“For everything there is a season,

and a time for every matter under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; …

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; …

A time to mourn, and a time to dance; …

A time to love, and a time to hate …”  (Ecclesiastes, cf 3:1-9)

 

There is never, however, a time to despair,

and no matter how challenging or God-less the time in which we find ourselves seems to be,

we are called at all times to be creatures of hope.

St Dominic’s time was not more desperate than ours, yet more than anything it could be said of him that he was a man of hope because of his amazing confidence in God and of his reverence for the length to which Christ went, in order to save us.

The paradox of the Cross:

A place of failure and of triumph;

A place of horror and also of indescribable love.

Pope St John Paul II frequently spoke and wrote of JESUS as the answer to all the questions man seeks an answer to, in order the better to know and understand himself and how to be human.

We could say that the shape of all the answers we seek, is the shape of the Cross.  … … … Difficult to gaze upon, and difficult to understand, and extremely difficult to reconcile with love – especially with divine love.  It is, nevertheless, the shape of all the answers we seek, and St Dominic knew and understood this so well, from the many hours he spent contemplating it. For the Cross is, among other things, also the shape of wisdom, which, when we put it on, becomes the shape of the freedom which is so essential to enabling us to be truly human.

To know that we are children of God is wisdom.  To have the courage to live according to this knowledge is holiness and a grace that we have only to ask for, to receive it.

St Dominic embraced this truth all his life and lived it in union with the Lord whom he served so devotedly in his preaching and in his unceasing prayer.

The book of Ecclesiasticus encourages us with the following ‘thought’:

“… wisdom is like her name, and is not manifest to many.

… Put your feet into her fetters, and your neck into her collar.

Put your shoulder under her and carry her, and do not fret under her bonds.

Come to her with all your soul, and keep her ways with all your might.

Search out and seek, and she will become known to you; and when you get hold of her, do

not let her go.

For at last, you will find the rest she gives, and she will be changes into joy for you.

Then her fetters will become for you a strong protection, and her collar a glorious robe.

Her yoke is a golden ornament, and he bonds are a cord of blue.

You will wear her like a glorious robe, and put her on like a crown of gladness”

Cf Sir 6:22-31 (RSVCE).

This is the Cross Dominic wore: a Cross of wisdom and of truth; of triumph and of glory; a Cross of Divine power and love: the Cross of Christ.