Through the window of our refectory I saw how our youngest Sister has planted a variety of flowers in the shape of 800, and it is exactly what we are as we celebrate our 800 Anniversary as Dominicans. Each Sister and Brother whom God has called to our family has shaped our Order day by day by their lives.

 

Dominic  placed so much trust and confidence in his companions. He was profoundly a man of God, convinced that the hand of God lay upon everything and everyone. His own vocation as a preacher he discovered from being attentive to the needs of others. He was so open to listen to God speaking to him through the lives of others.

 

Dominic knew that those who came to join him were called by the Lord and that the Lord was speaking to them. If others were called to join Dominic in his dream then some system had to be devised which respected both the freedom of God to speak as He wishes and the freedom of each to express their understanding of what God was saying to each personally.

 

Dominic’s vision, his inspiration is communicated to his brethren in such a way that it becomes the creation of all. He inspired others by sharing his vision and allowing it to take root and mature in them in such a manner that it seems to come as much from them as from him.

 

In his family everyone becomes a builder, everyone must share in the task of construction, and is encouraged to offer his/her own personal contribution.

 

Dominic never put himself in the centre, he emptied himself, and that emptiness   invites Christ to be a centre of his own life and the life of his community.

 

When Dominic had only sixteen brothers, he sent them to Paris, Spainand Rome. In human eyes it seemed that he was tearing down what he had laboriously built, destroying the Order he had just founded. But he had the supernatural prudence that comes from the Holy Spirit ‘Seed rots when it is hoarded, bears fruit when it is sown.’  Dominicans were for the Church. Our lives are shaped by the Church’s needs.

 

A following quotation from ’Becoming Human’ by Jean Vainer is relevant here: A place of mediation is that place where we are and can search for truth together, where we find healing for our hearts that are incapable of relating to others in a healthy way, where we can learn not to be locked up in our own needs and desires, but welcome others as they are, accept that they are important and have value. The place of mediation helps us to discover that we are part of something much bigger, that together we can do something beautiful.’

 

Our awareness that we are loved and accepted by our God, that truth is what allows us to be preachers of God’s Mercy and Compassion. And we first learn it in our communities and then share it with the whole world.

 
When fr.Bruno our Master last week was in Krakow on the WYD, he was asked the question: What do Dominicans have to preach today for the Youth? He answered that we first need to listen to them and after, to preach and to share with them our experience of life. To think together, how to build a better world today – not individual world but a world where we can BE together.  Church – He  said – is our common home