While reading the Libellus – on the beginnings of the Order – during the past week my attention was drawn to Bl Jordan’s description of our holy Father, Dominic, as someone who “accepted the Lord’s commands so warmly” and whose “will welcomed the voice of his Lover with such loyalty and pleasure”, that he was able “ penetrate the mysteries of difficult theological questions with the humble understanding of his heart.”

“Dominic welcomed the voice of his Lover”

We live in a world where it is becoming increasingly more difficult to discern the voice of our Lover – the voice of the one who has brought us into existence and who loved us so much that He died for us on the Cross. In the 13th century, as in our own 21st century, there were many false prophets proclaiming a message contrary to the Christian viewpoint and many people were confused and led astray. However, Dominic was able to discern and welcome the voice of his Lover – first of all at Osma where was “adept at keeping God’s word – his memory being a kind of ‘barn’ for God while his external behaviour and actions broadcast publicly the treasure that lay hidden in his holy breast.” Later he would hear the voice of the Lover in very different circumstances – as he argued with the innkeeper in Languedoc and as he travelled the roads of Europe.

The readings for this 19th Sunday (Cycle A) provide us with other examples of people who listened and discerned the voice of the Lover calling them to do a seemingly impossible task. Elijah, while fleeing for his life encounters his Lover in the gentle breeze – this must have taken a great leap of faith for him when we remember that traditionally God manifested Himself in the fire and thunder and lightening on Sinai during the Exodus. Yet Elijah was able to break with the past and recognise God revealing Himself now in the gentle breeze.

In the Gospel Peter is asked to step out of the boat and walk on the stormy sea in response to Jesus’ invitation: “Come”. While Peter keeps his eyes fixed on Jesus he succeeds but once he focuses on the storm he begins to sink.

As we celebrate this feast of our holy father Dominic we pray that we too may welcome the voice of our Lover with the same loyalty and pleasure as he did and so be enabled to penetrate the great mystery of our faith with the humble understanding of our heart. In the midst of the storm may we always hear His voice saying “It is I! Do not be afraid! Come!” Like Mary may we treasure the Word in our heart and respond with our ‘yes’ – “let it be done unto me according to your Word”