Finally on August 30 1835 a letter from Eugene stating he will do as asked and write to the King and the Minister as requested by Fr. Tempier.

“This letter will be brought you by Jeancard who will tell you orally everything we discussed together. Even so I’m giving him a letter for you, though it isn’t my intention to scold you for the scant good humour you were able to hold back in the last two items of our correspondence. I understand that you could be upset at finding me resistant to certain plans you have set your heart on; however, the motives I adduced were sufficiently well-founded in reason and especially in religion to turn aside any annoyance at my resistance. […] I’m expecting any day now to receive a letter from Rome inviting me to write to the King, for certainly Bishop Garibaldi won’t have omitted to note down what the King said to him in his audience, making me out to be an obstinate fellow, unwilling to make the necessary overtures. I don’t see any obstinacy in all that. I only want to reconcile honour, conscience and my peace with the Government’s demands and the desires of my friends. […] Jeancard will tell you in what sense I agree to the matter of being coadjutor and do not want a see. It is that if I have misfortune to lose my uncle, no-one would force me to accept the succession..” (539:VIII in Oblate Writings Letter To Father Tempier, at Marseille )

There is in reading this letter a small feeling of sadness touching my heart – I see Eugene and the shadow of the Cross.  This man, in obedience to the Church and even to his congregation and to Fr. Tempier, has had to let go of something more of himself.

This seems to have been a period of life for him which has been long and more difficult than any before.  It seems to me that when we love, the further along we go in love the deeper the suffering and the greater the joy.  Eugene appeared to be powerless to follow any other route just as it is with all of us, no matter the time and place.  As I go along I find more and more joy in the small things.  As I continue to strive to give up my dreams and work that would put me in a place of prominence (an ongoing and endless job for such as myself) I am coming to realise that it is with the small and meaningless that I seem to experience joy – a great and very meaningful joy.

Perhaps joy is not measurable.  For I feel no less joy with the small things than what I feel and receive with the big.  Always it is immeasurable and enough.  There it is God – God’s love – immeasurable and enough for it fills completely.  Wow.  I did not expect this grace this morning and am keenly grateful for it.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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