(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love)
" "Our Lord is loved by so few, because few consider the pains He has suffered for us; but he that frequently considers them cannot live without loving Jesus." – Meditation on the Passion

Monday, August 8, 2016

St. Dominic Prayer For Us!

Today we Dominicans and the universal Church have the great privilege of celebrating the feast day and memorial of our Father, St. Dominic!  This day is especially sweet this year - the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Order of Preachers.

(Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, NYC)
God has used and continues to use the Order of Preachers to defend His Church and proclaim His Truth. Since their founding, Dominicans have worked untiringly to save souls. Every day, they strive to faithfully live their motto: "To Praise, To Bless, To Preach."

In my mind, nothing captures the charism of the Dominican Order and its founder better than this most succinct and penetrating quotation attributed to St. Albert the Great:

“The roving dogs are the Order of Preachers who do not wait at their homes for the poor but go out to them and lick the ulcers of their sins, having in their mouths the bark of preaching.”

If you want a brief glimpse into the life of St. Dominic and the various ways in which he prayed take a look here.  Want to look into The Dominican Soul?  Interested in learning more about Dominican Spirituality, than Father William A. Hinnebusch, O.P. would be a perfect guide. The Dominican Province of St. Joseph has a  phenomenal website well worth your time.
If you are looking for more detailed reading material, may I suggest the following books: Life of St. Dominic by Bede Jarrett, O.P., The Dominicans A Short History by William A. Hinnebusch, O.P., In theImage of Saint Dominic – Nine Portraits of Dominican Life by Guy Bedouelle, O.P., and Hounds of the Lord – Great DominicanSaints Every Catholic Should Know by Dr. Kevin Vost, Psy.D.

But before you go running to these links, let me share a personal reflection on my Lay Dominican vocation. Although I wrote this some sixteen years ago in a slightly different form, maybe God can use these paltry words to draw others to a life as a Lay Dominican. Check us out!

"As I reflect on my previous year, and my formation in the Dominican novitiate, I see the hand of God.  I was floundering spiritually, in need of direction and desirous of learning the Truth and the Church's teachings.  I realize now that I was not led to the Dominicans by accident (although I came reluctantly at a friend's suggestion). 

I learned that Dominic's initial  energies were directed toward fighting heresy.  Today, there is much confusion, ignorance and uncertainty in the Church.  The Dominicans are a potent and trusted source whose zeal for preaching and saving souls motivates all that they do.

I also discovered that the Dominicans had been involved in prisons and with prisoners (I had spent 18 years in prison ministry) and that they were in the process of rediscovering that apostolate.

I was very impressed when I understood that St. Dominic created an order of contemplative nuns, whose life of prayer would be the foundation of the Dominican order.  Without that prayerful base, St. Dominic knew neither he nor his new Order of itinerant preachers would be successful in their mission to evangelize and save souls.

I learned the importance of studying and sharing what I have learned with others.  Not an easy thing to do - but a necessary task if we are all to grow in our relationship with the Lord who created us and desires for us to spend eternity in His loving embrace.

I have a lot more to learn.  I cannot let my prayer and study become routine.  I must be faithful to my daily duties to God, family and neighbor.  I must have the courage to reflect on what God is teaching me and share that with those I love and those in need of knowing Him..

I know that faithfulness to my Dominican vocation will bring me closer to God, embolden me to live my life entirely for Him, to be Christ like to all, to save my soul and to be used by God to help save other souls.

I desire these things not for my own benefit, but for the glory of God.

St. Dominic prayed: "Lord, what will become of sinners?"  I, a sinner, should also pray: " Lord, what will become of this sinner?"

Lord, may I persevere in this difficult journey toward sanctification.  Through Your grace may I become more charitable, more merciful, more prayerful, more concerned for others, more studious and hungry for learning, more joyful - in short, more like you.

Lord please show me where I have failed to consistently and faithfully live out my Dominican vocation. Thank you for always encouraging me to start anew.

I love you Lord!  May the way I live my life demonstrate that love clearly, continuously and unhesitatingly!!!  
Let us honor this great saint today by offering the following  prayer attributed to him:

“May God the Father who made us bless us.
May God the Son send his healing among us.
May God the Holy Spirit move within us and
give us eyes to see with, ears to hear with, and
hands that your work might be done. May we
walk and preach the word of God to all. May
the angel of peace watch over us and lead us
at last by God's grace to the Kingdom.”

St. Dominic pray for us!

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