I realise in a way I never did before that God created me for His service, that He has a strict right that I should serve Him perfectly, and that every moment of my life is His and given to me for the one end of praising and serving Him. I recall with horror how often I have wandered from this my end, what an appalling amount of time I have wasted, and how few of my actions were done for God or worthy of being offered to Him. I see what I should have been and what I am. But the thought of Jesus waiting and eagerly looking out for me, the prodigal, during fifteen years, has filled me with hope and confidence and new resolve to turn to my dearest Jesus and give Him all He asks.
I have begun to try to perform each little action with great fervour and exactness, having as my aim to get back the fervour of my first year’s novitiate.
COMMENT: In today’s comments Fr Doyle touches on one of the fundamental facts of life: we are made to know, love and serve God. St Ignatius expresses it this way in the Spiritual Exercises:
Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.
And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created.
St Josemaria Escriva put it slightly differently:
Our Lord has given us as a present our very lives, our senses, our faculties, and countless graces. We have no right to forget that each of us is a worker.
Once we see this fact, everything changes. For Fr Doyle, recognising this had a profound effect, unleashing all of his efforts towards loving God and those around him.
But as has been said before on this site, recognising this doesn’t mean that we have to necessarily undertake dangerous missions or become a military chaplain. As Fr Doyle put it:
I have begun to try to perform each little action with great fervour and exactness.
Across the Divide: An Irish Padre of the Great War: Fr. William Doyle, S.J., M.C., Chaplain to the Forces 1915-1917 – a talk on Fr Doyle’s military career by Carole Hope on this coming Saturday 15th September in the Lecture Theatre in Collins Barracks, Dublin. Doors open at 2pm and the talk commences at 2.30pm. The talk is hosted by the Western Front Association, and there is a small fee of €3 to cover costs. This talk will cover Fr Doyle’s military career. Carole is completing a new biography of Fr Doyle, and has a particular interest in his service during World War I. She has uncovered many fascinating details of Fr Doyle’s life as a military chaplain that weren’t previously in the public domain. The talk promises to be a most informative and interesting event.