The following day, knowing that the Archpriest was going to make his recommendations to the Pope, Eugene was tense and restless.
Nevertheless, preoccupied for the whole of that day with this matter, I composed a letter for M. the Archpriest, urging him to make prevail the reasons that I gave him, so that the Holy Father might manifest the intention that the Congregation be not satisfied with praising but that it approve, something it no longer does and (has not done) for a long time. I was perturbed, it rained the whole afternoon; something in a word, I know not what, prevented me from delivering it, for twice I had taken up my hat, determined to brave the bad weather, and I turned back for a reason quite other than the bad weather.
He then came to his senses and realized that it was God who was going to look after the outcome and that Eugene needed to trust more in God and to stop trying to find other means to influence the decision.
I chose the recourse of going to pray to God in the chapel balcony, the while I supposed the audience was taking place, not that I had the foolish idea my prayers could produce the good effect that I desired, but because it seemed to me appropriate to recollect myself in the presence of Our Lord, somehow or other, while grace should work and the Holy Spirit should inspire the Head of the Church as to how he should decide our fate and the salvation of an infinity of souls.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 22 December 1825, EO VI n 213
There is an anecdote that perfectly conveys the humble spirit of Pope John XXIII. On the evening when he announced the opening of the Ecumenical Council, the first one since 1869, he couldn’t get to sleep. Finally, he called himself to order: “Angelo, why aren’t you sleeping? Who’s running the church, you or the Holy Spirit? So sleep.” And he did.