IN THE POPE’S WAITING ROOM

As soon as the audience begins, those designated to work that day with the Pope enter in succession. Neither Cardinals or Ambassadors came. Those who entered one after the other were the ones whom the Holy Father summoned through the Master Chamberlain. I had been forewarned I must be armed with patience because the matters which are brought to him are sometimes so numerous that there is no end to them. 
I was in good heart that day, although I was fasting, and the large violet pouch of Mgr. the Secretary of Briefs who went in first did not dismay me; nor was I likewise by that also just as full of Cardinal Pacca, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops and Religious. Alas! I thought that perhaps one day our turn would come for our request to be laid full length in his portfolio. They both spent an hour with the Pope. The Bishop Almoner, that is to say, distributor of the alms of the Pope, and the Father Master of the Sacred Palace also had their regular audiences that day; they were not long. Who will they call next? The General of the Dominicans, whose stomach noised its hunger, would have bet that it would be he; not at all, it was I.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 22 December 1825, EO VI n 213

In his diary, Eugene described the scene:

The audiences are planned on a daily basis, as I hear from those who work with the Supreme Pontiff. To inform everyone, there is a printed timetable hung up in the antechamber nearest the office of His Holiness. I waited in that one, in my role of Grand Vicar, a sort of prelature in Italy; they call us Monseigneur. Waiting until those who work with the Holy Father had gone through… I met the Archbishop of Siena, who recognized from my dress that I was French and came over to me to chat a little about France where he had been exiled during Napoleon’s time. He could not get enough of praising the welcome he had received and all the kindness people had shown him. Cardinal Pacca also spoke to me and invited me to come and see him again…
 I was the first to go in among those who had no set audience time, which astonished the Dominican Reverend Father General, who felt sure that his turn would come before mine; but since the Holy Father had called me first, I obeyed without excusing myself.

Roman Diary, 20 December 1825, EO XVII

 

“When you trust God, you’re able to be more patient. Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.”     Joyce Meyer

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One Response to IN THE POPE’S WAITING ROOM

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    You’ve got to love Eugene. There he is chatting with those around him (and why not) and then his name is called first, “but since the Holy Father had called me first, I obeyed without excusing myself”. He paints the picture of sitting there with the others when his name is called. He who has waited so long for this moment jumps up to enter into the room of the Pope and it sounds as if all the regular niceties are ignored as he moves to meet at last with the Pope.

    This morning I have spent my time looking at what it is like for me to have to wait on another or others. Do I respond or do I react? There are times that on the outside, I appear to ‘respond’ and to continue with whatever I am doing, whatever I have to do, with ‘patience’ – but on inside? Inside I am like a caldron filled with conflicting emotions that bubble and boil. I don’t want to wait. I don’t like to wait. I have to be honest and say that I feel like it is being used by another(s) to control, or it just is not really important to them. I find myself looking at myself – why do I ask others to wait for something? Is it because it is not important to me so I will get around to eventually? Is it because I am unable to comply with what they would like me to do or say or to give them something? Is it because I do not believe that they truly need or want what they are asking for, so I ask them to wait, hoping they will forget whatever it is they ask for or want and eventually will stop asking.

    I look at what I have just written and am saddened a little for what I see are only what I can call secret little character flaws on my part. Am I attributing them to others? Not always but yes. Patience seems to be a real gift that I can be in short supply of at times. What is my attitude and reason when I ask another to wait? What is my attitude when I am asked to wait? Do I handle myself inside and out with grace, am I looking at God, or am I thinking of only myself?

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