In January of 1834 Eugene writes a letter to Cardinal Thomas Bernetti, Secretary of State for Pope Gregory XVI explaining why he was back in Marseilles.  There must have been some complaints leveled against him and so his letter is an explanation of his actions when he returned from Rome to Aix before going up to Marseilles.

“I have therefore come to the conclusion, and it is likewise the opinion of the Bishop of Marseilles, that I could not do less than explain these circumstances to Your Eminence, to enable you to judge if it was open to me in this state of affairs, without loss to my honour and reputation, without compromising the rights of the Church I defend, without prejudicing the interests of the Bishop of Marseilles and my own, to flee Marseilles and go and hide in Aix..” (172:XV in Oblate Writings)

“…without compromising the rights of the Church I defend”.  Eugene – always and ever faithful to the Church which he loved.  His willingness to be obedient to the Church even at great cost to himself.  I find myself asking who I give such allegiance to in my life.

As I come to know Eugene better and better from these daily reflections I recognize that far from trying to “stir up the pot” with his actions, he is simply being true to himself, as well as to the Church and of course God.  I find myself admiring him greatly, he has become such an inspiration to me, a model for life.  I used to worry a little bit that God might be displeased with me, sort of like taking offense because I look to St. Eugene for how I wish to live and serve – rather than directly to God.  But now I have to laugh at myself – my God is neither insecure or petty –so those types of concerns come from my own insecurities.  Eugene has become my teacher, my inspiration and mentor, he has become my friend.  I give thanks.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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