Novena to St Dominic – Day 3: Dominic a man of prayer

As we continue the novena to our Father St Dominic, I’d like to read an extract from the book “15 Days of Prayer with Saint Dominic” by Alain Quilici O.P.


All of those who knew Dominic, either from near or far, as close friends of just acquaintances, attested to the intensity of his prayers. Dominic prayed like he breathed. He was not one of those who had time to write books, not even books on prayer, he just prayed. He spent the majority of his time in prayer. He entered into a state of prayer as naturally and rapidly as others fell asleep. To spontaneously fall asleep is a childhood grace. Dominic was a child according to the gospel, a child who dove into prayer whenever he had a moment, most especially during the night. For him, the night was made for prayer.

Even when he was just a young religious, he already appeared to be a man specially gifted for prayer:

Night and day, like the olive tree that produces fruit or the cypress that reaches to the heavens, he used the floor of the church, devoting his time to contemplation, never appearing to leave the monastery. God had given him the special grace of prayer for sinners, the poor, the afflicted: he carried their maladies in the intimate sanctuary of his compassion; and the tears that came boiling from his eyes manifested the ardour of the feelings that burned within him. It was his habit to spend his nights in prayer. With the door closed, he prayed to his Father. During and at the end of his prayers, he uttered moans which came from his heart. He couldn’t hold back, and these cries, coming spontaneously, […]

Advent and Praying for Peace

As we sit here in this warm comfortable Chapel, feeling safe and secure as we pray, people elsewhere are dying, people are being persecuted, and people are being displaced. We could go on and on. Life is very different for so many. Acutely aware of the need for peace, Fr Bruno, the Master of our Order and the Commission for Justice and Peace have proposed that we make the season of Advent, as we await the coming of the Prince of Peace, a period of intense prayer for peace in our war torn world and of solidarity with our Dominican brothers and sisters involved in preaching in situations of injustice. This Advent our focus is on Columbia where there are Dominicans working to support the implementation of the Peace accord that was signed in 2016.We know that peace can come about, that agreements can work. We have seen it happen in Northern Ireland and in our lifetime we have seen the fall of the Iron Curtain. Persistent prayer works. The holy rosary is a mighty weapon against the forces of evil.But a hymn I learnt as a child in school echoes in my heart, challenging me. It goes ‘let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me’. We have to be instruments of the peace we want to see reigning in our world. In the light of this morning’s Gospel Chapter 11 of St. Luke’s gospel struck me with great force. Whatever house you enter first say peace be to this house. And if a person of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him, but if not, it shall return to you. Somehow we have to prove the earnestness […]

Novena to St Dominic – Day 7

St Dominic and PrayerAs we continue our Novena to St Dominic, I would like to reflect on St. Dominic’s  Prayer.So deeply was Dominic moved by the LOVE of Jesus Christ Crucified that he strove in all things to imitate Christ, passing the day in apostolic work and the night in prayer.Prayer was the breath of St Dominic’s Life and the light on his pilgrim path. He prayed always and He won more souls by his prayer than by preaching or miracles.Fervent and humble prayer was the sling and stone with which he overthrew the Goliath of Heresy.St Dominic’s methods of prayer known as “The Nine Ways of Prayer” were various. He made abundant use of gestures, genuflections, prostrations and other postures where his soul in prayer used the different parts (members) of his body to foster its own loving ascent to God.In his Seventh posture of prayer, St Dominic was often found standing erect stretching his whole body upwards with his hands joined and raised towards heaven, often he would open his hands as though in receipt of something from heaven.  And it is believed that at such times he received an increase of Grace, obtaining from God the gifts of the Holy Spirit for himself and his brethren.In all labours and disquiets, in hunger, thirst, fatigue, his heart turned always to God.The Friars would hear him praying aloud reciting Psalm 27: V1-2“HEAR O GOD, THE VOICE OF MY PLEADING AS I CALL FOR HELPAS I LEFT UP MY HANDS IN PRAYER TO YOUR HOLY PLACE”By word and example he taught the brethren always to pray like this, using verses from the psalms. (For example the PS 133 VERSE 1-2 ,the  PS 140 VERSE […]


On Saturday the 12th November we have a day of prayer and reflection for young single women with the possibility of a longer weekend from Friday afternoon until Sunday after lunch for those who would like to experience our monastic life.(Early booking advisable as places are limited)  Contact: Sr Breda OP – Email  or phone 041 -9838524 (Click here to download poster)

Reflections on St Dominic (7) – His concern for Others

Continuing our reflection on St. Dominic, I have been struck this year by his passionate concern for those who had gone, or were going, astray from God. He didn’t ignore them, or think ‘the little that I can do will make no difference’ but took action. He founded his Order for “preaching and the salvation of souls.”This message of the importance of persevering in doing what one can, and trusting in God for the rest, is particularly evident in his time in Languedoc, where, for years, he preached with little or no discernible results. Obviously, we nuns can’t go off on preaching  missions, but the message of perseverance applies just as much to the other manner in which Dominic expressed his concern and care for those going astray – his continuous prayer for them; something in which we are  called to imitate him.  May God awaken in our hearts the same passionate concern for others and a spirit of ceaseless prayer for them.

Reflections on St Dominic (3) – A Man in love with Truth

As we continue our novena to St Dominic, I have taken a few short snippets from a reflection by Fr Peter Lobo OP (India) on Dominican Spirituality. As we celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the founding of the Order we can all renew our devotion to and love for Dominc by reflecting on a few of his traits and gifts of grace. Dominican Spirituality spells out the Dominican Pathway to God, even though it is not carried forward in writings, but rather in on-going lived traditions that embody the vision, spirit, charism and life-project of St Dominic and the early brethren. It is a spirituality of peculiar wholeness and balance, of great depth and liberality, which can be lived out through a pluriformity of life-styles and is capable of being a valid spiritual path for many different kinds of people.    (i)            Dominic was a Restless Man: he never felt that he had done enough. He never fell into a rut and settled down. He always moved forward learning as he went along, critically examining and evaluating his world and its needs, on the one hand, and the apostolic services he offered it, on the other, … Dominic always wanted to be at the frontiers of the Church’s mission; he faced these frontier-situations with courage, confidence, creativity and compassion for people.  (ii)            Dominic was an Evangelical Man: he felt the inner call from Christ to leave everything for the sake of the Gospel and engage all his energies in preaching the Good News to the waiting multitude as the apostles and disciples did: in poverty and relying on God’s unfailing providence. … (iv)            Dominic was a Man Passionately in Love with Truth: he listened, discerned and accepted […]

Reflections on St Dominic – a man of prayer

We sing the following antiphon at Lauds on the feast of St Dominic: “Dominic prayed, prayed without ceasing, prayed both night and day.”  Dominic as we know is the founder of a preaching Order but the most striking characteristics, highlighted in the process of canonisation and in Blessed Jordan’s account of the beginnings of the Order, the Libellus, describe Dominic, first and foremost, as a man of prayer – prayer was the source from which his preaching flowed.  Dominic preached by his way of life long before he founded his Order and even while devoting himself to preaching the Gospel throughout Europe he continued his practice of unceasing prayer.  It comes as no great surprise then that ten years before he gathered together his friars preachers he had already gathered, in the monastery of Blessed Mary of Prouilhe, a group of women converts whom he associated with his ‘holy preaching’ by their prayer and penance.  Throughout the eight hundred years of the Order’s existence down to the present day Dominican contemplative nuns have been associated with the preaching of their brothers and sisters who ‘preach the name of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the world.’“Imitation of Blessed Dominic as he imitated Christ” is the ideal set before us Dominican Nuns in our Constitutions and we are urged to perpetuate his “fervour and spirit of prayer” by harmoniously ordering our whole life to preserving the continual remembrance  of God while striving to have the same mind as Christ Jesus.  Dominic’s unceasing prayer led him to have the same mind as Christ – fruit of the gift of the Holy Spirit – Blessed Jordan says that Master Dominic always communed with God and the angels even […]

Novena to St Dominic 2015 – Day 8

Since today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, it seems appropriate to focus in this reflection on the importance that the Word of God has in St Dominic’s life and preaching. It can be said that St Dominic truly lived and was granted the grace asked for in today’s opening prayer: “grant, we pray, to you servants, that, listening to the voice of your beloved Son, we may merit to become coheirs with Him.”  We know that he always carried with him on his journeys one of the Gospels and the letters of St Paul and it is said that he knew them by heart. The study of Scripture is, of course, an important part of the life of the Order so that the “seeds of the Word of God” may be given to others through preaching. But, of even more significance is the example Dominic left us of his use of Scripture in his prayer. In the little booklet “The Nine Ways of Prayer of St Dominic,” which dates from the 13th century, a number of those Ways of Prayer involve Scripture.  Most of the Ways of Prayer (e.g. the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Ways) included the frequent repetition of short phrases from Scripture (e.g. Lk 18:13 “God be merciful to me a sinner”, Mt 8:2, the Psalms etc).In the Fifth Way of Prayer “he held himself, standing with great respect and devotion, as if he were reading in the presence of God. Deep in prayer, he seemed to meditate on the words of God, and as it were to repeat them over and over to himself with delight.” A practice that he would also adopt […]

Praying for the Protection of Marriage

 Some of our readers might be interested in this link regarding information on the forthcoming referendum and also join in the special novena for the protection of the family in Ireland – it is suggested that those making the novena recite the following prayer Jesus, Mary and Joseph,Holy Family of Nazareth,we bless and venerate you. We commend to your care and protectionthe cause of marriage and family life.May the peace which reigned in your hometake possession of all hearts and abide in all families. Confirm all men and women in the truthso we may recognise what is good and rightand reject all that hinders lifeand the true flourishing of humanity. Guide the hearts of all citizensthat we may witness to the truthin forming the laws governing our society. Bless those who work for the protectionof marriage, family and life. O Jesus, Mary and Joseph,Holy Family of Nazareth,We entrust our hearts and our lives to you. Amen

6th. Sunday of Easter

A line from the Alleluia verse of last Sunday’s Mass held my attention all week. “LET ME LIVE IN YOU says the Lord” and then while still pondering on these words, to-day’s first Reading had an answering cry, stark and clear   “COULD ANYONE REFUSE”  Jesus the Divine Beggar pleading with you and with me -“let me live in you.”  Can we refuse Him?  In Mary we have a perfect example of one who when the Angel Gabriel came to her with a wondrous message from God, which at first greatly troubled her, asked: “How can this be done?” and on receiving an explanation simply said “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your Word.”   (Lk.1)   In the Old testament we hear  Abraham,  Moses  and the prophet Isaiah replying in similar fashion when God seems to be making impossible demands “here I am Lord  send me.”   Jesus  also, frequently  asked his followers in various ways “let me live in you.”  Remember his talk with the Samaritan woman  “give me a drink” (Jn.4.7) and later in the Apocalypse makes a similar request: “behold I stand at  the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens to me I will come to him and eat with him and he with me.”  And again in Mt11 Jesus pleads with us to shoulder his yoke and learn from him of the wonder and joy and peace of total surrender to his will for each of us.  There are many other moments when Jesus pleads with us, and never more eloquently than when he is hanging on the Cross arms outstretched, struggling to find a breath to whisper “I THIRST” […]