Thoughts for July 8 from Fr Willie Doyle

Lord, give me grace and strength of character to tear myself away promptly from what, if not bad, is less good, and to give myself earnestly, self-denyingly, perseveringly, to the better and the best.

COMMENT: Fr Doyle always wanted to choose the hard thing, he always wanted to do the best thing. Thus, his prayer doesn’t just refer to tearing himself promptly away from bad things, but even from things that are less good. This is what we must aspire to – an interior struggle between the good and the best! Most of us are probably not yet there; our battles are probably (at least some of the time) between good and evil, not between a higher and a lesser good.  Even so, Fr Doyle’s prayer reveals a crucial tactic in our spiritual struggle – we must flee temptations promptly. This is the advice of all of the saints and spiritual writers. The spiritual hero is the “coward” who flees temptation as soon as it presents itself, not the one who enters into conversation with it.

In the Prologue to his Rule, St Benedict says that the one who is victorious in God’s service is the one who…

has foiled the evil one, the devil, at every turn, flinging both him and his promptings far from the sight of his heart. While these temptations were still young, he caught hold of them and dashed them against Christ. 

Let us follow the advice of Fr Doyle and St Benedict, promptly fleeing temptations while they are still young and capable of being resisted.

St Benedict

One thought on “Thoughts for July 8 from Fr Willie Doyle

  1. Many years ago I read a booklet by Fr. Doyle and remember being comforted by his gentle and uplifting insights into life and living it well.
    As a 1960’s teenager it made a big impression on me, and now in the
    spiritual battlefield of this time, Fr. Doyle’s words continue to give such
    clear direction. Thank you for bringing this wonderful Priest to the attention of those who would otherwise never have heard of him and his
    holy, heroic life.

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