Eugene is still in Rome, awaiting the French Minister’s reply before he can leave. In the midst of such questioning and doubt, waiting and wondering he writes to Henri Tempier asking for advice. Later in the letter Eugene will go on to advise Henri where to place some of the young Oblates.
“I must of necessity wait for the Minister’s reply; and if its purport goes contrary to my sole desire, what kind of a position does that leave me in? So you see, my dear friend, you will have to put your thinking-cap on before giving me your opinion. Not that it is not necessary to give it to me, on the contrary. It is very important that I know it…” (October 29, 1833 – 471:VIII in Oblate Writings)
This letter speaks of incredible trust, of letting go, of sitting in the midst of unknowing. Eugene is relying on God to speak through Henri Tempier and another – he is not running off on his own will to do as he feels. Great courage and even greater trust. Tell me what to do Lord, tell me where you would have me be.
This is what it is for Eugene to be in the service of the Church, in the service of his God. I can’t help but think of Jesus, Eugene’s primary model. I cannot forget that today is Holy Thursday, the beginning of the Triduum. This was when Jesus showed us how love is lived in service, this is the Eucharist. I think that if we look into the eyes of those who wash our feet tonight and the eyes of those whose feet we wash – we will see what love looks like.
This is the doorway into the ongoing and ever-living Paschal Mystery.