PREJUDICES DISAPPEAR BETWEEN BROTHERS BUT THEY REMAIN FOR EVER IN THE MIND OF A STRANGER

Father Honorat, the superior of the Missionaries in Canada, had confided the difficulties within his community to the Bishop of Montreal. Eugene found out about it and was not happy.

I fear that in your intimate interviews with the Bishop, you may have spoken too openly about the one amongst your brothers of whom you should be most considerate and you may thus have to blame yourself for having transferred to the mind of the Bishop the prejudices which dominate you at the moment. This would be extremely annoying because prejudices disappear between brothers but they remain for ever in the mind of a stranger.

What good is that to anyone? You may well have had momentary relief by confiding in this way but the wrong that is done to an individual and which has repercussions on the family is irreparable.

Letter to Fr Jean Baptiste Honorat, 7 October 1843, EO I n 27

A pointed reminder to us today too.

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1 Response to PREJUDICES DISAPPEAR BETWEEN BROTHERS BUT THEY REMAIN FOR EVER IN THE MIND OF A STRANGER

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    As I sit here this morning I find myself a little conflicted and wonder how I carry what Eugene is saying to me this morning? For there is truth in what he wrote. Without the shared love, a stranger, an outsider might not carry the same kernels of forgiveness that siblings carry among themselves. And though we all strive to love and forgive, we are at the same time quite human.

    In today’s world we are confronted with too many secrets, too many unresolved issues, too many hidden wrongs perpetuated. And we are seeing the terrible devastation that can be reaped upon all peoples when these wrongs are brought into the light.

    As a Catholic, Canadian woman how do I recognize, acknowledge, and carry the systemic betrayals and wrongs that we have committed in the past? I do not believe that the removal of statues or the erasure of names from books and history is necessarily the answer. To pretend that nothing happened to the victims or by the perpetrators is every bit as deadly as the actions themselves. The only answer I seem able to find is to somehow bring it all into the light and carry it in the light (we cannot just open pandora’s box so to speak and then walk away).

    In my own life I have found that with forgiveness – love and life can thrive. If I am forgiven my wrongs then I must forgive my parents, my church, my brothers and sisters who have somehow wronged me; only then will I be able to carry them – only then can I be free to love.

    So dearest Eugene, I am not arguing with you, only sharing some of the realities that many of us are confronted with now. I remember how you loved and love all of your sons and daughters and I am reminded of the one name you scratched out from your records, which you declared was never to be said aloud. Such a painful reaction for you to carry as you did. Funny but as I write this to you I no longer need to know why you said what you did. I believe that you are both carried in the one heart and embrace of immense love.

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