One of the mottos of the Dominican Order is “Truth.” St Dominic founded the Order to preach the truth about the goodness and beauty of God’s creation and Christ’s saving Incarnation in response to the heresy of his time, which taught that the created physical world was evil and that abortion, murder and suicide were therefore good acts.
Dominic’s knowledge of the truth flowed from his intense prayer and contemplation of the Scriptures: “If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples; you will come to know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn 8:31-32)
“In the opinion of the Brethren, it was by praying thus that the Saint attained that fullness of knowledge of the Holy Scripture, penetrated into the very marrow of the sacred words, acquired the holy daring of his ardent preaching, and lived in that intimate familiarity with the Holy Spirit from which he drew the knowledge of hidden things.”
Another important element was his love for those to whom he was preaching. Merely speaking, or hearing, the truth is not necessarily a converting or enlightening experience. But St Dominic was, as St Paul puts it, “speaking the truth in love” (Eph 4:15). As one of the witnesses at his Cause for Canonisation says, “He was loved by all because he loved all.” His preaching flowed from his love for others. In fact, it was his love for those who held false beliefs that compelled him to preach and attempt to convert them. True love doesn’t leave others in darkness or let them continue to go astray without attempting to bring them back to the truth.
May our holy Father Dominic intercede for us, that in our present times, when so many are being trapped by a false and despairing vision of the world and humanity, the Dominicans will be able to bring them the light and hope of the truth that is Christ.
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