Eugene describes the well-known story of the events of the day of the decisive meeting of the cardinals:

(Yesterday) I did not waste a minute. I said Mass early, and then visited Cardinal Pedicini to inform him of Cardinal Pallotta’s remarks and my replies to them. From there I called on the Archbishop of Ancyra, and without drawing breath, hurried on to tell Cardinal Pacca that I would be waiting in the church of Santa Maria in Campitelli, opposite his palace, while the Congregation was in session. Coming out, I asked them to send me word when the meeting ended; they forgot, so I had time to hear nine Masses. However I assure you that, being prepared for a long wait, I did not find the time long at all; on the contrary, I was quite happy in this beautiful church, occupied as one would wish to be occupied always.
However, when I realized it was impossible that the Cardinals should still be in session, I left the church. It was one o’clock. In fact, the meeting had ended more than an hour earlier. I waited till evening to get some news of the result from the Archbishop Secretary. As he was not in the first time I called, I returned later, and, with his usual goodwill towards me, he told me everything had gone wonderfully well, and the Congregation had approved, with some modifications which he would put before me. We set to work immediately, and continued to work for more than two hours. He wielded the pen and wrote down our determinations with his own hand…. The Archbishop Secretary and I will finish the work this evening and the conclusion of the Congregation will probably be presented to the Holy Father at tomorrow evening’s audience.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 16 February 1826, EO VII n 224


“The most important lesson that I have learned is to trust God in every circumstance. Lots of times we go through different trials and following God’s plan seems like it doesn’t make any sense at all. God is always in control and he will never leave us.”   Allyson Felix (Olympic medalist)

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    There are times when I sit before God, when I sit with God, that time seems to lose all relevance. What seems like a very long time is but a few minutes or what feels like a minute is actually very much longer. But nine Masses! I note that Eugene does not complain though of the time spent on that long day, either in prayer and waiting, or in working late with the Archbishop Secretary. Eugene is where he is supposed to be, doing what needs to be done, giving his all as he prepares for the home run, just one of the very many in his life.

    Waiting has been such a large part of Eugene’s stay in Rome. Waiting, trusting, persevering. He can only trust that since all of this is from God, is of God, that God will ensure that it is done, that it will come to pass as it must. Waiting – such a hard thing for me to do – to keep moving forward even though it might look like I am only going in circles and to trust that God will carry me through all of it. In a time where everything seems to be instantaneous, everything seems to be done at the click of a key, with a single keystroke, waiting is no longer considered to be a virtue. And to trust in an unseen God rather than me, myself and I. This all seems to be a part of that whole reality of letting go and simply “being in order to do”. Richard Rohr spoke this morning of “You are who you are who you are! No trying to make yourself something other than who you really are. All God can love is who you really are, because that’s the only you that really exists.” Eugene in his waiting, in his attending and being a part of nine Masses was being true to his deepest self. This was a time of emptying and then waiting and trusting that God would fill him with all that was needed.

    I find myself singing as I leave this place. “Only in God will my soul be at rest, from Him comes my hope my salvation. He alone is my rock of safety….”

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