Preaching

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’s successor, wrote, it was for “these innumerable souls who were deceived that they felt moved by deep compassion”. This is in marked contrast to an attitude sometimes encountered today: the idea that what matters is the sincerity of one’s beliefs not what is believed. At times this can go so far as thinking that people would be ‘better off’ not knowing, because once they are given the Gospel they will be obliged to ‘keep all the requirements’, and will fail and sin whereas at the moment they are not sinning because they don’t know. Thinking about this presented me with something of a jolt – to what extent are my own thoughts and actions influenced by this attitude? Do I see my faith as a collection of ‘requirements’, of “hard sayings” (Jn 6:60) and not what it truly is, what St Dominic lived and proclaimed: the Good News! The greatest news I could possibly bring to another person – our redemption; the invitation to share, even now, in the inner life of the Trinity; the chance to know Christ, to live in and with Him, most especially in that most intimate communion when we […]

Novena to St Dominic – Day 7

Dominic, Man of Prayer, and Man of the Gospel: Preacher of Grace and Truth. Blessed Raymond tells us in the Life of Catherine “St.Catherine saw the Co-Eternal Son proceeding from the mouth of The Eternal Father and while she was contemplating Him, she saw the Blessed Patriarch, St. Dominic come forth from the breast of the Father all resplendent with brightness. My Son by nature, who is the Eternal Word proceeding from my mouth, preached publicly to the world, whatever I charged him to say. My adopted son Dominic also preached to the world the truth of my Words”. He is still preaching in his successors today 800 years later. The radiance from Dominic’s demeanor and life wholly rooted in Christ captured those who met him, even the most bigoted of Albigensian heretics. His mission was to bring the light of God to the whole world by word and example. His first band of followers saw in Dominic a man specially chosen by God. Blessed Jordan of Saxony spoke of Dominic as a person of exceptional integrity of character, with extraordinary energy of divine zeal. Contemplative at heart, Dominic spoke of God or about God and told his companions to do the same in humility and poverty. He befriended so many along the high ways and bye ways, in the inns and taverns; he just overflowed with inspiring words of God or about God. Blessed Jordan spoke of Dominic’s great charity, mercy and compassion, for the poor, the lowly and marginalized. Everybody was enfolded in the wide embrace of charity. The Eternal Father revealed to Catherine of Siena “Your Father was a light that I gave to the world by means […]

Feast of St Dominic – 8th August

“Dominic prayed, prayed without ceasing, prayed by day and by night”This beautiful antiphon, which we sang at morning prayer on this joyful feast of our holy father and founder, gives us a beautiful portrait of Dominic. Before all else he was a man of the Gospel and a man of prayer.The following is a quotation taken from brievary for the Office of Readings for today’s feast.Everywhere, in word and in deed, Dominic showed himself to be a herald of the Gospel. By day no one was more affable, more friendly than he with his brothers and companions, no one more fervent than he in vigils and prayer at night. His conversation was always either with God or about God; rarely did he speak on other matters, and this practice he commended to his disciples.Dominic’s frequent and special prayer for himself was to beg from God true and efficacious charity for the salvation of all people, for he was convinced that just as our Saviour, the Lord Jesus, gave Himself totally for our salvation, only when he, Dominic, had devoted himself to the winning of souls would he be truly a member of ChristMay St Dominic intercede for all of us today and always.

Our Preaching Story – Nuns of the Order of Preachers

The following is a presentation by one of our sisters at a recent Dominican Family Day Our preaching story both differs from, and incorporates the preaching stories of the other branches of the Order. “As the friars, sisters and laity are called to preach the name of our Lord Jesus Christ throughout the world; the nuns are to seek, ponder and call upon Jesus in solitude so that the word – (the saving- word, the grace-filled word) proceeding from the mouth of God (and preached by you our brothers and sisters)may not return to him empty, but may accomplish those things for which it was sent.” (Is 55:10) Our Constitutions tell us that St. Dominic in founding the Nuns wanted us “to be free for God alone” and he associated us with his “holy preaching” specifically through our prayer and penance. They also tell us that we are ‘commissioned by God primarily for prayer’. The Constitutions of the Friars, LCO 142, states that “St. Dominic intended the nuns of the Order to dedicate themselves wholly, in the contemplative religious life, to that communion with God, which nourishes the apostolic life of the brothers and of the other branches of the Dominican Family, the nuns providing a witness of prayer, silence and penance.” Three weeks ago on the 31st May 2010, Sr. Niamh made solemn profession and I would like to quote a little part of this ceremony as it is very beautiful and emphasises our place in the preaching mission of the Order:By this solemn profession you have given yourself to God and to His will: God Himself, therefore, has consecrated you to Himself through the ministry of the Church, […]

Pope Benedict XVI on St Dominic

Pope Benedict XVI devoted last Wednesday’s audience to speaking about St Dominic – perhaps the text of this address may interest our readers. At the end he refers to monasteries of cloistered Dominican nuns and their place in the Order of Preachers:St. Dominic “He Always Spoke With God and About God”Last week I presented the luminous figure of Francis of Assisi; today I would like to speak to you of another saint who, in the same period, made an essential contribution to the renewal of the Church of his time. It is St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers, known also as the Dominican Friars. His successor in the leadership of the order, Blessed Jordan of Saxony, gives a complete portrait of St. Dominic in the text of a famous prayer: “Inflamed by zeal for God and supernatural ardour, by your limitless charity and the fervour of a vehement spirit, you consecrated yourself wholly with the vow of perpetual poverty to apostolic observance and to evangelical preaching.” It is in fact this essential feature of Dominic’s witness that is underlined: He always spoke with God and about God. In the life of saints, love of the Lord and of neighbour, the seeking of God’s glory and the salvation of souls always go together. Dominic was born in Spain, in Caleruega, around 1170. He belonged to a noble family of Old Castille and, supported by an uncle priest, he was educated in a famous school of Palencia. He was distinguished immediately for his interest in the study of sacred Scripture and for his love of the poor, to the point of selling books, which in his time constituted a good […]

4th Sunday Cycle C

Mass Readings:1st Reading: Jer 1:4-5, 17-192nd Reading: 1Cor 12:31-13:13Gospel: Luke 4:21-30The Gospel reading to-day is a continuation of last week’s Gospel Luke 4:14-21. Last week Luke told us that Jesus “with the power of the Spirit in Him returned to Galilee; and His reputation spread throughout the countryside – He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised Him.”While today we hear again that Jesus “won the approval of all and the people were astonished by the gracious words that came from His lips” this admiration soon turned sour! Today’s Gospel ends with the stunning words: “they took Him (Jesus) up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw Him down the cliff, but He slipped through the crowd and walked away”.How mysterious to relflect on the fact that the preaching of Jesus, the Son of God, who was filled with “the power of the Spirit”, was rejected by some. Must we, His disciples, be surprised if our preaching is not accepted by our contemporaries. But Jesus continued to proclaim the truth no matter what the cost and we know that this ultimately led to the Cross. His love for His Father and for us His brothers and sisters was so great that it was unthinkable for Him to give up. St Paul’s hymn on ‘love’ in the second reading could be paraphrased as follows:Jesus was always patient and kind; He was never jealous; He was never boastful or conceited; never rude or selfish; did not take offence, and was not resentful. Jesus took no pleasure in other people’s sins but delighted in the truth; He was always ready to excuse, to […]

By |January 31st, 2010|Liturgy|0 Comments