Thoughts for June 20 (Irish martyrs) from Fr Willie Doyle

A timely reminder from Fr. Willie Doyle, neither to “abuse God’s grace” so lavishly bestowed upon us, nor to forget those holy martyrs who gave their lives rather than renounce their Faith.

Remembering Fr Willie Doyle SJ

Blessed Margaret Ball, one of the Irish martyrs whose feast we remember today Blessed Margaret Ball, one of the Irish martyrs whose feast we remember today

Sunday and Monday last were days of wonderful grace for me, as if the Hunter of souls had run His quarry down and so surrounded it with the coils of His love that all escape was impossible. Alas! Does he not well know how that foolish hare will break loose and escape again so soon, spoiling all the plans of the patient Hunter. Still Jesus cannot pass close to the soul without leaving some lasting impression. I cannot but feel that the light he has given me must leave its mark behind, and that I cannot be quite the same again without an awful abuse of grace.

COMMENT: Fr Doyle wrote these words in his diary 103 years ago today, on June 20 1912. 

Fr Doyle often spoke about the notion of abusing God’s grace. It is…

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3 Responses to Thoughts for June 20 (Irish martyrs) from Fr Willie Doyle

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    The more I read about Fr Doyle, the more I wish to know about him, and therefore, is on my bookmarks bar. A paragon for priests. As for the Emerald Isle – well, God save it, which only He can. One of my favourite chapels (of the 70+ available) – although not my favourite favourite – at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC is this one dedicated to Mary Queen of Ireland:

    “The green marble walls that surround this oratory’s central figures of Madonna and Child are covered with mosaic images and carvings that reflect the Irish heritage and Catholic Faith…On the left wall is an alabaster window with the themes of Ireland’s devotion to Mary: her 1879 apparition at Knock, the Mass Rock, pilgrimages to Croagh Patrick, and the Legion of Mary, founded in 1922.”
    …and this is an Irish prayer (c. 9th Century) that appears on another wall:

    “Holy Mary, if thou wilt hear thy supplicant;
    I put myself under the shelter of thy shield.
    When falling in the slippery path,
    thou art my smooth supporting hand staff.
    There is no hound in fleetness or in chase,
    north wind or rapid river,
    as quick as the Mother of Christ to the bed of death,
    to those who are entitled to her kindly protection.”


  2. kathleen says:

    Absolutely beautiful JH! Thank you so much for this.

    And yes, like you, at that Father Doyle website you link to, with its daily “thoughts” from this holy Irish priest, I find wonderful inspiring ideas to meditate on, and that help me through the day. His “thoughts” are also insightfully expanded upon by Patrick Kenny, who runs the site.

  3. johnhenrycn says:

    As this post deals with devout and heroic Irish Catholics, it seems like a good spot to link this article about Fr Edward Flanagan, Servant of God, the founder of Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska.
    Sainthood Cause Moves Forward for Priest-Founder of Boys Town.

    I’m sure there are still great priests in Ireland doing wonderful things like Frs Doyle and Flanagan did in their day. I wonder, however, if any of them belong to the (Irish) Association of Catholic Priests?

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