Thoughts for July 19 from Fr Willie Doyle

Believe me, I feel intensely for you, my child, for I know what you have suffered in the past and how violent the attacks of the tempter have been. But this very thing ought to be a big joy to you, since it shows how much the evil one fears what you are going to do for our Blessed Lord and poor perishing souls. If you were not a dangerous “enemy”, he would leave you alone, but he cannot help showing his hand. That being so, you can easily see how foolish it would be to yield to him now after so many heroic victories. Besides, I promise you this, that if you fight the temptations for a little while, great peace will soon come. Your only mistake has been to show the ” white feather ” even a little. Be brave and generous, my child, for the sake of our dear Lord, who loves you so much, as you know so well. If you have given in a little, don’t lose a moment, but start away again. I shall pray for you, but you must pray for yourself.

COMMENT: Fr Doyle lived a life of great personal rectitude and was fully engaged in the process of spiritual combat with temptation in his own life. But this didn’t make him harsh with others. On the contrary, he was a gentle and understanding spiritual director. His advice to someone who has sinned is simple: “don’t lose a moment, but start away again”.

In this sense, he lived the spiritual maxim that we should be exacting with no-one but ourselves.

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