I feel drawn still more to the life of “interior union.” To acquire this I must practise the following:
1 . Constant and profound recollection.
2. To keep my thoughts always, if possible, centred on Jesus in my heart.
3. To avoid worry or anxiety about future things.
4. To avoid useless conversation.
5. Great guard over my eyes, not reading or looking at useless things.
COMMENT: Fr Doyle’s programme for acquiring interior union seems radically counter-cultural to us today. How few of us live with recollection, keeping Jesus always in our hearts. How few of us avoid unnecessary worries about the future – numerous counseling and pharmaceutical businesses have thrived by helping modern man to cope with his incessant stress. How often we engage in useless conversations, or look greedily at all the sights around us, absorbed with curiosity, or worse…
Yet, despite the fact that Fr Doyle’s resolutions might seem harsh to us at first glance, they are in reality a recipe for interior peace and freedom. This is the lesson of the saints, and as anyone who knows anything about the saints will confirm, there is no such thing as a sad saint. Counter-intuitively, by going against ourselves, we acquire an interior liberty of spirit that no amount of “things” or experiences can ever give us.