Thoughts for March 6 from Fr Willie Doyle

I am suffering much in every way, most of all, perhaps, from sheer fatigue. As regards food and lodging I am not badly off, but the discomforts of the life would be long to tell. However, like St. Paul I can say that I superabound with joy in all my tribulations; for I know that they come from God’s hand and that they are working out some plan of His in my soul. What a joy to be able to offer oneself entirely, even life itself, each morning at Mass, and to think that perhaps before evening He may have accepted the offering!

COMMENT: Fr Doyle wrote these words this week in 1916 in a letter home to his family. Fr Doyle had already suffered much in his role as military chaplain when this letter was written. He had a little less than 18 months of life left, almost all of it involving great deprivation and suffering and almost constant danger. If he felt he wasn’t doing too badly with respect to food and lodging at this stage he would have many occasions on which to re-assess this statement over the coming year and a half.

The remarkable thing that shines out from Fr Doyle’s words is his complete resignation to God’s will, whatever that might be. We know that even during the darkest moments of the war he never wavered in this glad acceptance of whatever Providence had in store for him, for he knew that it was all part of a greater plan.

This “indifference”, as St. Ignatius would put it, is one of the hallmarks of great holiness.