Eugene wrote to Baron D Papassian in Rome in May of 1834 renouncing  his plan to obtain justice through the French courts regarding the whole Icosia affair.

Since the Sovereign Pontiff is pained by the idea of this process in the courts, I renounce obtaining justice by this means. You are at liberty to say what I have decided in this respect, and that I place everything in the hands of the Holy Father. (173: XV in Oblate Writings)

I am a little aghast at the letter Eugene has written to Rome.  He only wanted justice and yet to try and obtain this would upset the delicate political balance between Rome and the King and government of France.  Eugene is sure that he would be able to win were he to go to the courts – but he tempers this with what he knows could happen as far as the Church is concerned.  He was always and ever obedient to the Church.  He has put the needs of the Holy Father before his own.

This is a tremendous letting go and emptying himself.  And it would seem to me that even though we are now celebrating in Easter season Eugene is still on his way to the cross.

Sitting here I find myself struggling not to judge – the French government, the Pope and all of his advisors in Rome.  I look at my life, when have I gone to extra-ordinary lengths to vindicate myself.  It does not have to have been a big thing with the involvement of world powers like Eugene experienced – but rather the small petty things.  When have I felt like I have been wronged and so set out to let the world know that it was the other who wronged me.

The need to let go is most evident.  Perhaps that is why I come to this place each day, to be reminded of what I must let go of.  I am most grateful that God has given me such an example as I find with Eugene de Mazenod.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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