Last week the novices of the Order of Friars Preachers --the Dominicans of the Province of Saint Joseph-- heard the following talk by Dominican Father André-Joseph LaCasse. Father LaCasse is the pastor of the Church of Saint Gertrude, Cincinnati, OH. I am not a Dominican but I have great affection for the Dominican vocation and many friends are of that persuasion, however many readers of this blog are not Dominicans. So, I thought after reading LaCasse's talk there is something we can all be helped by what was said about the fraternal life the Dominican Order. In my estimation Father LaCasse's thoughts are applicable to all states of the Christian life: the single person, the married couple, the Capuchin, the secular priest, bishop, etc. In the School of Community (of CL) we've been working on Father Luigi Giussani's notion of charity and sacrifice and are about to start the section on virginity. And I ask myself: How is it that as a Christian I live in a state of perpetual discernment of faith, hope and charity through a life of sacrifice? In what concrete ways do I live honestly? Well, I'm off to confession to find that out. You?
You are privileged here because you live with friars who have lived this life for quite some time. In our community we have two jubiliarians, one who is close to being a jubiliarian, and the rest of us who have lived this life for over twenty years. Our lives as religious is a steady progress towards perfection, but a perfection that experiences many imperfections along the way. Our lives are not extraordinary. None of us has won prestige. None of us is in the limelight. We live ordinary lives of consecration, hoping that we can do our best to advance the cause of Jesus Christ and his Church.
The Dominican life is a life of prayer, study, and the apostolate. Most days are ordinary days where you are called to be simple servants of the Church. Do you desire to be a servant? Are you willing to die to your own desires in order to do the desire of God manifested through the will of our superiors? In a real sense you will not be able to answer this question until something is asked of you that takes real sacrifice and humility. But still the question needs to be asked now: Am I willing to die to myself and become a servant of the Church? The question needs to be answered now because from the very beginning of your discernment you must be brutally honest with yourself.