Eugene writes from Rome to Fr. Courtès in Aix who is then Vicar General of the congregation.

“You are in a position now to understand what is my daily fare in my relations with certain members, men with no heart, no honour, no delicacy, no feelings, no conscience, for whom apostasy is a game, perjury a mere trifle, who care nothing for their reputations, traitors, ingrates … but upon whom even so I have not ceased to lavish without stint kindnesses of every sort and a quite excessive amount of good will.”  (Letter To Father Courtès, at Aix, September 25, 1832:  432:VIII in Oblate Writings)

I find my heart touched in an unexpected way and I witness Eugene’s great capacity to love – really love his brothers, with all of their human traits, and as does most obviously does Fr. Courtès.   I feel a little undone.  For this is real love, just as did/does Jesus from the Cross.  I find myself wanting to weep.

I think of the times when I have had to try to deal with friends, loved ones, and when I have judged and found some wanting, with a certain amount of self-righteousness as I say I will pray for them.  And although I do not thank God that I am not like them in so many words – that can be my felt attitude.  For some reason it is easier to love without great judgement another who is on the street with visible poverty, or to love without measure another who has not had the same opportunities as I.

I understand a little better why Eugene wrote of his being in a state of mortal sin as he was before the Cross on that Good Friday.  For I have been selective in how I love.  I need, I want to be able to love openly, without blinders to my own weaknesses or those of any other, and to love fully.  Once again God uses this place to touch my heart, to caress it open so that it might become fuller, more like the heart of Jesus which I have so very often begged for.


About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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