The National Catholic Register has published a piece listing To Raise the Fallen as one of the top five inspiring books about “saints” this Christmas. Fr Doyle is with some superb company here, for the other 4 on the list are St Teresa of Calcutta, St John de Brebeuf, St Faustina and Dorothy Day. An august group indeed! This is important, as it shows that interest in Fr Doyle is growing and spreading.
Out of this list, I have the book about Dorothy Day but have not read it yet, but I have read the book about St John de Brebeuf, one of the North American Jesuit martyrs (both books are, coincidentally, also published by Ignatius Press). It’s worth noting for anyone who is squeamish about Fr Doyle’s life of hardship – he lived a life of relative ease compared to these Jesuit martyrs of North America: the hardships they voluntarily endured are almost unimaginable.
I want to be generous with God and to refuse Him nothing. I do not want to say, “I will go just so far and no farther.”
COMMENT: Today is the feast of St Maria Maravillas of Jesus, a Discalced Carmelite who died in 1974 and was canonised in 2003, making her canonisation one of the fastest in the Church. Despite this, she is unfortunately little known, and this is a great shame for she was a great saint and is a powerful intercessor.
St Maravillas was a latter-day Teresa of Avila, founding numerous Carmelite convents throughout Spain (and one in India) which adhere to strict enclosure and to the original rule of St Teresa. She was also sent to reform the famous convent of the Incarnation in Avila in the 1960’s, following in the footsteps of St Teresa herself who started her religious life in that convent and was herself sent there as a reformer in her later life. St Maravillas suffered much during the persecutions of the Church during the Spanish Civil War, coming close to death on some occasions. Let us not forget that there were over 7,000 Catholic martyrs from that persecution who were killed by the leftists and republicans (and sometimes tortured and raped, if they were nuns) for no other reason than the fact that they were Catholic.
The miracle accredited to her intercession as part of the canonisation process was quite extraordinary, and involved the immediate and complete recovery of an 18 month old boy who fell into a muddy pool and had stopped breathing. The account of this miracle is so extraordinary, I have included a full history of it here:St Maravillas miracle
St Maravillas, just like Fr Doyle and all of the saints, had great confidence and trust in God. One of the clear indicators of growth in holiness is a total abandonment to the will of God. Here are two quotes from St Maravillas that echo Fr Doyle’s quote for today.
Holiness is very simple: let yourself go confidently and lovingly into God’s arms, wanting and doing what you believe he wants.
Lord, when You want, how You want, what You want: this is the only thing that we want and desire.
Let us pray to St Maravillas and to Fr Doyle for an increase in our own trust in God.