Thoughts for December 16 from Fr Willie Doyle


St Laurence, who joked "Turn me over, I'm done on this side" while being burned as a martyr

Avoid worry, anxiety, uneasiness about anything. “The devil’s boiling pot” expresses this state of mind; one trouble ended, another crops up to take its place; the soul never at rest; there is no peace, no calm, and also no real holiness.

COMMENT: The saints always tended to be at peace, even in the midst of very real turmoil and suffering. Consider the martyrs like St Thomas More and St Laurence who joked with their executioners at the time of their death, or saints like Jeanne Jugan and Gerard Majella who kept their tranquillity and calm in the midst of persecution and false accusations, or the spiritual balance and equilibrium of St Therese of Lisieux or Blessed Teresa of Calcutta who suffered through the dark night of the soul. Those who trust in God and abandon themselves to His will are always at peace, for they know that God always wants what is best for us, even if it involves temporarily travelling by the road of suffering.

Fr Doyle himself lived without anxiety in the midst of some truly anxious circumstances. But this was not always the case. During his years as a Jesuit novice he suffered from a nervous collapse as a result of being involved in a fire. Fr Doyle’s life shows us that, even if one has a history of worry or anxiety, that it is still always possible to achieve peace of mind and rest securely in God’s Providence.