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…

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