In late 1834 or early 1835 St. Eugene wrote to Father Honorat, superior of the Calvaire community, at Marseilles.
“My dear Father Honorat … once and for all I ask you in all seriousness to abate your rage every time someone does not go along with your way of thinking. Those gentlemen of ours who asked you yesterday on my behalf for the theology book that was needed for Father Telmon to prepare his class went away scandalized by your manner of refusal. You paid no regard to the fact that there was a novice amongst them. Today you went after Father Sicard because he asked you in my name for the items he needs. Do you really think that these Fathers are obliged to put up with your bad temper? I assure you that they were far from edified. Father Sicard told me that he was afraid you were going to strike him. I am appealing to you to exercise more control over yourself. These outbursts do more damage, and harm you more, than you think.” (499:VIII in Oblate Writings)
Well Eugene could have written this for me. With everything that is going on around one or two persons I find myself frequently losing my temper. I get so upset because I do not like what I see happening. Because I do not like what I see myself turning into. And my temper is just a ball of negative energy which will not help anyone, least of all myself. I do not know why Fr. Honorat was so upset, but I have an inkling as to why I am upset.
When I was reading this I saw before my eyes the image of an old teacher from many years ago. What an unhappy picture. I do not want to be that unhappy picture. The only thing coming to my mind right now is ‘little, make to be little, make me to be ordinary, make me to be a light to my neighbour’s feet’. And I cry because that is not a powerful position to be in, but rather one of abandonment, a slave, of being little more than a rock on the road. A little rock, unrecognized of no importance – ready to be kicked aside. But I dare not live in fear for that would destroy me completely. It is hard to say Lord make me little but I that just might be my personal salvation.