Thoughts for the feast of St John from Fr Willie Doyle


Try to get down low and follow out what He Himself taught: “Unless you become as little children.” This will make you more confiding, more trustful and more naturally loving, which sometimes we are not, our love for Him being much too formal and prim.

COMMENT: Today is the feast of St John the Apostle, often referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. There was a particular closeness between Jesus and St John; John alone amongst the male followers of Jesus remained steadfast even up to the crucifixion, and it was to St John that Jesus entrusted Mary.

In the lives of both Fr Doyle and St John we see two men who were not afraid to love Jesus with a deep personal love. It is this personal love that counteracts the stereotype of Christianity being a mere system of rules and morality. The feast of the “disciple whom Jesus loved” is a good day to remember the primacy of the love of Christ in our spiritual lives. We shall conclude with some notes from Fr Doyle’s diary which clearly show his abiding and deeply personal love for the person of Jesus.

I once more had the opportunity for some quiet prayer before the life-size crucifix in the church which I love so much. I could not remain at His feet but climbed up until both arms were around His neck. The Figure seemed almost to live, and I think I loved Him then, for it was borne in upon me how abandoned and suffering and broken-hearted He was. 

One thought on “Thoughts for the feast of St John from Fr Willie Doyle

  1. As always, this is a beautiful and important reflection on the spirituality of Fr Willie. Christianity is not primarily about rules and dogmas, but about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. St. John of the Cross writes in his Spiritual Canticle that many call Jesus their “Beloved” but he isn’t really their Beloved because they heart and affections, their throughts, are not with with. Until they are more with him in thought and affection, they can truly call him their Beloved. We can substitue the word “Beloved” with friend. Is Jesus truly our friend? I I often ask myself this question. Fr Willie was truly a beloved friend of Jesus. It seems to me that his thoughts and desires were constantly on how to love Jesus, to please him, to show his love for him in a deep personal way through his daily actions. Fr. Willie is like a “atraight arrow” into the Heart of Jesus.

Leave a Reply