In the Fundamental Constitution of the Order we find the phase “following in the footsteps of the Saviour, speaking among themselves or their neighbours, either with God or about God.”  In the Process of Canonisation the Brethren indicated that this was wholly characteristic of Dominic their founder – frequently repeating that he “only spoke to God or about God.”

Yet this formula is not a creation of Dominic – he borrowed it from the founder of the Order of Grandmont, St Stephen of Thiers: The virtuous man should always speak of God or with God; for in his prayer he speaks with God and with his neighbour of God”

This sentence makes clear how the synthesis of the two aspects of Dominican life operate together, and transcend all dualism.  Our life will have all the more unity, when our activity is rooted and flows from our union with God.

St Dominic was a person who was undivided in himself, because he was open to all.  He was open to all because the one love that is the source of all – the form of all and the end of all – is one in him and in all.  He was capable of experiencing the truth that we are completely rooted and grounded in God’s love.

The following quotation from Love and Living by Thomas Merton is relevant here: “Christianity is a religion of the Word.  The Word is Love, but we sometimes forget that the Word emerges first of all from silence.  When there is no silence, then the one Word which God speaks, is not truly heard as Love. Then only ‘words’ are heard. ‘Words’ are not Love, for they are many and Love is One.  The one Word which God speaks is Himself.”

This silence of St Dominic which he proposes that we should imitate, is like that of the Virgin Mary: silence of the heart allows us to unceasingly hold in our minds and in our hearts the mystery of salvation.