On February 28, 1837 Eugene wrote to Fr. Honorat reproach him for preaching in both Provençal and in French to comply with the desire of “five or six bourgeois people” who according to him had not yet shown any sign of good will towards God and the mission that he was giving..
“I worry little about the infinitely small number of bourgeois people who have not yet shown any sign of good will. The majority of them, if not all, will surrender like the others. In any case, their souls are not worth more or less than those of the least peasants, if we consider them in terms of the price the Lord has paid for them; under other aspects, they may be far less valuable. Thus it is foolish to be more concerned about these gentlemen than about the other good people of the area. It is bad, perhaps even sinful to sacrifice the common good to their caprice or vanity.” (606:IX in Oblate Writings)
The letter continued but as I read it I found myself wanting to say that perhaps some of those bourgeois people were poor in what counted. They had fame and what they thought was important, but I wonder if some of them if any of them had any sense of what was really missing from their lives. I have a friend is doing really well, is well-respected in the community, but who seems at times to have ‘bought in to her own press’. Her entire being seems to be wrapped in how she appears to be rather than it what is most real. I don’t see much in the way of joy in her – but I can say that only because I recognize myself in her sometimes. It is like looking at a dim mirror. I can remember what if is like to have to run from that truest part of one’s self. I am really no different from her, but God has seen fit to give me so much that I for the most part do not have worry about being at the top of anything in this world. It becomes easier and easier for me to accept not only my physical limitations but my age and lessening, I am gratefully able to let go and to be able to surrender it all to God, as much as I am able.
I wonder if some politicians are not suffering from the same thing as my friend. How sad is that? They have everything and yet they have nothing. I know the angle from which Eugene saw some of the people but I wonder if somehow the view hasn’t changed somewhat. All I really know is that God continues to answer my pleas to see through his eyes, the eyes of my merciful Lord on the Cross. I would wish this for my friend.