In July 1835 Eugene also wrote to Fr. Mille at Notre Dame du Laus as well as the other houses in the community directing them on certain daily prayers to implore the cessation of the cholera epidemic in France.
“…at the end of every community exercise you will say together one Pater and one Ave with the Sub tuum and the prayer Defende, one Gloria Patri to our protector St. Joseph and an Angele Dei. On all half-doubles you will say the collect, etc. pro Congregatione et familia. These are the prayers I am ordering in all our houses: you will add, by reason of your happy position at Mary’s feet, a daily visit in community to the sanctuary where you will recite with every ounce of fervour you have the Litany of our good Mother. That done, we will throw ourselves with confidence into the bosom of divine Providence, submitting ourselves in advance with all our hearts to whatever plans it pleases him to make for us.” (524:VIII in Oblate Writings)
As I begin to read this I think about how little there was that Eugene and the congregation could actually do there during the epidemic. Actually how little there is that any of us can do in times such as this. Eugene turned to prayer which is often the only place that any of us can turn to. I call it a place quite deliberately because for me, and I think for many– it would be so very intentional, how I start my day and gave of myself so that all that I did would be a living ongoing prayer.
That is just how I do it when there are loved ones, or even just people who I hear about (like Roger on the bus this morning who is dying and so my day will include peace for Roger who apparently does not believe in God).
I know that God hears my prayers and perhaps that is what makes me feel better. To recognize that it is all that I can do is huge and then to give myself over to that and to live in that – well perhaps that is what they call humility. I do what I can physically and spiritually recognizing that only God has all of the answers, only God sees all and trusting that God’s love is and will be enough no matter the situation.