Reflections (Dominican)

Go to content

Novena to St Dominic - Day 5

I think that all of us privileged to belong to St. Dominic’s family have a great love for the hymn that concludes our Liturgy at nightfall – “The O Lumen”- after joyfully praising our father Dominic as LIGHT of the Church and Doctor of TRUTH, we move on to highlight him as ROSE OF PATIENCE.

There are so many facets associated with this vibrant virtue of patience –but we may ask why “Rose of patience” – what is the connection?

Novena to St Dominic - Day 4

In recent weeks I have been asking myself what does it mean when we say “I give my life to the Lord”? Yes I’m sure that we all want to give Him our ALL – after all this was the guiding light which led us to the monastery. But how do I give my ALL? If I focus my attention on my giving I can become very discouraged and perhaps there is a danger that I can become oblivious to what the Lord wants to give me? Ultimately the Lord is seeking our hearts to possess them in such a way that He can pray his prayer and radiate His love in and through us. Once He has our hearts we can trust Him to do that rest

Novena to St Dominic - Day 3

As we continue our short reflections on St Dominic in our Novena, I would like to say a word on St Dominic and Prayer. The following lines from the psalms are significant:
"I have called to you Lord: hasten to help me! Hear my voice when I cry to you;
Lord let my prayer rise before you like incense,
The raising of my hands like an evening oblation." (Ps 14:1-2)
This sums up for me so well St Dominic's prayer.

Novena to St Dominic - Day 2

As we continue our Novena to St Dominic, I would like to share an extract from the book "15 Days with St Dominic" by Alain Quilici O.P.

It was from the gospel that Saint Dominic drew the ardor for his preaching. He had received it from his predecessors, tranmitted it to his brothers and sisters, and practiced it through lectio divina. The tireless preacher of the gospel was also a fervent reader of the gospels. For there was but one Word of God. That same one that must be proclaimed from the roof-tops must also be sung in choir, read and meditated in prayer, contemplated in preaching, and shared in fraternal life.

Novena to St Dominic - Day 1

Here we are again, at the beginning of another novena to St Dominic, in anticipation of his feast, with whom we have, so to speak, ‘thrown in our lot.’

What have we done and what does it all mean?
What can we ask of St Dominic, as we daily take up the task of fidelity, of perseverance and of trust in the love and mercy of God?
... This Order of Preachers could be very much likened to a potter’s house, in which we present ourselves to the LORD, under the protection and through the unfailing, ceaseless intercession of St Dominic.

Novena to St Catherine - Day 7

A short reflection in honour of St. Catherine.

We confess in the apostle’s creed, that we believe in the communion of the saints. I always was fascinated, encouraged and gladdened by this truth. Sometimes we imagine the saints to be somewhere far, far away but they encompass/surround us (Heb 12:1).

A couple of days before Sr. Dominic died, she told me that she would never ever forget us and our families when she sees God face to face.

Novena to St Catherine - Day 5

For many eras, the Church has been truly blessed with saintly and most dedicated Popes – each with his own personality and God given spiritual gifts.

Each responding to his high calling from God with an immense generosity and spirit of sacrifice in an increasingly changing world. Pope Francis no less than his predecessors has faced immense difficulties in our own historical situation both in the Church and in the world just as St. Catherine did in her time.

Novena to St Catherine - Day 3

Although Catherine lived over six hundred years ago, her times were not unlike our own. She lived during a tumultuous period in the Church’s history, when the Black Death decimated Europe. The feudal system was in ruins. Nation states were emerging, with tensions between England and France, Genoa and Venice. The Pope was residing in Avignon and the calibre of members of Religious Communities and that of the diocesan clergy left a lot to be desired.

Novena to St Catherine - Day 2


With the world as it is these days, and knowing that St Catherine – having lived through a devastating plague – should be a good saint to turn to in a time of distress, I looked about in her ‘Dialogue’ to see what wisdom I might find. And the following – on Divine Providence – seemed to be an answer, so to speak: hopefully offering words of encouragement and of hope.

Novena to St Catherine - Day 1

I want to quote a prayer of St Catherine, published in a helpful little book “From Holy Communion to the Blessed Trinity” by M.V. Bernadot O.P.

First a petition in St Catherine’s own words:

“O Eternal Trinity, our supreme love and true light enlighten me.”

O Eternal Trinity, All Powerful God, we are dead trees, whilst You are the Tree of life.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord: “Consecrate them in the Truth” – a Reflection on our Vocation

Consecrate them in the truth

Your word is truth.

Throughout the centuries the Holy Spirit has raised up many different forms of consecrated life – which can be compared to a plant, with many branches, which sinks its roots into the Gospel and brings forth abundant fruit in every season of the Church’s life. (cf VC 5).

When reflecting on our vocation as Dominican nuns and how we try to live the motto of our Order: TRUTH, I began to understand our consecration as being set apart for Truth.

Novena to St Dominic – Day 8

I would like to reflect a little on St Dominic’s single-mindedness in his pursuit of holiness and his mission of preaching.

As a young man Dominic studied the liberal arts at a thriving arts faculty in Palencia – no doubt, a brilliant future awaited him! However, Bl Jordan tells us, very graphically, that after a short while, Dominic “fled to the study of theology as if afraid to waste his limited time on less fruitful study.” We might ask ourselves if he had struggled with himself to give up the study of arts?

Novena to St. Dominic – Day 7

We continue our Novena in honour of St Dominic

Every saint resembles Christ in some way. This was particularly clear with Dominic who followed Jesus in everything – in his prayer, works and miracles.

Like his Master, Dominic used to spend the nights in prayer to God; he would fall asleep with his head on the altar step when he was too exhausted to continue. St Dominic spent his life preaching the Gospel and being constantly concerned for the salvation of the human race.

Novena to St Dominic – Day 6

As we continue our Novena to St Dominic, I would like to reflect on St. Dominic’s compassion for others. On his Feast Day, this Thursday, we will sing the Antiphon:

“Dominic had compassion on his neighbours and ardently desired their salvation.”

Dominic’s compassion was not passive, not accepting and encouraging the other in whatever it is they want to do, which seems to be the modern understanding of compassion. His compassion required that he act for the good of the other, even, or perhaps especially, when that meant telling them they were doing wrong.

Novena to St Dominic – Day 5

O Wonderful Hope!

The lands of sunrise and sunset

You fill with your joy. (Ps64)

I hope you may hear sometimes how beautifully the birds are singing at early morning. Their singing does not create the dawn, but they are singing because the sun has risen.

At sunset when our world is wrapped in darkness, St Dominic’s daughters and sons are also singing: “O Spem miram” (O Wonderful Hope).

What they do hope for?

We sing because CHRIST IS RISEN!

Like Mary Magdalena we hope to meet our Risen Lord face to face, and ‘to know the power of his resurrection’.

Novena to St Dominic – Day 3

St Dominic and the Imperative of Joy

A Benedictine nun wrote:

“I continue to believe in the efficacy of the contemplative life
which acts as a lever to raise the human heart to
truth, goodness and beauty.”

From “The Joy of God: Collected Writings of Sr Mary David.” p.125

It seems odd in a reflection during our novena to St Dominic, to take inspiration from a ‘foreigner,’ so to speak. Nevertheless, she did seem to capture very well, in that short expression, something of the validity of contemplative life … if it needs validity: an answer to many who cannot comprehend such a vocation.

Novena to St Dominic – Day 1

Today we start our Novena to St. Dominic. As we know, St. Dominic always spoke either to God or about God. Since we are about to talk to God, I would like to let Meister Eckhart O.P. talk about God for me:

God is a light shining in itself in silent stillness. God is not in any place … God is not here, or there, not in time or place.

God is better than anything we can conceive: I say, God is somewhat, I know not what, verily I know not. He is all that is being rather than not being, existent more than non-existent; our highest aspirations are but groveling things falling hopelessly short of God. He transcends heart’s desire.

A Window into our Life: Do Dominican contemplative nuns have restless hearts?

After WMOF, it is good to come back to your own roots, to our ‘Grandfather’- St Augustine, as we Dominican brothers and sisters like to call him. St Dominic adopted from him not only the Rule, but also the RESTLESSNESS of the heart.

In ‘Confessions’ (1.1,1) he wrote:

You have made us for yourself,
and our heart is restless until it rests in You.

Restlessness is not bad thing, that’s what makes us searchers in life. Restlessness keeps us unsatisfied and yearning for more. That ‘more’ is GOD.

Novena to St Dominic – Day 9

On this last day of the Novena, the eve of St. Dominic’s Day, I would like to speak on the humility of St Dominic. I have always admired Dominic’s humility- probably because I am so much lacking in it myself!

“We are told that in his lifetime, Dominic had wished to be treated always as ‘one of the brethren’- as simply ‘Brother Dominic’ and his dying wish was that he should be buried under the feet of his brethren. It is quite in accordance with his own temperament that he should live on in the Church, not as a striking individual, but in the work of preaching the Gospel, for which he instituted his Order.
©2024 , Dominican Nuns Ireland. All rights reserved. (Created with Incomedia WebSite X5.)
Back to content