In his letter of October 17, 1833 Eugene invites Henri Tempier to optimism.

“So you have the advantage of enjoying the pleasure of surprise when, contrary to your expectation, things go better than you thought they would. It makes up for the distress felt by one who has gloomy moods like that. People who see the world through rose-coloured spectacles escape that distress but by the same token they have a less-lively sense of the well-being they take for granted; on the other hand if a person like that suffers a let-down, although he would not escape scot-free, he is not floored by the falling of the blow in question, from which my conclusion would definitely be that a tendency to optimism rather than to gloom best assures peace and tranquillity of soul..”  (468:VIII in Oblate Writings)

I notice that Eugene – rather than running and hiding away in spite of being in a very dark period of his life continues to write and communicate with his dearest friend and confident who I am sure he must be missing.  But I had to work for this reflection – at first there seemed very little for me to go deeper with.

Yet looking at my life – God has worked so many miracles – turning my heart upside down, emptying it and then slowly filling mine with His – exactly what I have longed for.  This has affected both my mind and my senses for I find more and more delight in what is presented to me.  My being is softening so that I am less likely to judge, condemn and to measure.  I look and see the glory of God all around me and it is fearsome, awesome and most wonderful.  Gratitude has become my staple for nourishment and I move out from there.  I find that I worry less and look more for the positive – in everything.  My attitudes have changed and I am so gratefull because in truth I cannot do this on my own, I simply don’t know how.  All I know is to ask God to bless me, embrace me, love me and bathe me in tender mercy.  All else will come from that.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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