Today’s reflection is a quotation from the Dialogue of St Catherine of Siena, Chapter 158, where the Heavenly Father speaks to Catherine about Dominic and his Order of Preachers:

Look at the ship of your father Dominic, My beloved son.  He governed it with a perfect rule, asking his followers to be attentive only to My honour and the salvation of souls with the light of learning.  He wished to build his foundation on this light, while not for all that giving up true and voluntary poverty.  He had that as well, and as a sign that he had it and that its opposite displeased him, he left as a bequest to his sons his curse and mine if they should have or keep any property individually or collectively.  It was a token that he had chosen Queen Poverty as his bride.

But for his more proper object he took the light of learning in order to stamp out the errors that were rising up at that time.  He took up the task of the Word, my Only-begotten Son. Clearly he appeared as an apostle in the world, with such truth and light did he sow My Word, dispelling the darkness and giving light.  He was a light that I offered the world through Mary and sent into the mystic body of holy Church as an uprooter of heresies.  Why did I say ‘through Mary’?  Because Mary gave him the habit – a task My goodness entrusted to her.

Where would he have his children eat by the light of learning?  At the table of the Cross. On that Cross is set the table of holy desire where one eats souls for love of Me.  He wanted his children to do nothing else but stand at this table by the light of learning to seek only the glory and praise of My Name and the salvation of souls.  And so that they might attend to nothing else, he relieved them of worry about temporal things and wanted them to be poor.  Was he lacking in faith or did he fear they would not be provided for?  Certainly not, for he was clothed in faith and trusted firmly in my Providence.

Dominic set his ship in order by rigging it with three strong ropes: obedience, continence and true poverty.  Enlightened by Me, the true Light, he was providing for those who were less perfect.  For, though all who observe the rule are perfect, still even in this way of life one is more perfect than another and both the perfect and the not-so-perfect fare well on this ship.  Dominic allied himself with My Truth by showing that he did not want the sinner to die but rather to be converted and live.  He made his ship very spacious, gladsome and fragrant, a most delightful garden.