In April of 1834 Eugene wrote to Father Dassy who was staying at Notre Dame de l’Osier. Fr. Dassy had gone there to recover from an illness but had just preached a First Communion retreat.
“In the meantime I’m relying on you not to lose the spirit of your Rule. Make your manner of observing it the matter of your daily examen, otherwise you are going to feel the strain of your isolation, and the ministry that you are now doing out of zeal is going to become your means of escape. Don’t take on too much work, you understand you cannot accept every offer, there must be moderation in everything” (479: VIII in Oblate Writings)
Here is Eugene being the Eugene which I love most – that of a father to his man sons. There not a lot of ‘deep’ or ‘holy’ things in here – simply the daily living. Here he speaks with caring and wisdom to another who is younger with less experience than yourself.
This really hit the mark with me. Notes on how to keep the Rule of Life forefront in my life – because I know from past experience that I can escape – or rather try to escape in work – it is not a conscious desire but rather a weakness that I can so easily fall back into. More than once I have heard Eugene say “…moderation in everything” – I seem to need to be reminded so often of that. It is almost laughable in a way because Eugene de Mazenod was not what I would call a ‘moderate’man. He was more like an “all or nothing” type of person and that is a really good description of me. This is a good reminder for me, one to focus on in the coming days.