In the previous entry we reflected on the letter that Eugene had rediscovered from his former spiritual director at the seminary, and the encouragement it gave him to be God’s instrument in the Church. He continued to quote the letter:

I assure you that I do not cease to think about you and to thank the good God for the courage which he gives you. I hope that you will do much, because you sincerely love the good God and the Church. I embrace you with all my heart and am with all my heart entirely yours.

Duclaux, October 2, 1815.

Eugene then commented in his diary:

Reverend Duclaux was my director, all the time that I spent at the seminary. Reverend Duclaux was not only a great theologian (he had been the first with his degree), but he was the man who spoke the best about spiritual matters. He delighted everyone, in his daily explanations, which at the seminary he made the spiritual reading, and this flowed from its source. Whatever was the book being read, he added, from his own, reflections which made still more of an impression; it was a gift that no one possessed like him. The fact is, this holy man was filled with the spirit of God to the supreme degree.

This reminds me of the reflection with which he always began the decisions which someone solicited from him; if by any chance the matter was important, he requested time to reflect on it before God.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 30 July 1843, EO XXI

As I read this entry I am filled with gratitude for the people God has placed in my life who have been guides and sources of encouragement and inspiration. Let’s make some time today to recall with gratitude all those who have done this for us.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Joy this morning as we see Duclaux sharing his experience of God with Eugene who is by then a priest for four years and is living in Aix. Duclaux ends his letter with the words “I embrace you with all my heart and am with all my heart entirely yours.” This is how Eugene himself ended so many of his letters to his sons around the world: “I embrace you with all of my heart…”. He sent them with this love no matter the content of the letters.

    “The fact is this holy man was filled with the sprit of God to the supreme degree.” I quote Eugene’s words about Duclaux to describe Eugene. And then his many his sons and daughters, until I arrive at the now with this family, community. It is not only the Mazenodian Family, but many others and their families. Being led, guided, mentored and taught, loved and walked with and I sneak a quick peak at myself – for these are the ones that I have learned from and who become models for me in how I share the same love and spirit.

    “I am a part of all that I have met…”

    I sit here and my own heart is filled with love and gratitude that wants to overtake me, and I find myself singing a line from the Magnificat: “…For you, the Almighty, have done great things for me, and holy is your Name.”

    It is like that image that I speak of so often: that image of the flaming hearts being shared back and forth, inwards, and outwards, never ending. “It is like…” How often do we try to express the love in our hearts, beginning with these three words, only because there are no words adequate to fully describe what is in my heart.

    This morning again I look and give thanks to the many who have been and continue to be companions, teachers, guides, sources of love and encouragement and inspiration within my life. These are the faces of love who have touched in great and small ways and whom I love dearly. I remember Eugene saying that he loved those who loved him and wondering about that. I love only because God has loved me – that first breath of life breathed into me and to which I responded and returned. And the circle continues to grow.

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