Thoughts for April 15 from Fr Willie Doyle

What more insignificant than the ordinary daily duties of religious life! Each succeeding hour brings with it some allotted task, yet in the faithful performance of these trifling acts of our everyday life lies the secret of true sanctity. Too often the constant repetition of the same acts, though in themselves they be of the holiest nature, makes us go through them in a mechanical way We meditate, we assist at holy Mass, more from a sense of duty than from any affection to prayer. Our domestic duties, our hours of labour, of teaching, are faithfully discharged — but what motive has animated us in their performance? Have we not worked because we must, or unconsciously because the bell has rung, rather than from the motive of pleasing God and doing His will?

COMMENT: Fr Doyle wrote these words on this day in 1905. While he writes about religious life, the point he makes is equally applicable to all of us. We have duties to perform in both the temporal and spiritual realm. Faithful adherence to our duty is a road to, and a hallmark of, sanctity. But are we merely adhering to our duty out of a sense of duty or even because we have no choice, or are we joyfully performing our duty out of love for God and for His glory? It is certainly meritorious to doggedly stick to our duty out of a sense of fidelity to our duty, but joyfully embracing to for love of God is a more perfect act. 

Some people are called to do great things, but generally most of us are called to fidelity in small matters. What matters to God is not the magnitude to the task He gives us, but rather our faithfulness and love in performing it. The widow with her mite was more generous than those who donated far greater sums of money.

22.4.2010: Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna
Widow’s Mite, from Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, 6th Century

On a personal note I would be grateful if readers could offer a prayer for my late father John Kenny (died 2007) who was born 80 years ago today.

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