Thoughts for November 26 from Fr Willie Doyle

St Francis Xavier

Vince teipsum (Conquer yourself). This is the secret of the Exercises. “I learnt no other lesson from my master Ignatius,” said St. Francis Xavier, referring to his first retreat at Paris. Here we all fail – good men, zealous men, holy men. Prayer is easy, works of zeal attractive; but going against self, till grace and perseverance give facility, is cruel work, a hard battle.

COMMENT: How important is this process of self-conquest. There is no holiness without it. The lives of the saints make this quite clear for all to see.

But we should take heart. Fr Doyle affirms that it is hard and that all fail in this battle to some degree or other. It is consoling that such a master tactician of the spiritual life recognises within himself the tendency to fail in this battle against self. But as Fr Doyle promises, if we persevere we will obtain the grace we need to make the way a little easier.


Looking for a great Christmas present? 30% off biography of Fr Doyle

Alfred O’Rahilly’s classic biography of Fr Doyle is a masterpiece of Catholic spirituality. It is also a gripping account of Fr Doyle’s adventures – and heroic suffering – during the war.

If you have an interest in Fr Doyle, or an interest in Catholic, and specifically Jesuit, spirituality, it is essential reading.

I have reviewed the book in the past, and you may read what I have had to say here:

Lulu, the publishers, have a special deal running until this Tuesday, November 27. Enter the code REDEMPTIO and you will receive a 30% discount. Go here to purchase the book:;jsessionid=F76EA7FADA35DAEF6D905BC4F142089B

This book would make a great Christmas gift for a loved one, a priest or seminarian, or even for visitors to this blog if they have not yet read it.

Please note – this blog has no connection – financial or otherwise – with the sale of this book.