Eugene wrote a letter to Fr. Aubert in June 1836 which was a letter full of love, the love of a father to one of his many sons.
“My dear son, you are spoiling me by the moving and affectionate tone of your letters. There really isn’t any great merit in giving one’s tender love to a child like you. I forestalled you, no more than that. Everything else follows naturally. Have you ever caused me a single moment’s pain since I’ve adopted you? Isn’t it rather that your soul and mine in some way mingled from the moment they met and since that first moment has there ever been the least interruption, the least cloud? Far from it. How could I not enjoy a friendship that hasn’t known a moment’s lapse when there have been so many ingrates to rend apart my paternal feelings and who still today after being loaded with so many favours give me small respite? Their hearts indeed are not like yours. And am I to be dead to that? It is already a lot that I forgive them and bend myself to accept men as the sin of Adam has made them, but if my affections turn with all the more tenderness and sweetness to your beautiful soul, if my heart rests on yours that so closely mirrors it, what’s surprising in that, how could it be any other way? I never intended to talk to you like this. But I’m not sorry that it has come out if it is only to repay you for your filial love and to bestow pleasure a soul like yours so richly deserves.” (577:VIII in Oblate Writings)
I found myself noticing that just the reading of the letter brought a smile to my heart and my face. I can feel myself opening to it in joy as does a flower to the morning sun. And so I reread it, reflecting on the above paragraph.
I do not know why, but I always feel like I am receiving some of that love – it was not somehow simply reserved for being something that Eugene lavished on one of his sons. It is as if we are all one heart – and that heart that Eugene shared with Casimir is also now shared with me. Is this wishful thinking on my part? I don’t think so for we are tied together at the heart – through the hearts given to us by God. This was a gift received by myself from God before I even knew of Eugene. The gift was recognized when Fr. Jim Fiori OMI began to read aloud Eugene’s letter to Henri Tempier. I felt as if Eugene had written it to me.
I stop now and think of how we come into relationship with another – it is through and with and in God – it is God that unifies us and binds us to each other. How glorious is that?