Continuing with the 2nd half of Eugene’s letter to Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson  in Paris.  Here he writes of his desire for retirement and solitude – all due to the continued treatment of him by the government – all part of what has been referred to as the “Icosia Affair”.

“So tell me then how things are with you, and if you still have hopes of doing some good in a society that is little disposed to profit from it. As for myself, I am so weary of my fellow men that all my efforts go to arranging a place of solitary retirement, there to devote all my time to the business of my own salvation in the peace of a regular life divided between prayer and things I choose to do, no longer at the beck and call of all the people whose superior one is and who in actual fact are in a very real sense our masters. […] …it costs me a lot when I am prevented by urgent duties from realizing a project conceived a long time ago and for which I am yearning. […] Goodbye, my dearest Lord, I send you my warmest greetings and ask for your holy prayers. (178:XV in Oblate Writings)

Eugene was never one to give up.  He would continue on, looking for new ways to serve God.  I ask myself what would be my response in similar circumstances?  Would I turn away from where I am called to be because things were not going  my way?  Would I walk away from those I love and serve?  I hope that I would find the courage and stamina to remain on the path that God puts before me.

We know from history that Eugene did not withdraw from the world and even in the position that the French government was forcing upon him he continued to find ways to give his all and serve both his Church and the many he loved.

In this busy time where I am feeling a little like Eugene did God grant me the courage to sit and stand, and to walk the step that God has put before me.  I know and trust that God never let me go; that God will nourish and strengthen me, that God will give me all I need.  Just as He did for Eugene and continues to do for all of us.  Still I ask for holy prayers.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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