On November28 1834 Eugene wrote to Bishop L. Frezza, Secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Affairs, in in Rome assuring them of his obedience and his abandoning his self to God.

[…] So as not to cause the least distress to the Holy Father, I have instructed my advocate to abandon my action and withdraw my appeal. […] it was not I but the Government who brought the action before the courts. The Pope was unhappy about it, he will no longer be so. My deference to his wishes has been total. […] I leave everything and abandon myself to Divine Providence. […] The Holy Father, if I understand him correctly, has placed no value on either my character or my services, which gave me a right to his protection, nor on the affection accorded me by Leo XII and Pius VIII. If persecution drives me into exile from my country and to withdraw to Rome, I know I may not count on either grace or favour; my reward must come from God. I wish I had a less sensitive heart, I would love less, be less tied up in a host of things which affect me very deeply within and I would be happy.” (175:XV in Oblate Writings)

Eugene truly seems to have been nailed to the Cross and then abandoned, by his beloved Church and the Holy Father.  I found myself at first crying as I reflected on Eugene’s letter.  Much as one does when they get caught up in the emotions of a movie that they are watching for there seemed to be a great injustice here and he was so powerless.

And that is how I feel – powerless – not in Eugene’s life, but rather in my own.  I belong to several different communities, that are all tied to each other in some ways.  There is upheaval in all of them – but only when you look for it does the upheaval become apparent.  There is within me a tendency to want to walk away from some of them and the people that are in them.  I cannot “do” anything to help them and that is part of the problem for me.  I love to “do”, I love to fix, to control and to organize.  But I strongly believe that I must not ‘do’ anything right now for that is part of the problem.  Being busy running around, trying to order and fix and manage and control and keep everything going, and, and, and….  I cannot take words and try to bend them to my wants and ideas.   None of this will put me in control, or help me or anyone else to grow and love and be free.  I have to let go of others, and I have to let go of myself.   Not walk way or abandon, just to let go and stand there in the midst without power or control or anything else.  Just stand there.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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