LET GOOD FATHER VINCENS REJOICE AND TURN HIS THOUGHTS ON THEM WHEN HE ENCOUNTERS SOME DIFFICULTY
It is impossible to have more generous sentiments, more perfect dedication, more thoughts that are supernatural. They are sacrificing their most natural and legitimate affections with a true joy arising from their faithfulness to and love for their holy vocation. They are convinced that they will never again see their homeland, and they would reproach themselves for any regrets they might have about it.
The Lord has given us our marching orders, they said to me; nothing else should come to mind. Truly I have a bit of difficulty to hide my emotion and admiration. These are truly disciples who honor their Master.
This is what Eugene had written admiringly about the three Oblate scholastics who were preparing themselves to go to Canada. Now he invited Father Vincens, who had been responsible for their formation, to rejoice in the fruits of his formation ministry.
Let good Father Vincens rejoice and turn his thoughts on them when he encounters some difficulty. The Lord, our divine model had many griefs from his well-loved apostles, who were so often intolerable and bothersome.
Letter to Father Bruno Guigues, 18 August 1843, EO X n 812
Those involved in Oblate formation ministry recognize that there are many difficulties that are encountered and we tend to remember the difficult times. Eugene counsels Father Vincens to remember his successes whenever he feels overwhelmed by difficulties and failures.
Ten years before, Eugene had encouraged Father Mille in similar circumstances:
They will repay what you have done for them when, come to the end of their studies, they begin to work in our Father’s vineyard; it is then you will harvest what you are now sowing. You will have a double portion in all their works and it will amply repay you for the sacrifice you are making for them.
Letter to Jean-Baptiste Mille, 21 April 1832, EO VIII n 420
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