Father Adrien Telmon, one of the Oblate pioneers in Canada, was a whirlwind of activity! Highly talented, creative and impulsive, he zealously threw himself into countless missionary projects in France, and now in Canada. Eugene was concerned for his welfare.
I come back to your health. I see with deep sorrow that it is considerably weakened by the excess of work you have taken upon yourself. You have never known how to be moderate, my dear child. Yet you know the value I set on your existence and all I hope from your zeal and intelligence. Why make yourself incapable of acting for lack of measuring your strength?
Eugene de Mazenod to Fr. Adrien Telmon in Canada
“If you don’t take a Sabbath, something is wrong. You’re doing too much, you’re being too much in charge. You’ve got to quit, one day a week, and just watch what God is doing when you’re not doing anything.” (Eugene H. Peterson)
Lord, in our zeal to do good, help us to avoid burnout by listening to our bodies.
I am happy that Eugene is again speaking…
Sitting here this morning, listening to him and being touched with the tenderness of his love for Adrien Telmon.
A tiny question escapes the clouds of my mind and asks: “but will I then be forgotten?” And as much as I want to push that thought back into the crevice it had escaped from, the crevice has closed and those words hang starkly as they wait for my response. I turned to face my Beloved who is always with me, even when I am assailed by doubts – perhaps most especially then…
“…one day a week, …watch what God is doing when you’re not doing anything.”
Another unbidden thought – this time of Albert Lacombe who found his passion and spent so much of his life ‘doing’ which arose from his becoming and being so alive. Dear Albert, you are not forgotten… I don’t even know if that was one of your fears as ran back and forth across this country…
I think of the self-imposed pressures I have allowed myself to sit under. Have I ever known how to be moderate within myself?
A thought… a whisper… “Let me hold you…”