“The sense of belonging to a single family was allowed to grow dim, at any rate he let months and years go by without writing to me. Perhaps he considered I was already informed, a common excuse with the wayward, while as an open-minded and lenient judge I merely bemoaned. […] You know the man is sound at bottom but over-much esteem for learning to which perhaps he gave preference over sanctity caused a withdrawal of grace and light; then, over-much care of his health led him to neglect even things that can never be abandoned with impunity..”  (Letter To Father Courtès, at Aix  January 7, 1832:  413:VIII in Oblate Writings)

I found myself reading this several times.  What to make of it?  Here we have St. Eugene sending a man to the house in Aix along with a letter to Fr. Coutes about his new charge.

I have always found myself ‘wanting’ (as in needing) in the area of a formal education, about business, about God and my religion, about spirituality and the way it’s ‘supposed to work’.  I don’t have that and so I don’t really know how it’s supposed to work.  All I know is how it is in my life, my experience of life, of God, of grace, of love.

I wonder what Eugene would say about me if he were sending me to a house to join with the community there?  Would he note my lack of education or would he perhaps see what I have used in place of learning – like much esteem for writing, or the ‘way I see things’.  Would he mention how much I love God?

How would I find my way in the community?

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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