Thoughts for January 31 (St John Bosco) from Fr Willie Doyle

St John Bosco

One month of the new year has passed away, leaving behind it the memory of what has been done for God and the unavailing recollection of what might have been achieved. Unavailing regret? No. For the failings and shortcomings of the month that has gone will only serve as a stimulus to a generous soul to spur him on to greater efforts in the service of his Master, efforts to use to the full the priceless gift of time, efforts to make the talents entrusted to his care bring forth the full measure of fruit and profit which our Lord will look for at His coming.

COMMENT: One twelfth of the year has already passed. Time goes quickly. Have we used it well? What about our new year’s resolutions? Have we lived up to them over the past month? Do we even remember what our resolutions were???

We must be determined to imitate Christ more and to become holy. While it is true that we need God’s grace to grow in virtue, we must also supply a lot of effort ourselves. One aspect of this effort is to make a few specific resolutions, and then work to stick to those resolutions. We will not always succeed in the task, but we must at least try to make the effort. If we haven’t stuck to our new year’s resolutions, we don’t have to wait another 11 months to try again. Today is an excellent day to pick ourselves up and start out once more.

Today is the feast of St John Bosco. Let us conclude with a quote from him on the need to overcome our fickleness and stick to our resolutions:

Be neither stubborn nor fickle. I have always noticed that fickle-minded people usually fail in all they do.

Get a 20% discount off the definitive biography of Fr Doyle

Lent is almost upon us – in fact, Ash Wednesday is in three weeks from tomorrow. One important aspect of our Lenten practice should be spiritual reading. I can think of no better book to read during the holy season of Lent than Professor Alfred O’Rahilly’s biography of Fr Doyle. And the great news is that the publishers have a 20% sale until this coming Friday, so this is a great chance to get the book at a great discount.

This book is a masterpiece on many levels – a psychologically astute review of Fr Doyle’s character, a wonderful history of World War I that reads like a novel and a remarkable overview of Catholic spirituality. Far from being a mere work of hagiography in the mode of the “Golden Legend”, O’Rahilly’s biography of Fr Doyle gives a rounded insight into one of the most incredible priests Ireland has ever produced. If you have an interest in Fr Doyle, if you have an interest in Catholic spirituality, if you have an interest in military history you will love this book. And in loving this book, you will learn to love Fr Doyle.

O’Rahilly’s biography was translated in numerous European languages and has inspired many individuals (including canonised saints…) over the past 90 years.

One of the great things about the biography is the access that O’Rahilly had to Fr Doyle’s private notes and diaries. Fr Doyle wasn’t born great, but he acquired greatness by slow, steady effort. O’Rahilly maps out this process through Fr Doyle’s own intimate thoughts and resolutions. That’s what makes this book so powerful. I do not know of anybody who has read this book without being deeply moved and spiritually enriched.

High quality and newly typeset reprints of the 2nd edition of O’Rahilly can be purchased by clicking on the image below. Later editions have some more detail and are somewhat longer (the 5th edition is about 200 pages longer), but they are not available in reprint format as far as I know and they can only be found in second hand book stores and occasionally online. 

If you order before this coming Friday night you can obtain a significant 20% discount off the price of the book. Just enter the discount code CHERUB305 when ordering to obtain the discount.  

(Please note: This website is not in any way connected with the sale of the book and does not profit in any way by it. My interest is only in promoting awareness of Fr Doyle).