Thoughts for June 20 from Fr Willie Doyle

Irish soldiers preparing for WWI. Christ expects His army to be "absolutely and lovingly devoted to Him"

I have long had the feeling that, since the world is growing so rapidly worse and worse and God has lost His hold, as it were, upon the hearts of men, He is looking all the more earnestly and anxiously for big things from those who are faithful to Him still. He cannot, perhaps, gather a large army round His standard, but He wants everyone in it to be a hero, absolutely and lovingly devoted to Him. If only we could get inside that magic circle of generous souls, I believe there is no grace He would not give us to help on the work He has so much at heart, our personal sanctification. Every day you live means an infallible growth in holiness which may be multiplied a thousand times by a little generosity.

COMMENT: Yes, it seems to be true that, in the West at least, a smaller army is gathered around Christ than in the past. In fact, that army seems even smaller than when Fr Doyle wrote these words a century ago. Pope Benedict refers to this as a kind of creative minority. This means that there is an even greater need for those who adhere to Christ to strive to be a hero and to fulfil the role given to them. Complacency is no longer an option.

Fr Doyle himself fulfilled this mission throughout a life that stands as an example to us all 100 years later. By studying his writings, and reflecting on his personal example, we can learn how to fulfil our mission more effectively.

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