Eugene having met with the French Ambassador in Rome knows exactly what he has been charged with, the Ambassador having made it very plain that should Eugene try to return to Marseilles that he will be stopped. The French government seems set on having him removed from being a Bishop because the Pope did not ask the kings permission in making him a bishop.
In a letter to Henri Tempier he writes: “The day after tomorrow is the anniversary of my consecration; what a happy day it’s going to be, that feast we would have celebrated as a family occasion in compensation for not having been able to celebrate it together on the day itself of that high-point in my life! This poor life has known moments of high tension; my friends can judge for themselves if I have always been appreciated; it is a temptation sometimes to think that I am worth more than the times I live in a sense; that I could defend without detriment to my humility, but I am not complaining. I have accomplished some good and the Church has passed a favourable judgment on it, that is all the reward I need while waiting for God’s mercy.” (467:VIII in Oblate Writings)
What an unholy mess. I am saddened by it all – it would seem that Eugene’s Lent continues, with him still on the road to Calvary. Did he wondered at all if the anniversary to come was worth what he was going through or was he well past that kind of thinking.
When in my life have I realized that I was being judged, being found unworthy? The “Church” does not know me, but many in the church do. I feel appreciated and loved by my communities, the parish, the Oblates and Oblates Associates, my many friends. Is it enough? Oddly – it is enough. I am blessed and cherished and for the most part that really is enough as ‘I wait in God’s mercy’.
I had forgotten this episode in St Eugene’s life history. Imagine Rome recalling Archbishop Prendergast because the Pope hadn’t checked with PM Harper first. It was a different time and power struggle.
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