In 1814 as a young Priest, he recalled the experience he had had one Good Friday several years earlier:
“I looked for happiness outside of God and, to my sorrow, looked there for too long… Can I ever forget those bitter tears which the sight of the Cross caused to stream from my eyes one Good Friday ”. He would not forget the Cross, and it is not surprising that it often appears in his writings and especially in the Rule which he formulated for his Oblates. In the preface to those Rules when Eugene speaks about the Church, he describes it as “that glorious inheritance purchased by Christ the Saviour at the cost of his own blood… “.
In this way he refers to the CROSS. In his instruction on preaching he says to his Oblates, ”Like the Apostles, preach Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Then again he said, “They (the Oblates) will have no other distinguishing mark except that which is proper to their ministry namely the image of the Crucified Lord “. The Cross remains the only distinguishing mark worn by Oblates. There was also the tradition of erecting a large cross after a mission as a reminder to the people of their penance and conversion.
- Consider a time or event when someone helped you out greatly. Allow yourself to again feel the gratitude of that moment.
- For many of us, our salvation gained through Jesus’ crucifixion remains an intellectual tenet of faith rather than one of deep knowing. Unlike St Eugene, few of us can cry genuine tears of gratitude for this sacrifice of Jesus, and sorrow for the pain He endured. Ask Jesus to open your heart to better understand the significance of what He did for you.