Continuing a reflection on the notes from Eugene’s 1832 retreat before being ordained a bishop.

That is where things stand, it is the feeling that predominates in my soul, an unlimited trust in the goodness of my God. I am a sinner, a very great sinner. […]  I do not despair of my God’s goodness, and I count always on his mercy, and I hope that I will finish by becoming better, that is, by dint of supernatural helps and habitual assistance of grace, I will acquit myself better of my duties and cooperate with the plans of the heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ, my most lovable Saviour, and the Holy Spirit who hovers over my soul prior to invading it again in a few days time. Amen, Amen, Amen”.(166:XV in Oblate Writings)

Like Eugene, I find great freedom in being able to admit that I am a great sinner – not measured nor counted – just a sinner.  It is in this awareness that I am able to recognize the many graces that God offers to me!  Even these words of Eugene that I can somehow identify with and take strength to look at myself and see my own humanity which too is a gift of love.  A part of me co-existing with the divine in that God holds me in an embrace.  Part of, not separate from.  A great freedom to know myself and then to be able to look upon God and ask for, expect, Gods infinite tenderness.

What does this look like in my life today?  How do I prepare or can I prepare for what only God knows will take place?  “Be in order to do” comes to mind.  Here I am in Lent on another leg of my journey as I endeavour to “cooperate with the plans of…”.  Come Father, Son and most Holy Spirit and invade my very being.  Indeed not only invade but take up residence for it is You who predominates my soul, my entire being.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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