Eugene had been summoned to Rome to be ordained bishop and had arrived on 15 August. Now six weeks later, he was still waiting for the official appointment to be finalized by the Pope. He was frustrated by his inactivity in Rome, while there was so much work that he should be doing in France.

… Believe me, my obedience and resignation are undergoing a stiff test. How many times I have been tempted to go away; I could almost persuade myself that it is the right thing to do. But my respect for the person concerned, deference to the will of Him to whom we must all submit, the merit inherent in this sacrifice and the opportunity it affords of offering God each day the homage of one’s own will, soon prevail over these impulses which take their origin in the lower part of the soul as it rebels ….

Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 27 September 1832, EO VIII n 433

Then he revealed how he coped each day. His room was close to the house chapel, and to the Blessed Sacrament where he was able to spend time in prayer.

You know I greatly appreciate the pleasure of dwelling under the same roof as Our Lord. I can find consolation with him for the tedious aspects of my position; as they get worse each day, I am always in need of fresh consolation and, in truth, I have only this good master to confide in. I find it hard to explain a delay at once so prolonged and so futile

Letter to M. Cailhol, 27 September 1832, EO XV n164

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    How often this happens in our lives, or at least in mine. I am called to love, to submit to the will of God and yet nothing seems to be happening. I will question myself that perhaps I misread the signs and so missed an opportunity somehow. I might get so bold as to tell God what ‘he’ started and how I have been left hanging. It can take a long time for me to simply sit and be with him who is my Master, him who is my Beloved.

    This is how it has been for me on this trip – surely the Lord has not called me out here simply so that I learn to sit in the midst of this unsurety and upheaval and to let it all go? How do I find consolation in the midst of such upheaval, where things are not going as I would have them go and be? What have I accomplished?

    Perhaps nothing. Perhaps that was the idea – to simply be and love and absorb. To allow God to love me and the others. I will find my consolation not in any doing but rather in being with him, looking to him. This not what I had envisaged but it does seem to be where I am being led.

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