LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN THE GRACE OF JESUS CHRIST WHOSE INSTRUMENTS YOU HAVE BEEN OVER SO MANY YEARS
Father Magnan had been sent to participate in a mission and was expecting the more experienced Father Courtès to be with him. When the latter fell ill and could not come, the young Oblate panicked.
My dear Father Magnan, this faint-heartedness that has possessed all of you is truly strange; this childish fear of what people might say, this cry of distress that all of you uttered when you saw the formidable town of Brignoles which stunned you, that which demoralized you so that people could see straight through you, and all of that dismay because Father Courtès was not there. In truth, if another sentiment had not taken hold of me at that time, I would have laughed at this panic.
Eugene stresses that he is being sent as the instrument through whom the Savior will act and that Jesus has never abandoned his missionaries.
Come on! When you are sent in the name of the Lord, once and for all leave aside all these human considerations, the effect of poorly hidden pride and lack of confidence in the grace of Jesus Christ whose instruments you have however been over so many years. You deserve that this divine grace be withdrawn from your ministry, it is then that you could be fearful of people’s judgment. But as long as it is with you, you will convert them, with sermons that are simple, not affected and inspired only by the spirit of the Lord who does not work through the well-rounded phrases and the fine language of orators…
It goes without saying that Father Vincens will take over the direction of the mission. I suggest that you readopt attitudes befitting the dignity of your great ministry. You were not sent to Brignoles to court the applause either of the Pastor or the priests, or of the town’s upper class. You have been sent to convert souls by virtue of the grace of Jesus Christ which has never been lacking, unless you relied more on your own efforts than on his power…
Eugene reminds him of
the Word of God which works miracles of conversion through your ministry, despite the judgment of men.
Letter to Father Jean Magnan, 8 March 1844, EO X n 836
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