Today is the 1st day of our novena to our Holy Father St Dominic and we know Dominic's answer to his brothers who were weeping and sad at his departing from them. he gave them the marvellous assurance that he would be more help to them from |Heaven than when here on earth. So during the next 9 days we can approach our Father Dominic with great confidence and trust that he will hear and answer our prayer.
Dominic's biographers tell us he imitated our Lord and our Lady in so many ways in his life, especially in his spirit of poverty. I will say a few words about that subject.
The love which our Blessed Father had for evangelical poverty appeared visibly in his own conduct, and in the desire he always had of seeing this virtue shine in his religious.
Let us consider how he himself practised it. He espoused it in infancy, and as a young student he despoiled himself not only of what was superfluous, but even of what was necessary, in order to succor the poor. He finally renounced his rich patrimony and lived like a true lover of poverty, of a suffering and despised poverty. He contented himself with a single tunic, wore the most treadbare cappa or cloak,, and his scapular was short. He never allowed anyone to carry his traveling bag, no matter how much one insisted. He begged from door to door and rejoiced at the contempt this humble practice drew down upon him.Like his Divine Master, he often had no place at night on which to rest his head, and the alms of bread were not always bestowed. When he found himself thus, homeless, without shelter or bread, his joy was extreme and he would bless God. ... If we wish to be recognised by our Blessed Father as his children, we must resolve to suffer privations without complaining.
Our Blessed Father did not choose holy poverty for himself alone, but has left it as a heritage for all his children. He desired to see it expressed in their food, clothing and Churches, but above all on their hearts.
Let us receive with joy the occasions which cause us to suffer something for holy poverty and let us wish to die like our Blessed Father, stripped of everything, having but the Lord for our share. Let us ask our Father Dominic for the true spirit of poverty, knowing he will not refuse us as it was so dear to his heart as is evident in his words:
"Behold my children the heritage I leave you
Have charity for one another
and make poverty your voluntary possession."
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