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Novena

Novena to St Dominic – Day 7

Guy Bedouelle o.p. provided me with a starting point for my reflection on St Dominic. In his book 鈥楾he grace of the Word鈥 he has this to say:When Dante called St Dominic 鈥渢he passionate lover of the Christian Faith鈥 he referred to the entire life of the Father of Preachers, to his unflagging eagerness to bear witness to this faith, to defend it and to transmit it. If St Dominic yearned to penetrate Catholic teaching through study, to be able to expound it in persuasive terms, if he aspired to affirm it in every way in order to 鈥渟trengthen his brethren鈥, it was because his own faith was flawless and intense.鈥滺e goes on to say thatChrist is the centre of faith and its source. It is through Him that we embrace all that the Church believes. The theology of St. Dominic, if we may speak of the theology of […]

Novena to St Dominic – Day 6

In reflecting on the life of St Dominic, in preparation for his Feast-day, I was struck once again by his passion for preaching, for the proclamation of the Gospel. For most of his adult life he longed to go and bring Christ to those pagans who had never heard the gospel. Although this was not possible, he founded his order in response to the Albigensian heresy, working tirelessly to proclaim the Truth, who is Christ, to those who had been deceived by falsehoods and half-truths. As Jordan of Saxony, Dominic鈥檚 successor, wrote, it was for 鈥渢hese innumerable souls who were deceived that they felt moved by deep compassion鈥. This is in marked contrast to an attitude sometimes encountered today: the idea that what matters is the sincerity of one鈥檚 beliefs not what is believed. At times this can go so far as thinking that people would be 鈥榖etter off鈥 […]

Novena to St Dominic – Day 5

A Reflection on St Dominic and Prayer, given by one of our sisters, for the fifth day of our Novena to St DominicTaken from the book, “St Dominic” by Alain Quilici, O.P.It is said that saints are most in tune with their sinfulness and the sinfulness of the world. They are, like Dominic, so close to the Lord that they feel his great pain at this sinful world, and are pained to the deepest parts of their being as well. Dominic suffered with the Lord because he united himself with the one who united God and mankind. Jesus Christ, in his passion, gave himself totally to the Father for love of us; Dominic follows this path, seeking the suffering of the passion as a path to deeper union to and an expression of love for Jesus Christ.Dominic contemplated the crucifix with an incomparable penetration 鈥 his prayer tends to be united […]

Novena to St Dominic -Day 4

As we draw nearer to the feast of St Dominic, I have been thinking again about how he is in a sense a 鈥榤ysterious鈥 and 鈥榦bscure鈥 kind of saint: so much has been written in an attempt to make him known, while he wrote so very little himself 鈥 his 鈥榳ords鈥 are the sisters and brothers he gathered together into the Order of Preachers; the souls he won for the Lord Who was his most intimate friend.I considered what a great legacy he left, in leaving so 鈥榣ittle,鈥 because he thus can be a saint everyone can truly know and have as a close friend; and when we see the diversity within the Order: how he founded an Order that has room for every one 鈥 we can be moved to a wonderful sense of gratitude to our eternal Father, for blessing St Dominic with that certainty and confidence […]

Novena to St Dominic – Day 3

Pondering on the various virtues attributed to St. Dominic in the Hymn 鈥極 Lumen鈥 sung each evening in his honour by all his children throughout the world, I was drawn to the title 鈥楻ose of Patience鈥, this is a virtue in which most of us need encouragement from time to time, if not all the time! There are so many facets associated with this vibrant virtue. Making the effort with God鈥檚 ever present help, to be patient in our daily dealings with one another and in the various situations that occur each day, is already an important beginning 鈥 but there is of course, a much deeper level to this beautiful virtue to which God calls us, of which St. Dominic gave such ample evidence in his own humble life. Witnesses at his canonisation mention repeatedly in one way or another 鈥 that he was a man of patience, of […]

Novena to St Dominic – Day 2

This reflection concerns prayer and spirituality in the lives of St. Dominic and the early Dominicans and I will quote some passages from the book 鈥 Early Dominicans鈥 (The classics of Western Spirituality) 鈥 from the Introduction by Fr. Simon Tugwell O.P.Fr. Simon says :鈥 that the early Dominicans were not particularly concerned either for themselves or for others with what has come to be called the 鈥渋nterior life鈥. Some of them, certainly, were great men of prayer, but their prayer was simple, devotional and largely petitionary. They retained the monastic practice of spending some time in private prayer after Compline and Matins, though this was not put into any constitutional text as an obligation. There is no hint at all of any methodical 鈥榤ental prayer鈥, such as we find in later centuries, nor is there any sign of any theory of mystical progress attached to their simple prayers.鈥 […]

Novena to St Dominic – Day 1

A Reflection on St Dominic and Prayer, given by one of our sisters, for first day of our Novena to St DominicTaken from The Life of St. Dominic (1170 鈥 1221) by Bede Jarrett O.P.For St. Dominic, Prayer was a simple converse of the soul with God; and converse is easier and fuller when it is between two friends. The more, then, the mind can realise friendship with God, which is the essence of religion, the more facile is the heart鈥檚 opening of itself, for the problem of prayer is always how to make God the friend not only accepted and believed in, but to form part of the familiar circumstance of life. Everything that could help to produce this truth vividly was made use of: vocal prayer, gestures, beads; and, since he found that a dialogue of speech and silence, a chorus of praise, could be more easily secured […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day Nine

We have come to the final reflection of our novena in preparation for the feast of St Catherine. By happy co-incidence today is also what has come to be known as Good Shepherd Sunday when we pray for the Church and in particular for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.The readings at Mass this morning reminded us of the immensity of God鈥檚 love for each of us鈥 St John in his first letter reminds us that we are the beloved children of God and in the Gospel Jesus tells us no less then five times that he freely lays down his life for us. In a letter to Daniella da Orvieta Catherine reminded her of the love in which we were created and the even greater love by which we were redeemed in the precious Blood of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Love of this immensity calls for our […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day 8

From 鈥楾he Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Saint Catherine of Siena鈥, taken from 鈥楺ue Dijo Dios al Volver鈥 of Dominican Nuns of Olmedo, Spain; transl by Dominican Nuns of Buffalo, New York.The fidelity of St. Catherine led her to the practice of the loftiest and most heroic virtues.    Nevertheless, we know that the virtues in a heroic degree cannot be practiced by the soul of itself. The action of the Holy Spirit is needed.    But God does not let Himself be out-done in generosity, and if the soul does what it can, God does all that He wishes and He perfects the soul, leading it to the heights.    The GIFTS — herein is the secret.    We cannot move them of ourselves; we know this.    This seven-fold instrument needs a most delicate touch, so to speak.    The Holy Spirit alone is their Artist.    But the Holy Spirit was not […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day 7

St Catherine’s prayer to the Father (From: The Dialogue of St Catherine of Siena, No. 134)You said, eternal Father, that because of your love for your creatures, and through the prayers and innocent suffering of your servants, you would be merciful to the world and reform holy Church, and thus give us refreshment. Do not wait any longer, then, to turn the eye of your mercy. Because it is your will to answer us before we call, answer now with the voice of your mercy.Open the door of your immeasurable charity, which you have given us in the door of the Word. Yes, I know that you open before we knock, because your servants knock and call out to you with the very love and affection you gave them, seeking honour and the salvation of souls. Give them the bread of life, the fruit of the blood of your […]