Eugene continues writing to Henri Tempier from Rome as he begins to discover the reason the Pope has called him there.

“I think that it would be very much to the point for my uncle to write to the Minister that M. de Mazenod, his Vicar General, Bishop of Icosia, having been summoned to Rome by the Pope, he fully believed that his absence would be of short duration but in view of the possibility that he might be obliged to put off his return for a fortnight, asks his consent in the event that his nephew should have no other choice. […]People who think I am after anything except peace and quiet don’t know me very well. Please let me know if there is anything you want as I shall be coming to a decision after the audience on what I shall have to do.”  (Letter to Father Tempier, at Marseilles – 455:VIII in Oblate Writings)

I think that St. Eugene must have been a very great threat to the French government and thinking further on that wondering if there weren’t those who wanted to kill him.

As I reflect on this and look at my own life, I realise that the times I actually did pull back into the shadows was to hide from others, from myself, and yes from God (as if to turn away from God would stop God from still being there!).  I have been attacked by others, for no other reason than that I am somehow a threat to their peace and way of being.  Not something I aim for but it has happened.  Eugene was a very real threat to the government by the way that he lived and by his very ‘being’.  The government dressed it all up in subterfuge and shadows and intrigue but at the end of the day he was a threat to them, just as was Jesus to some of the Jews.  Eugene was in very good stead.

I must ask myself how I stand up when I find that I am a threat to another just by my being.  Please God that I do not try to run and hide or the reverse and strike out at another, but that like Eugene and like Jesus I remain true to myself and to being.  Like Eugene and Jesus and so many others I am cherished.  All I need to do is allow myself to rest in an embrace of tenderness.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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