As we continue our novena to St Dominic, I have taken a few short snippets from a reflection by Fr Peter Lobo OP (India) on Dominican Spirituality. As we celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the founding of the Order we can all renew our devotion to and love for Dominc by reflecting on a few of his traits and gifts of grace.

 Dominican Spirituality spells out the Dominican Pathway to God, even though it is not carried forward in writings, but rather in on-going lived traditions that embody the vision, spirit, charism and life-project of St Dominic and the early brethren. It is a spirituality of peculiar wholeness and balance, of great depth and liberality, which can be lived out through a pluriformity of life-styles and is capable of being a valid spiritual path for many different kinds of people.

    (i)            Dominic was a Restless Man: he never felt that he had done enough. He never fell into a rut and settled down. He always moved forward learning as he went along, critically examining and evaluating his world and its needs, on the one hand, and the apostolic services he offered it, on the other, … Dominic always wanted to be at the frontiers of the Church’s mission; he faced these frontier-situations with courage, confidence, creativity and compassion for people.

  (ii)            Dominic was an Evangelical Man: he felt the inner call from Christ to leave everything for the sake of the Gospel and engage all his energies in preaching the Good News to the waiting multitude as the apostles and disciples did: in poverty and relying on God’s unfailing providence. …

 (iv)            Dominic was a Man Passionately in Love with Truth: he listened, discerned and accepted truth whether taught in the Gospels, Church teaching, the good practices of heretics and outer counter movements, and the situations he encountered, because truth is one and all partial truths that are discovered complement each other and come eventually from the author of all truth, Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Spirit of Truth, who leads us into all the truth, God who is truth itself. For Dominic, truth was a person, God himself and accepting the truth was committing oneself to God….
(Dominican Ashram Magazine, June 1995)

We all know the centrality of the Word of God (St Matthew’s Gospel and the Letters of St Paul) in Dominic’s life. Above all Dominic was a Man of Prayer. As we heard last night, “Dominic prayed, prayed without ceasing, both night and day;” and we are all familiar with his “Nine Ways of Prayer” – his entire mission and life’s work was founded on prayer.