On November 21, 1833 Eugene wrote to Henri Tempier, saying how he was trying to cope with the charges against him that were made by the French government:
“However, I am enduring misfortune in a spirit of resignation, but I do feel it a lot.” (477:VIII in Oblate Writings)
Eugene did not make light of what he was enduring, but rather seemed to place all of it before God, his resignation being perhaps along the lines of “if this is what you want Lord, then so be it…” He did not give up, nor did he make light of it and when I reflect on this I see incredible strength and endurance.
Further on in the letter he continues to advise Henri Tempier on how to deal with practical issues that are arising within the still young congregation. In September Eugene had made a proposal to the Church to send some Oblates to Algeria and it is with this in mind that he writes:
“Bernard certainly could not be one of those chosen. This candidate’s preparation is by no means completed […] is not a sufficient reason to select him for a distant mission that can be confided only to proven and tested men. Let’s not push too hard, [let us wait on] Providence … It really is madness to want to have children before one is ready for marriage. First you establish the hive, then you send out the swarm.”
Once again Eugene seems content to ‘wait upon God’s will’ as he advises Henri Tempier as to possible candidates to be sent out. This particular time in his life was incredibly painful for him and yet we find him dealing with the minutia of the day and that must most surely be a grace.
I ask myself how I handle difficult and painful situations? Do I give in to anger and bitterness? Do I wallow in self pity or perhaps ‘come out fighting’? Or do I allow myself to feel the pain and give it to God? Do I look for new opportunities, new possibilities? Do I allow love and forgiveness to be a part of my reality? How do I wait on God?