Eugene, still in Rome continues to wait for word as to why he has been summoned by the Pope.
“I make the biggest sacrifice I have made in my whole life in this respect. I celebrate no Mass on the Blessed Virgin’s great feast day, although I fasted for thirty hours in the hope of not being deprived of this happiness. […]… His Eminence sends me word that if I have something to communicate to him, I am free to go in, that he has nothing in particular to say to me … Since then I have seen the French Chargé d’Affaires again and he didn’t try to pretend that matters were different from what he understood I knew them to be; I said what had to be said, but I am so fed up that I spend days on end without going out.” (Letter to Father Tempier, at Marseilles – 456:VIII in Oblate Writings)
As I sit here and reflect on Eugene I find that I have absolutely nothing to say to him except that I will sit here with him and this letter. I can sense and understand his frustration and even anger. I know not what to write and decide that all that I have to offer is my presence, just to be where I am in this moment in time. No fancy words or thoughts. I recognize my own littleness. Scary. For this is not just towards Eugene that I am thinking – it is my day and somehow my life. I am reminded of the woman who had nothing to offer Jesus save herself and so she used her tears to wash his feet and her hair to dry them. There is no greatness or piety, no wisdom – simply plain old accompaniment. We are drawing close to the end of our Lenten journey and I have nothing to offer except my very self. It seems so little to offer.