Cross

Novena to St Dominic – Day 2: The paradox of the Cross

“For everything there is a season,

and a time for every matter under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; …

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; …

A time to mourn, and a time to dance; …

A time to love, and a time to hate …”  (Ecclesiastes, cf 3:1-9)

 

There is never, however, a time to despair,

and no matter how challenging or God-less the time in which we find ourselves seems to be,

we are called at all times to be creatures of hope.

St Dominic’s time was not more desperate than ours, yet more than anything it could be said of him that he was a man of hope because of his amazing confidence in God and of his reverence for the length to which Christ went, in order to save us.

The paradox of the Cross:

A place of failure and of triumph;

A place of horror and also of indescribable love.

Pope St John Paul II frequently spoke and wrote of JESUS as the answer to all the questions man seeks an answer to, in order the better to know and understand himself and how to be human.

We could say that the shape of all the answers we seek, is the shape of the Cross.  … … … Difficult to gaze upon, and difficult to understand, and extremely difficult to reconcile with love – especially with divine love.  It is, nevertheless, the shape of all the answers we seek, and St Dominic knew and understood this so well, from the many hours he spent contemplating it. For the Cross is, among other things, also the shape of wisdom, which, when we put it on, becomes the shape of the freedom which is so […]

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    Reflections on St Dominic (8) – The Transfiguration and the Cross

Reflections on St Dominic (8) – The Transfiguration and the Cross

In the various Gospel accounts of the Transfiguration we read, ‘As he prayed the aspect of Jesus face changed’. Then again, ‘In their presence he was transfigured, his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as light’ and yet again ‘The desciples saw his glory’. The Magnificat magazine gives the following introduction to the mass for this Feast. It saysChrist’s tabor radiance is a kind of mirror in which we glimpse the glory that God wills to give his friends. The resplendence of the Transfiguration reveals the fullness of life destined to be ours. The transfiguration invites us to configuration. As we peer into the glory that pours from every pore of the transfigured Christ, we cast off everything unworthy of our personal relationship with the infinite, and we take on the luster of the Son of God. Jesus gazes back at us with a luminous look of love that makes us desire to live his transparent beauty- to be luminaries. Silently from Tabor’s splendor the savior begs “Become what you behold.”In Dominic we see someone who wholeheartedly responded to this invitation of Jesus. We read in the Libellis, “far more impressive and splendid than all Dominic’s miracles were the exceptional integrity of his character and the extraordinary energy of divine zeal which carried him along. These proved beyond doubt that he was a vessel of honour and grace. His face was always radiant with a cheerfulness which bore witness to the good conscience he bore within him. By his cheerfulness he easily won the love of everybody. Without difficulty he found his way into people’s hearts as soon as they saw him.’ One could easily imagine people in Dominic’s […]

Second Sunday of Lent – 2015

 All the runners at the stadium are trying to win, but only one of them gets the prize.  You must run in the same way, meaning to win.  All the fighters at the games go into strict training; they do this just to win a wreath that will wither away, but we do it for a wreath that will never wither.  (1 Cor.9:24-25).  Beginning with this passage from St. Paulwhere in effect he tells us that in the Christian contest we are all called to be winners not of an earthly but a heavenly wreath, I would like to reflect on the great hope for living our Christian life. which the mystery of the Transfiguration of our Lord, gives us.In his commentary on last Sunday’s gospel where Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, St. Augustine says “do you notice that Christ has been tempted and fail to notice that he overcame the temptation?  Recognise your own self tempted in him and conquering also in him”.  In today’s Gospel something similar is happening.  Notice where the Transfiguration is placed in all three synoptic Gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke.  It comes between the first and second prediction of the Passion and of Peter’s Profession of faith in Jesus as Messiah, and in Matthew, as Son of the living God.This is very significant.  It demonstrates that the Transfigured Christ, that is Jesus risen and glorified, is at the centre of the Cross i.e. of every form of suffering and of death itself; and secondly, that it is the crucified and risen Jesus that gives suffering and death its meaning as we sang at Lauds this morning – “Jesus Christ, our Lord, brought an end to […]