One of the things that strikes me about Dominic is his openness to God’s will and his willingness to take the step he sees in faith without a clear vision of where it will finally lead. As Augusta Drane says in her account of his life:

“His call was not sudden, or miraculous, or even extraordinary; it was that which is the likeliest to come to people like ourselves; particular impressions of mind were given just at the time when circumstances combined together gradually to develop the way in which those impressions could be carried out. He was always being led forward, not knowing there whither he went. As sub-prior of Osma he probably saw nothing before him but the ordinary community life of the cathedral chapter. Then came the journey to Denmark, on a mission whose ostensible object was a failure, but whose real end in the design of God was accomplished when it brought him into the presence of the heresy which it was his destiny to destroy. Yet though we have reason to believe that from the time of his first collision with the Albigenses a very clear and distinct idea was formed in his mind of some future apostolate of preaching, it is evident that he had no equally clear and determinate view in what direction he was to work; … He was on the road back to his old home, preparing to take up again the old duties and the old life which had been interrupted by two years, rich with new thoughts and hopes now, it seemed, to be forever abandoned; and then when he had made what was probably a painful sacrifice of great desires, those mysterious orderings of Providence, which we call chance and coincidence, had prepared for him, under the walls of Montpellier, a combination of events which was to make all clear.” And mark the beginning of his preaching mission.

This, I think, is reflected in our Lord’s teaching “Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater; (Mt 25:21) As we proceed step by step doing (and seeking) God’s will, we are drawn more fully into His plan. While this is particularly important in discerning a Vocation it is necessary at all times and for everyone. In this dark time in Ireland we do well to remember that the first 10 years of Dominic’s preaching mission were marked by little or no progress or success. He committed himself to living what he recognised as God’s will and waited further guidance. It is that faithfulness to God’s will that counts and bears fruit in ways we might never even see: “one sows, another reaps” (Jn 4:37)