A couple of years after his return to France in 1804 he writes to his Father: “I am becoming misanthropic, and can say in all truth that nothing gives me any pleasure. I have a heavy case of aversion to this part of the world, but my reaction is quite the opposite of what I see in others; they are always complaining about a lack of manners, while they have no mind to be polite themselves; of a lack of friendliness, and of egoism, while they have no love for anyone except themselves; of gossip-mongering, while they have no idea how to pass their time except by having their noses in other people’s business. In front of other people I simply say that it is the same everywhere, but what I am thinking and saying to myself is that I will never be able to get used to this place.” And a few months later: “In general, there is one enormous defect prevalent here, people are distant and very egoistic. I have the feeling that I am not where I should be, and I get angry when I see the best years of my life draining away in idle obscurity.”
Something is growing in him though he doesn’t know what it is yet.
Some 30 years later the memory of that Good Friday was still vivid to Eugene who wrote: “I looked for happiness outside of God and for too long with resulting unhappiness. How often in my past life had my wounded, tormented heart taken wings for God from whom it had turned away! Can I forget the bitter tears that the sight of the cross brought streaming from my eyes one Good Friday? Indeed they welled up from the heart, there was no checking them, they were too abundant for me to be able to hide them from those who like myself were assisting at that moving ceremony. I was in a state of mortal sin and it was precisely this that made me grieve. I could then, and also on some other instance, perceive the difference. Never was my soul more satisfied, never did it feel such happiness; for in the midst of this flood of tears, despite my grief, or rather through my grief, my soul took wings for its last end, towards God its only good whose loss it felt so keenly. Why say more? Could I ever express what I experienced then? Just the memory of it fills my heart with a sweet satisfaction."
What he experienced on that Good Friday draws him to the mission that was so dear to Jesus Christ, to take the Gospel to those in need. Eugene doesn't become introvert pondering high thoughts about God in his head but he wants to go among people, especially the poor to bring them to relationship with Christ.