The conviction has been growing that nocturnal adoration will be established only if I spend much time myself before the Blessed Sacrament at night. I know well that Jesus not only wants me to sacrifice much of my sleep, but also to rise sometimes during the night to adore and console Him in the Tabernacle. The repugnance (and yet attraction) to this is extraordinary.
COMMENT: Fr Doyle wrote these words on July 2, 1917, just 6 weeks before his death. The circumstances in which he was living at that time are almost incomprehensible to us who live in such relative comfort in this era of peace. Yet, despite the inherent discomfort of life in the trenches, he felt called to reduce his sleep even more and to rise in the night to adore Christ in the Eucharist.
Today is the Feast the Immaculate Heart of Mary. At Fatima (incidentally during the summer of 1917 when Fr Doyle wrote these lines) Mary encouraged devotion to her Immaculate Heart and also urged us to lives of more intense prayer and penance. Fr Doyle was a great advocate of nocturnal adoration, a very fitting way to combine prayer and penance. It may well be that our personal circumstances do not allow us to emulate Fr Doyle’s adherence to this devotion. If this is the case we should strive to live a more intense life of prayer and penance in a way that fits with our ordinary life and obligations, being generous with God while also being balanced and remembering the primacy of the obligations that attach to our own state in life.
It is only by means of this prayer and penance that we will change ourselves, and the world.