Two programmes in particular look very relevant for Fr Doyle. On Monday July 28th there is a documentary about the 4 Irish regiments that took part in the war. And on Wednesday July 30th there is a documentary about the famous Jesuit military chaplain Fr Frank Browne. Fr Browne and Fr Doyle were close companions, and Fr Browne was a great admirer of Fr Doyle’s. Both programmes air at 19.00 on RTE 1. Fr Doyle should really be mentioned in one or other of the programmes. I suspect that they will also be available online afterwards, and I will post links to allow international visitors to watch the programmes on the internet.
I assure you that you have my entire sympathy as well as my prayers in the trial you are going through. There are few things more painful than to long to know the Will of God and not be able to see it, though it may be quite clear to others. From all that has passed between us I have no doubt that you have a religious vocation. Look at it in this way. Our Lord makes known His willingness to receive anyone into religion by giving them the necessary qualifications and the wish to do this work there. If I have these qualifications – “aptitude,” it is called – and this wish, all I need is the will to take the step. What you have to do is to pray for strength to be brave. Then go ahead, trust in the Sacred Heart, and you will never regret it.
COMMENT: If there is anybody reading this who is contemplating a religious vocation I recommend reading the section of the site on Fr Doyle’s writings where there are two excellent pamphlets on the subject.
As for the rest of us, his point for today remains relevant. There are always extra steps that God is asking of us. Perhaps they are not as dramatic as entering a convent or becoming a priest. Perhaps it will mean getting involved in a charity or engaging in political campaigning for just causes. Maybe it will even involve joining one of the many movements within the Church that can help deepen our commitment to Christ. The lesson remains that we need the will, and the grace, to follow that path. If we follow God’s will, no matter what it is, with complete commitment and trust, then it is true that we will not regret it.
Today is also the feast of Blessed Titus Brandsma, a great Carmelite martyr of the Second World War. Blessed Titus remained faithful to his vocation to the end, opposing the Nazis even if it meant imprisonment and death. It was this faithfulness to his Carmelite vocation that encouraged him to live an ordered life of prayer and activity in the concentration camp at Dachau, spreading cheerfulness and encouragement to others in their sufferings. In many ways his ability to bring joy and to serve others in the midst of his own misery resembles the activities of Fr Doyle in the trenches.