Eugene wrote a short letter which spoke to the welfare of the entire community as being just as important as any one member’s health.

“… As Mazet’s sleepwalking habit is still so strong, on several occasions there have been instances of his reading and writing in pitch darkness, and as the doctors have assured me that if a cure is possible it would not be before he is fifty, the Council has discerned in this condition a more than sufficient reason for dispensation. Judgment has thus been pronounced.”  (Letter from St. Eugene de Mazenod to Father Mille at Billens – 410:VIII in Oblate Writings)

Short indeed but rich in material for reflection.  I imagine that Jean Louis Stanislas Mazet undoubtedly suffered in leaving his community and briefly wonder what had happened to him with such an illness that was uncontrollable and incurable in his times.

What is the will of God for me?  What are the next steps that I must take?   What is God inviting me to?  After letting go of something and grieving a loss do I open myself to new invitations, new doors?  Is there gratitude to God, for patiently waiting and showing me where He would have me be?

And what of my community, it’s welfare?   Eugene must have experienced distress in writing this letter for he loved all of his ‘sons’ so greatly.  Yet he and his counsel had to consider the health and wellness of the small fledgling community (not just physical but also emotional and spiritual) and how it was unable to care properly for Mazet.  Some very hard decisions.  It brings to mind what our community and our leaders must be experiencing in preparation for us moving forward.  On the one hand we have here a diminishing community and on the other hand a growing need of many.  Come Holy Spirit.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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