In late January of 1835 St. Eugene wrote to Fr. Mille at Notre Dame du Laus about the necessity of Fr. Mille writing to him about all that was going on there, and about the pointlessness of working for the conversion of Protestants.
“Don’t direct your efforts to converting Protestants. All the better for them if they profit from our passage, but don’t have them particularly in mind, the private good could be at the expense of the common good: what is more, you are sent ad domesticos fidei. Organize yourselves on that basis. It wouldn’t take much to unleash a persecution whose consequences would be incalculable.” (501:VIII in Oblate Writings)
I do not claim to know all of the reasons that Eugene wrote what he did but presume that he was telling Fr. Mille to remember why he was there – what the mission was.
What is more interesting though is where this piece leads me in my reflections. What I am led to. I think this morning of the human need, one of the most basic human needs to be as great or greater than all others. To ignore the rules of life and decide that each of us knows best for all others. To secretly ask what gifts has another been given that are better than those which we have been given. To go our own way and to expect all others to do that also. To do the most and be the biggest and the best. To puff ourselves up to an importance that is not necessary or there.
Yesterday I had the joy of listening to a tape of our Provincial speaking at the opening of Convocation (I was transcribing tapes). I give thanks that I was able to be present enough to hear God speaking through him. A very knowledgeable man, one who knows much and who loves greatly – he is a true leader and I am grateful. It struck me that I do not need to know as much, to be as learned, or to lead – I need only to listen and then to love. I don’t need to find any great new missions or to preach about other than that which God asks me to speak to. To be little and to love and to take joy in that. I will start by reaching for the hand of He who walks with me.