26 October 1916: Fr Doyle continues his battle against his dominant defect

I am slowly learning the lesson Jesus brought me out here to teach me. The first and greatest is that I must have no will of my own, only His, and this in all things. It is hard to let everyone walk on you, even your own servant; But Jesus asks this and I try to let him arrange all as He pleases. Result: yesterday I got no dinner, though I foresaw this would be the consequences of this planning.

COMMENT: One of Fr Doyle’s defects was his strong self-will. A strong will is, of course, a strength and a positive advantage. It is hard to achieve success in any endeavour, including in the spiritual life, without it. But like every strength there can be a negative side to the coin – those with a strong will can tend towards impatience with others. Fr Doyle fought this personal impatience throughout his life, and we see here one tactic that he used – he allowed himself to become a “slave” of his own servant (as a chaplain Fr Doyle had the rank of captain in the army, and as a result he had a servant, or orderly, to assist him with his material needs). Fr Doyle suffered much at the hands of this orderly, but he did so with calm and patience despite much provocation.

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