Thoughts for January 3 from Fr Willie Doyle

St Giuseppe Maria Tomasi

He seems to me to want a year of great devotedness, intense sympathy and passionate love…Even one year of such a life would help a little, would help much to heal the wounds so many and so deep in His tender Heart. We must love Him and make Him loved more and more. He seems chiefly to ask complete abandonment to His pleasure, not lifting a finger to hinder His holy Will, but letting Him do with us exactly as He pleases.

COMMENT: Our new year’s resolutions should ultimately orient us towards serving God and others with greater dedication. Of course, a resolution written in such a manner would achieve very little as it if far too vague and is not capable of being measured. Instead we should try to develop resolutions based on particular areas of life where we are weak, for example resolutions to be more patient or to avoid gossip or to be more cheerful or to get up (and go to bed!) on time each day.

Today is the feast of St Giuseppe Maria Tomasi, a great reforming saint who lived in Rome in the 17th Century. His example seems to be an appropriate one to try to emulate for the year ahead. He was born into wealth and power, and his father was Prince of Lampedusa. St Giuseppe gave up his life of wealth and privilege to become a priest. He was noted for his learning and his scholarship and was made a cardinal. However, having been placed once more in a position of power, he strove to live with humility and poverty, teaching children their catechism and remaining dedicated to his studies. He is particularly noted for his work in the reform of the liturgy, in particular by being faithful to the ancient traditions of the Church.

In the lives of both St Giuseppe Maria Tomasi and Fr Doyle, we see shining examples of apostolic zeal and dedication to the duties of life. May they both pray for us as we attempt to emulate their virtues in the year ahead.

More information on St Giuseppe Maria Tomasi can be found here.

 

 

Advertisements

Christmas Day 1890: Young Willie decides to become a Jesuit

I was alone in the drawing-room when Father came in and asked me if I had yet made up my mind as to my future career. I answered ‘Yes” – that I intended to become a Jesuit. I remember how I played my joy and happiness into the piano after thus giving myself openly to Jesus.

COMMENT: Fr Doyle wrote these words about Christmas Day 1890, on which he told his father that he would become a Jesuit. He was 17. This decision followed several months of discernment. He originally intended to become a diocesan priest and was rather scornful of the idea of entering a religious congregation. However, the influence of his brother, and a book on the religious life by St Alphonsus Liguori, were central to him changing his mind. 

Two things jump out here. Firstly that played his “joy and happiness into the piano” – how many of us have a similar joy about our Faith and about our own vocation, whatever it may be? If we lack this joy, how do we recover it? It’s also worth noting that Fr Doyle seems never to have lost this joy, even in tough times. 

Secondly is Fr Doyle’s love of music. He played the piano, and we also know that he played the organ in the church in Dalkey. He also directed the first musical in Clongowes Wood College for some considerable time, and it appears that he took on this task in the face of some scepticism.  Interestingly, we hear little of music in Fr Doyle’s later life as a priest, despite his obvious interest in it. Was it that he saw no particular need for it in the apostolic tasks assigned to him? If so, his abandonment of music was just one in a long list of sacrifices he made in the fuilfillment of the duties assigned to him.

Thoughts for Christmas Day from Fr Willie Doyle

 

What impressed me most in the meditation on the Nativity was the thought that Jesus could have been born in wealth and luxury, or at least with the ordinary comforts of life, but He chose all that was hard, unpleasant and uncomfortable.

This He did for me, to show me the life I must lead for Him. If I want to be with Christ, I must lead the life of Christ, and in that life there was little of what was pleasing to nature. I think I have been following Christ, yet how pleasant and comfortable my life has always been ever avoiding cold, hunger, hard work, disagreeable things, humiliations, etc. My Jesus, You are speaking to my heart now. I cannot mistake Your voice or hide from myself what You want from me and what my future life should be. Help me for I am weak and cowardly.

60% off ebook version of To Raise the Fallen until Friday November 30

Ignatius Press currently has a fantastic 60% off sale on their entire selection of ebooks. I myself have shifted more and more towards ebooks over the last year. I much prefer real, physical books. But I am running out of space to store books in my house, and ebooks are more economical and easier to travel with!

The ebook version of To Raise the Fallen is available until Friday 30th November for only $7.18. There are lots of other really great books available in this sale – check it out: https://www.ignatius.com/To-Raise-the-Fallen-P3056.aspx  

Give the gift of Fr Doyle this Christmas…

Christmas is only one month away. If you haven’t yet bought Christmas presents, why not consider giving someone a gift relating to Fr Doyle? Books (and even DVDs) are always great gifts, but even more so if the subject matter is inspiring and spiritually uplifting. 

There has been a big increase in the number of items relating to Fr Doyle in the last few years (a clear sign that something is “stirring” in terms of interest in Fr Doyle, and that devotion is growing). Any one of these would be a great gift to someone. Each has its own contribution to make.

Firstly, we’ll start with the DVD of the EWTN docudrama Bravery Under Fire. It is a detailed, 80 minute long exploration of Fr Doyle’s life, featuring detailed re-enactments of aspects of Fr Doyle’s life, as well as interviews about him. You can find the DVD in the EWTN religious catalogue here: https://www.ewtnreligiouscatalogue.com/Home+Page/MULTIMEDIA/EWTN+HOME+VIDEO/Docu-drama/BRAVERY+UNDER+FIRE.axd

If you are in Britain or Ireland, you can find the relevant version of the DVD here: http://www.ewtnireland.com/bravery-under-fire/ – Remember: DVD formats are different in different regions, so make sure you order the right one!

If, for some reason, somebody would like the DVD of my hour long interview with Fr Mitch Pacwa SJ on EWTN Live, you can find it at this link, searching for the relevant date (October 24 2018).

https://www.ewtnreligiouscatalogue.com/Home+Page/MULTIMEDIA/EWTN+LIVE+SHOWS/EWTN+Live/2018/

However it is worth noting that the full programme is on YouTube, though some people might prefer a DVD, especially if giving it as a gift to an older person who is not online, and who also has an interest in Fr Doyle.

 

In terms of books, there is my own modest contribution – To Raise the Fallen. This is 200 page book is a broad overview of Fr Doyle’s life – both military and spiritual – mostly in his own words, with some commentary from me. It would be a great gift for someone who knows a little about Fr Doyle and wants to know more, or even for anyone with a passing interest in history or World War 1. Fr Doyle’s letters are sure to grip people, and they might even gain from his fascinating spiritual notes. It is a useful tool of apostolate – it is a credible gift to give someone who is indifferent to – or alienated from – the Church. It also contains several prayers and meditations from Fr Doyle that have never been published before. For readers in the United States it is available here from Ignatius Presshttps://www.ignatius.com/To-Raise-the-Fallen-P3056.aspx

And for readers in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe it is available from Veritas here: https://www.veritasbooksonline.com/to-raise-the-fallen-9781847308078-18300/ It is also available in bookstores and via Amazon, Book Depository etc.

 

 

Worshipper and Worshipped has the distinction of being the largest (700+ pages) and most detailed book about Fr Doyle, and the first book published about him in approximately 75 years. It is the definitive account of Fr Doyle’s war service. It would be a great gift for any World War 1 buffs and for those who already know Fr Doyle but who want probably the most complete assessment of his war years possible. It is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Worshipper-Worshipped-Across-Chaplain-1915-1917/dp/1908336862  

 

Man of the People is the first children’s book about Fr Doyle that I am aware of. One of there greatest gifts we can give children is a love of books, and especially when they are inspiring and uplifting from a human and spiritual perspective. This 35 page book is available here: http://www.alanhannas.com/shopexd.asp?id=7115014

Fr Willie Doyle and World War 1, published by the Catholic Truth Society, is a wonderfully compact and well written booklet giving an essential overview of the life and spirit of Fr Doyle. CTS booklets are wonderful tools of apostolate – why not buy a bundle of them and distribute them liberally to others? It seems that this booklet is now already out of print, due to its popularity, and it is hoped that the Catholic Truth Society will do a reprint. In any event, it may be still found in some shops, or kindle formats are available here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Willie-Doyle-World-War-20-Jan-2014/dp/B012HTY4LC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1543181714&sr=8-3&keywords=willie+doyle+kv+turley

 

Also very recently, Os Justi Press has republished Fr Doyle’s booklet on Vocations. This booklet had a phenomenal impact when it first appeared. How many owed their vocations partly, or fully, to this booklet? Hundreds? Thousands? Probably the latter! I will write more about this booklet in the coming weeks. It is available herehttps://www.amazon.com/Vocations-Fr-William-Doyle-S-J/dp/1726083497/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543180606&sr=8-1&keywords=vocations+william+doyle

And let’s not forget the classics! The original book from the 1920’s that started it all, the biography by O’Rahilly is a spiritual masterpiece. It may not be as spiritually or theologically accessible to everyone 100 years later, but it remains the definitive overall biography of all of Fr Doyle’s life. The very detailed spiritual notes mean that it will be of most interest to those who appreciate Fr Doyle because of his spiritual brilliance, though the final two chapters about the war will be of interest to anyone of good will. The second edition is available as a reprint here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/professor-alfred-orahilly/father-william-doyle-sj/paperback/product-15463211.html It is also available in kindle versions.

 

Merry in God, published in 1939, is perhaps the most intimate book about Fr Doyle. That’s because it was written (anonymously) by his brother, Fr Charles Doyle SJ. Currently out of print, it was (largely) republished (with some minor editing) as a magazine called Trench Priest. The content is, of course brilliant, although the production values are not exceptional. The significant upside of this is that the book is tremendous value. Once again a brilliant present for those with an interest in Fr Doyle’s life as a whole. Available here: http://www.papastronsay.com/bookshop/product.php?ID=21

If you appreciate and admire Fr Doyle, do not keep him to yourself; spread devotion to him – get a book or a DVD as a gift for others this Christmas.

More international interest in Fr Doyle: Bravery Under Fire to be screened in Brussels

Next Wednesday, 14th November, at 7pm Bravery Under Fire will be screened in the Chapel for Europe in Brussels. Call in if you happen to be in Belgium! You can find the church here: https://chapelforeurope.eu/find-us/ 

It is exciting to see increasing international interest in Fr Doyle. This is precisely what is needed if his cause is to be opened at some point in the future. If you would like to host a screening of Bravery Under Fire, or organise a talk in your parish or town, please let us know!