of our activities take us away from the real focus where we should be placing the best of our time and energy?
I am not absolutely opposed to your accepting to be part of this commission, for the reasons I have alleged, but I request you very explicitly not to establish yourself as the mainspring of this commission and not to be more concerned than the rest about it functioning well. Indeed, to the contrary, due to the duties you have to fulfil and from which I cannot dispense you. I insist that you take a back seat and be on it for giving advice rather than being active.
If you depart from this rule of wisdom, it is I who say that you will soon be like insipid salt, “what if salt loses its flavor”, I say no more, it is up to you to meditate seriously on this text, so that you may be preserved from terrible consequences which all of us must dread.
Thus, even while remaining within the limits I have indicated to you, if you realize that your piety suffers therefrom, your zeal for the salvation of souls is lessening, that you experience some distaste for the great ministry that is proper and characteristic of your vocation, leave aside all the books of science and bury yourself more than ever in the only study that is strictly necessary wherein we are assured of not meeting with disappointment or deception.
Good-bye. my dear child, I am speaking to you as a father, as a superior, as a bishop. I have nothing further except to embrace you and bless you.
Letter to Father Louis Dassy, 29 March 1842, EO IX n 759