Today, the Feast of all the Saints of the Society, while praying in the Chapel at Donnybrook (Poor Clares), our Lord seemed to ask me these questions :—
(1) When are you going to do what I have so often urged you and begged from you — a life of absolute sacrifice ?
(2) You have promised Me to begin this life earnestly, — why not do so at once ?
(3) You have vowed to give Me any sacrifice I want. I ask this from you :
(a) the most absolute surrender of all gratification,
(b) to embrace every possible suffering,
(c) this, every day and always.’
My Jesus, I shrink from such a life, but will bravely begin this moment since You wish it.”
During all these long years Jesus has been standing bound at the pillar, while I have cruelly scourged Him by my ingratitude and neglect of my vocation. Each action carelessly done, the hours spent in sleep, each moment wasted, have been so many stripes on my Saviour’s bleeding body. He has been bearing all this to save me from His Father’s just anger. And all the while I have heard His gentle voice, “My child, will you not love Me? I want your heart. I want you to strive and become a saint, to be generous with Me and refuse Me nothing.” Can I now turn away again as before and refuse to listen?
With Jesus naked and shivering with bitter cold at the pillar, I will try joyfully to bear the effects of cold. With Jesus covered with wounds, I, too, will try to endure little sufferings without relief.
COMMENT: Fr Doyle continued his 1907 retreat with this reflection on the scourging at the pillar. His words are so direct that they do not need any further comment or elaboration.
Today is also the feast of all of the Jesuits saints. Not only do we celebrate All Saints day on November 1st, but throughout the month of November, each religious order, and indeed each country, celebrates its saints in a special way. Today it is the turn of the Jesuits. We thank God for the graces given to St Ignatius Loyola, and through him to the Jesuit order, and, ultimately, to the world. We also pray that more Jesuit saints will be formally recognised through canonisation, and that Fr Doyle, and his friend Blessed John Sullivan, will soon be counted in their number.