- Friday, 29 April 2016 11:27
As the image shows, Saint Catherine of Siena cutting her hair and putting aside her beautiful clothing is interpreted as an act of modesty, chastity and a gesture of asceticism. Thus, she turns her eyes toward the Lord her Divine Spouse and away from man (the world).
Saint Catherine’s new and divine generativity is the result of her intense relationship with the Lord. More than her “speaking truth to power” which many today recognize in her, the key to knowing Saint Catherine and her place in the spiritual life is her ability to remain singular in her attraction to the things of God and his transformative Love. Concretely, this love centered on the Eucharist. As Pope Benedict XVI said,
Like the Sienese Saint, every believer feels the need to be conformed with the sentiments of the heart of Christ to love God and his neighbour as Christ himself loves. And we can all let our hearts be transformed and learn to love like Christ in a familiarity with him that is nourished by prayer, by meditation on the Word of God and by the sacraments, above all by receiving Holy Communion frequently and with devotion. Catherine also belongs to the throng of Saints devoted to the Eucharist with which I concluded my Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis (cf. n. 94). Dear brothers and sisters, the Eucharist is an extraordinary gift of love that God continually renews to nourish our journey of faith, to strengthen our hope and to inflame our charity, to make us more and more like him.
How much more ought we to follow this most beloved saint today: she indeed speaks to the heart of the matter. If you are serious, look at Catherine!
- Thursday, 18 February 2016 15:04
Brother Angelico was reported to say: “He who does Christ’s work must stay with Christ always.” This motto earned him the epithet “Blessed Angelico,” because of the perfect integrity of his life and the almost divine beauty of the images he painted, to a superlative extent those of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Quoted of Saint John Paul II, who beatified Fra Angelico on October 3, 1982, and then in 1984 declared him patron of Catholic artists.
Blessed Angelico (his name in religion was Fra Giovanni) joined the Dominicans in Fiesole, Italy in 1407. He was taught to illuminate missals and manuscripts, and immediately exhibited an awesome talent as an inspired artist. Today his works can be seen in the Italian cities Cortona, Fiesole, Florence, and in the Vatican.
- Thursday, 28 January 2016 08:35
The Church in the Ordinary Form gives us for today the feast of the great Dominican saint and theologian Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church. He stands head and shoulders over all of our thinkers.
Saint Thomas’ great love passed down to us is the Holy Eucharist. Aquinas wrote many Eucharistic hymns especially for the Feast of Corpus Christi, whose observance had been urged by the Premonstratensian canoness Saint Juliana of Liege.
In this image by Peter Paul Rubens, the ‘Defenders of the Eucharist’ we have Saint Thomas with Saints Augustine and Norbert.
- Saturday, 08 August 2015 08:06
The 8th day of August finds us honoring the person of Saint Dominic de Guzman, the Spanish founder of the Order of Preachers of the 13th century. We are at 800 years since the founding of the Order. One of the most intriguing stories of Dominic is his commitment to teaching the truth to a man in need of knowing the Truth. The Church rejoices in this great son whose only desire was to sharing the fruits of his contemplation.
Here in Connecticut there are several Dominican locations: Saint Mary’s Priory & Church (New Haven), Our Lady of Grace Monastery (N. Guilford), the Sisters of Peace (New Haven), Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima (Hartford) and the Vietnamese Dominican Sisters (Hartford). AND the Fraternity of Saint Dominic (the Laity)! May Dominic lead all to Christ.
Benedict XVI tells us:
St Dominic reminds us that prayer, personal contact with God is at the root of the witness to faith which every Christian must bear at home, at work, in social commitments and even in moments of relaxation; only this real relationship with God gives us the strength to live through every event with intensity, especially the moments of greatest anguish. This Saint also reminds us of the importance of physical positions in our prayer. Kneeling, standing before the Lord, fixing our gaze on the Crucifix, silent recollection — these are not of secondary importance but help us to put our whole selves inwardly in touch with God. I would like to recall once again the need, for our spiritual life, to find time everyday for quiet prayer; we must make this time for ourselves, especially during the holidays, to have a little time to talk with God. It will also be a way to help those who are close to us enter into the radiant light of God’s presence which brings the peace and love we all need.
- Saturday, 08 August 2015 07:24
In case you are wondering, this is “St. Dominic and the Devil” (c. 1630) by Pietro della Vecchia, from the collection at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In relates one of my favorite stories of St. Dominic (not least because it involves a monkey!): “The story of the Devil’s appearance to St. Dominic in the form of a monkey derives from a medieval legend, according to which the saint seized his tormentor and forced him to hold a lighted candle while he studied. St. Dominic released him only after the candle burned down and singed his fingers.” (http://www.imamuseum.org/…/st-dominic-and-devil-pietro…)