Thoughts for March 30 from Fr Willie Doyle

Jesus 2

He loves your soul dearly, cling to Him, and trust Him, He so longs to be trusted.

COMMENT: There is something of an unfortunate stereotype about the Catholicism of 100 years ago in Ireland. It suggests that God’s love was ignored or downplayed and that there was an excessive emphasis on morality and on Catholicism as a set of rules rather than as a relationship with Jesus.

There is some truth in this stereotype. I was once struck by something Fr Doyle once wrote (disapprovingly) in his diary:

People say it is very hard to love God.

What an odd idea that is for us today, who have grown up with the idea of a God of love. There was certainly something amiss with a vision of Catholicism in which love did not play the central role.

But this negative view of the past is very far from the whole picture. There is absolutely no evidence that Fr Doyle overemphasised sin and downplayed love – his letters of spiritual direction and his private notes reveal very clearly his own passionate love for God. This love overflowed into a life of zealous service for others.

Most of us have a very weak trust in God. The saints were not like us. Their faith and trust in God’s Providence was simple and profound and it was this reliance on God that allowed them to achieve so much.

Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN, died just a few days ago on Easter Sunday, after several years of debilitating illness. Mother Angelica was the living embodiment of trust in God’s providence; it was one of her characteristic virtues. What she achieved in religious broadcasting, with no experience or money, is almost a standing miracle. Again and again EWTN faced financial crises in its early days and a person of lesser faith would have given up in despair. But Mother Angelica put her trust in her Heavenly Father, and the necessary money was always found, sometimes at the last moment and in unexpected ways. This is one of the reasons the saints achieved so much in their lives – they had radical trust in the Lord.

Mother Angelica