Prayer Ever on Your Lips

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I first read the life of the heroic Father Willie Doyle, S.J. by Alfred O'Rahilly forty years ago. It was the summer of 1968, and the summer of Humanae Vitae. By God's sweet Providence, I am reading it again, this time with the experience of more than half a lifetime behind me. Father Doyle amazes me, comforts me, enlightens me, sets me straight on certain things, and confirms me in others.

One has to grow into certain books, and there is no growth without groaning. Now and then I will be sharing bits and pieces of this remarkable spiritual biography with you, dear readers of Vultus Christi. Father Willie Doyle was made of the stuff of the Desert Fathers. He is above all a master in the practice of the ceaseless prayer of the heart.

Do nothing without consulting Him in the Tabernacle. But then act fearlessly, if you see it is for His honour and glory, never minding what others may think or say. Above all, 'cast your care upon the Lord and He shall sustain you.' (Psalm 54, 23). Peace and calm in your soul, prayer ever on your lips, and a big love in your heart for Him and His interests, will carry you very far. (November, 1914)

Non in commotione Dominus. ('The Lord is not in the earthquake.' III Kings 19, 11). Labour, then with might and main to keep your soul in peace, but an unbounded trust in His loving goodness. If you live in Jesus and Jesus in you, striving to make each little action, each morsel of food, every word of the Office, etc., an act of love to be laid at His feet as dwelling in your heart, you will certainly please him immensely and fly to perfection. (January, 1912)

This morning during Mass I felt strongly that Jesus was pained that you do not trust Him absolutely, that is, trust Him in every detail of your life. You are wanting in that childlike confidence He desires so much from you, the taking lovingly and trustfully from His hands all that He sends you, not even wishing things to have happened otherwise. He wants you to possess your soul in peace in the midst of the many troubles, cares and difficulties of your work, looking upon everything as arranged by Him, and hence something to welcome joyfully. Jesus will not dwell in your soul as He wishes unless you are at peace. This is the first step towards that union which you desire so much -- but not so much as He does. Don't keep Him waiting, my child, but by earnest and constant efforts empty your heart of every care that He may abide with you for ever. (May, 1913)

2 Comments

I love Fr. Doyle and wish there were more people aware of him. He truly lived a life of heroic sanctity. Why his cause has not been forwarded by the Jesuits is a mystery to me. Maybe the Irish were ashamed of having joined with the British Army to conquer the Nazis, but all that is over now and I think progress should now be made. And he truly is an inspiration for priests. Thank you for writing on him. I'm going to post this piece up on my face book page. - Blessings - Rene

Truly the most inspirational writings I have read in years... I could not put the book down when I was recently introduced to it, and would encourage anyone to read it who wishes to follow a very holy priest through his own diaries and the extracts of letters he wrote to those he helped through Spiritual Direction. I am still amazed he has not yet been beatified... a mystery... thank you Fr Mark for introducing your readers here to Fr Doyle!

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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