IN ROME WE ARE SLAVES OF RED TAPE

Eugene continues his narrative about being in Rome to try to receive papal approval of the Oblates

My worries begin once more, my dear Tempier, in regard to how our affairs are progressing, for they are underway now after a month of stagnation. The day before yesterday, I did my customary rounds for the hundredth time; this time it was rewarding… At last we are on the way; Wednesday has been set for this meeting at the house of the Cardinal prefect,… So I will be on tenterhooks until Tuesday and Wednesday. 

He then shares on how the nervous strain and frustration is getting on top of him, and he longs to be doing anything else rather than be in this situation in Rome.

Ah! dear friend, it is much better to preach missions, much better even to endure the boredom of being Vicar General than be immersed in the sad and excessive dealings that I have to do here. The blessed Alphonsus was in an even more trying position, several times during his life. I invoke him now to obtain patience and success at last, for all these pains and pricks will be nothing if we finish by obtaining what we ask… 
In Rome we are slaves of red tape. We have to go through the mill. Let us wait then for the result of the congregation on Wednesday…

Letter to Henri Tempier, 11 February 1826, EO VII n 223

 

“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.”      Dale Carnegie

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1 Response to IN ROME WE ARE SLAVES OF RED TAPE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This morning speaks to me of ‘attitude’, the attitude that Eugene has and maintains throughout this time which seems excessively long of dealing with the red tape of Rome. It has happened here that I have found myself impatient for us to move on, to get to the ‘good stuff’ and it must of seemed like this to Eugene. Before Christmas Frank had suggested the possibility of ‘Going deeper’ and reading from Eugene’s diary and letters which I moved to immediately because surely this would lead me to easier and better reflections. It was no faster a trip although I have to admit that after a while it did help me to enter into deeper reflections and find a richness I had not expected to find there. It was simply a more detailed and longer account of Eugene having to deal with the red tape and how it did it, his attitude as he waited on others and their way and times of doing things. It invited me to look at how I wait, is it with the graciousness to keep doing what I must and allowing others to do what they must?

    This was another way of being put ‘through the mill’ and as it was strengthening Eugene it was also this that separated the the chaff from the kernel, getting to the goodness and the heart of himself. I look at the impatience that I have in how slowly things can sometimes move, and how I might be able to from time to time speed things up a little bit. But for the most part I am powerless to change it, for I am simply a part of something much bigger than myself. How do I wait, how do I remain true to where I am asked to be? How do I allow God to winnow the outer shell of my heart so as to expose the core of love and light which is the truest part of my being?

    It is at this moment that the words come to me – poverty, chastity obedience and perseverance. That is what I see Eugene living during this time. He does not stop being who he was, but how he goes about it says a lot. It is his attitude that makes the difference. And so to use his words “I invoke him now to obtain patience and success at last, for all these pains and pricks will be nothing if we finish by obtaining what we ask…”

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