May 1835 found Eugene writing to Fr. Mille at Notre Dame du Laus reminding him how the superior of a community must be its model.
“Remember that you must be a model for everyone. Make your oraison often on the subject of the duties of your position; it isn’t a small thing; keep a close eye on yourself.” (513:VIII in Oblate Writings)
That first sentence seems to jump out at me as though Eugene was sitting here beside me offering me advice for my day, my week and onward. It is so very true and strikes at my core so that even as I sit here with fingers on the keyboard something within me cracks and I start to weep inside. He, his words have touched me in a very deep way. Even though this was advice for Fr. Mille it strikes my heart. And even though it seems to be a very tall order I find myself wanting to run with it and cry to God to give me the grace.
To be a model for everyone – so daunting and yet so inviting at the same time. Perhaps this is how I shall be able to live and walk with Eugene and the Oblates. I want to ask “How do I do this?” but I know that the answer lies within me and if I but love it will be as it should. I remember when I was little – I was the first-born and so as the oldest and was constantly told I had to set a good example for my siblings – which at the time seemed to mean going without something, missing something but having to be satisfied with that because I was setting a good example. As I hear echos of that it does not necessarily mean going without something, but rather looking up to something more. I also find myself thinking once again about being ‘little and the ordinary, hidden and the lamp to a neighbour’s feet” and there is a small part of me that wants greater things than that. This is the struggle.