Published by Dominican Nuns Ireland in Reflections (Dominican) · 3 August 2020
Tags: St, Dominic, Virtue
Tags: St, Dominic, Virtue
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? Roses symbolise ‘love’. Love and patience are two words closely connected – St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians ‘love is patient’ - we cannot have true patience without love and we cannot have true love without patience. St. Dominic gave ample evidence of this vital virtue in his own life.
Witnesses at his canonisation mention repeatedly that he was a man of patience as well as of humility, compassion, encouragement, obedience and cheerfulness, to name but a few – all of which must be built on a firm foundation of patience.
Patience is also linked to obedience - ‘the sign that you have this virtue of obedience’ said the Eternal Father to St. Catherine ‘is patience’. So how do we learn to cultivate this most necessary virtue? It cannot be done by sheer will power alone – no, we must ask for it in humble prayer. How well St. Dominic knew this as he spent long hours by day and by night communing with God. Alongside with prayer, we need to turn for help and enlightenment to the holy Scriptures – St. Dominic himself would have been familiar with the text in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans – ‘everything written in the Scriptures is written that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give’ the letter goes on to say ‘God is the source of patience and encouragement’.
Blessed Jordan, St. Dominic’s successor, set himself the task of training the first nuns of the Order, in patience, which he rightly believed to be of utmost importance to the cloistered contemplative life, and he reminds us that the virtue of patience will be subject to vigorous attacks by the devil as the soul progresses.
The virtue of patience does not only concern patience with one another but we are called to be patient with God too! ‘Wait for the Lord, keep to his way’ the Psalmist tells us.
And of course the need of patience with ourselves cannot be over-estimated – it is a journey of a life time for most of us. Asking Jesus for help in humble prayer is the only way – ‘Learn of me....’ Jesus encourages us.
So each evening as we sing the ‘O Lumen hymn to St. Dominic and invoke his title ‘Rose of patience’ let us make it our plea with him to foster continually in his daughters and sons this pearl of great price.
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