IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ANSWER THIS UNWORTHY LETTER EXCEPT WITH REPROACH AND I PREFER TO KEEP SILENCE

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

Father Bermond’s reply to being sent to Canada astounded Eugene!

I was thinking of sending Father Bermond to America. I wrote him on the subject, a letter full of kindness, which earned me an answer that is filled with insolence from one end to the other. I can overlook the impertinence in this letter, but what is more deplorable is a stupid ignorance of one’s most sacred duties. He builds up a thesis that the vows do not oblige him to obey me in this instance, and from that point he takes off to miserable rationalizations through which one can perceive that his self-conceit has been injured. It is impossible to answer this unworthy letter except with reproach and I prefer to keep silence.

Letter to Father Ambroise Vincens at N.-D. de L’Osier, 11 May 1845. EO X n 872

Honoring our commitments costs sometimes.

 

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ANSWER THIS UNWORTHY LETTER EXCEPT WITH REPROACH AND I PREFER TO KEEP SILENCE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate says:

    The backdrop for my reflection this morning is the ongoing General Chapter and how the Holy Spirit calls us, and how we follow.

    Not being familiar with Fr. Bermond, I did go and read about his life in the Historical Dictionary and he seemed to prefer to being a ‘lone wolf’ rather than living as a full member of the pack, the community. Sadly, it did not sound like he was a joy-filled person.

    I think of the oblation that we make – that gift of ourselves not just to the congregation and family, but to the Church and to God.

    Sadly Bermond seems to have missed some of the gift of his vows when he thought himself to be above obedience. Obedience does not put us under another’s thumb, but rather frees us to dare and to love, to experience joy even during difficult times. Obedience allows us to hope. I think of the motto of the General Chapter that is taking place: “Pilgrims of Hope in Communion”. More than just five pious sounding words – it is how we live out our vows, our commitments, our promises, our lives…

    Obediences are like the leaven of our daily lives, especially when they allow us to rise above our small selves, honoring our commitments (no matter where we are on the journey of life). It does not make it easier, but it is in that rising that we taste the sweetness of our “I will go Lord, where you lead me. I will hold your people in my hand.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.