Thoughts for February 3 from Fr Willie Doyle

St Therese

It seems to me that the best and most practical resolution I can make is to determine to perform each action with the greatest perfection. This will mean a constant going against self, ever agendo contra, at every moment and every single day. I have a vast field to cover in my ordinary daily actions e.g. to say the Angelus always with the utmost attention and fervour. I feel too that Jesus asks this from me as without it there can be no real holiness.

COMMENT: Fr Doyle here presents to us the “little way” of holiness in ordinary life which is the hallmark of real sanctity. Many great saints have advocated this realistic path to sanctity; St Therese and St Josemaria Escriva immediately come to mind. It is perhaps no surprise that Fr Doyle was greatly devoted to St Therese and that St Josemaria read, and was inspired by, Fr Doyle’s life story and spirit.

Yet, for all its apparent simplicity, this little way of constantly going against ourselves is a tough road. Yet it is the only road for most of us. The opportunity of doing great things may not come to us, but we have the opportunity of doing our daily tasks well every single day. Let us also remember the words of Jesus in the Gospel (Luke 16:10):

He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts for February 3 from Fr Willie Doyle

  1. Pat: Following up on your comment there’s a point in St Josemaria’s book The Way No. 994 that says:
    ‘My enthusiasm is gone’, you write. You have to work not out of enthusiasm but out of Love: conscious of duty, which means self-denial’.
    This point was aluded to the future Blessed D. Alvaro del Portillo way back in 1938, and one can only give thanks to God’s mercies that, D. Alvaro lived this point to the full until his death March 23 1994.


  2. There’s a story that St Josemaria was told that no decent Irishman – however mortified – would do without his butter and so the story could be changed to sugar . I was told this by an Irish priest of Opus Dei and I think it happened in Galway when St Josemaria came to Ireland.

    • Yes, some earlier texts of The Way referred to the sugar tragedy rather than to the butter tragedy, and from what I remember hearing myself it was indeed an Irish priest who used his poetic licence to make that change to the original Spanish.

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