22 November 1914

My big regret at death will be to have given in to self so much, to have taken life so easily, and wasted so much time in sleep etc., and not to have slaved more for God’s glory.

Fr Doyle wrote these words in his diary on this day in 1914. At this point in his life he had already achieved so much. He was an accomplished preacher and retreat master and was in much demand as a spiritual director. He had written some best selling booklets on vocations and the priesthood. He had founded the Poor Clare convent in Cork and started numerous other apostolates. He had offered himself as a missionary in the Congo and had volunteered as a military chaplain. And of course he was an ascetic who lived a vigorous life of self-denial.

Fr Doyle clearly set a very high standard for himself to follow. But Jesus made it clear in the Gospel that from him who has been given much, much will be expected. There are few lines in the Gospel that are more challenging for “practicing Catholics” than this…

Thoughts for the Feast of Christ the King from Fr Willie Doyle

Christ the King

I have long had the feeling that, since the world is growing so rapidly worse and worse and God has lost His hold, as it were, upon the hearts of men, He is looking all the more earnestly and anxiously for big things from those who are faithful to Him still. He cannot, perhaps, gather a large army round His standard, but He wants every one in it to be a hero, absolutely and lovingly devoted to Him; if only we could get inside that magic circle of generous souls, I believe there is no grace He would not give us to help in the work He has so much at heart – our personal sanctification.

COMMENT: Today is the feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday in the liturgical year. Christ asks us to serve in His army, to follow His standard. It takes even greater commitment to follow Christ now than it did in other generations. But by the same token, even more grace is available to assist us.

Christ is the King Who ordains all things for our sanctification and who longs for our union with Him in Heaven. Such thoughts are deeply comforting in the midst of a confused and troubled world.