In another letter to Fr. Guigues, OMI at Notre Dame de l’Osier Eugene writes of gratitude towards the Bishop that they are serving.
“You cannot be too grateful to the Bishop of Grenoble for his immeasurable goodwill towards you. Always maintain trusting relations with him such as a good man like that is capable of appreciating, and take pains to give him proof that there are no priests in his diocese more devoted to him than ourselves. It is not enough that you are such, see to it somehow that he knows it. You owe him that consolation.” (490: VIII in Oblate Writings)
“It is not enough that you are such [grateful], see to it somehow that he knows it. You owe him that consolation.” Oblates – here, there, always at the request of the bishop – to serve him, to serve the Church.
The word consolation is not so much in use as it was in Eugene’s time but perhaps it should be. It never hurts to tell a person that you like them, or that they are doing a fine job, or that you owe it to them to work as hard as you do. I think of the times in my life when I ‘know’ that I am doing what is right, or good, or necessary – it is not for any thanks at all. But when I get those thanks – they feel pretty darn nice.
Today we would probably call it ‘feedback’. And it’s always good to get feedback, particularly when it is done in gratitude and love, not just in critiquing. Just as we need to give thanks, so others need to receive them. And we need also to be able to state the truth of what we give, what we do, who we are.