- Tuesday, 28 January 2014 08:39
Today, the Dominican family rightly rejoices in their brother Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor. Thomas is one of Holy Church’s greatest theological minds. One can speak of all the things Aquinas has given us, and we can speak of the need to have Thomism as a way to begin to come to understand Divine Mystery; we’re not there yet. Aquinas would certainly agree: you can know it all but unless you live the Christian faith you really have nothing.
The opening prayer for Mass today speaks of Aquinas’ zeal for holiness as the first premise; understanding and imitating the accomplishments is secondary. The Prayer after Communion speaks of Christ the teacher, Christ the living bread, truth and the need to express all these things in works of charity.
Works of charity are an expression of the Good News given to us by the Lord.
The priest at Mass today reminded us of a fact that I tend to fall into errors that are all-too-common: on the one hand we can say, “I know it all” and on the other hand we can say, “I don’t know enough, I can never measure up.” One attitude is arrogant, keeping the faith as an idea, with very little attention to the heart. The other attitude is simplistic, silly and rooted in a false humility and laziness. Both are straw, grass clippings as Aquinas would state. What both have in common is a the theological virtue of charity. Charity connects us with the Divine Mystery.
Most certainly, Thomas would tell us to know the faith well, but allow the faith to be a point of encounter with the Lord in a contemporary way. No good Catholic would hold to knowing nothing of the content of Divine Revelation. Jesus, indeed, is contemporary with our daily existence.
What Thomas Aquinas has given us is a map by which we come to understand the Divine Mystery through charity. Charity is key to the Dominican charism for the Church and for our daily living of our Catholic faith. No charity, no real belief in Jesus Christ as Messiah. There is no via media here. The point: don’t confuse the map for the road on which to walk.
- Sunday, 29 September 2013 11:03
I sometimes think we lack good contemporary lay models of holiness among the saints and blesseds of our Church. Certainly, there are more contemporary saints taken from the priests and religious than among the laity. Pope John Paul II felt similarly and asked the Congregation for Saints (and local bishops) to find us more lay saints. They did in Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925). He’s known as “explosion of joy,” “a Man of the Beatitudes,” a natural man. The Church honors Frassati with a liturgical memorial on July 4.
Frassati’s Luciana said, “He represented the finest in Christian youth: pure, happy, enthusiastic about everything that is good and beautiful.” And that “He gave his whole self, both in prayer and in action, in service to Christ.” Frassati’s prayer life consisted but not limited to praying the morning offering, the daily rosary, Eucharistic adoration, lectio divina. His prayer life was made visible in his concern with the poorest people of Turin.
In his following Jesus Christ Blessed Pier Giorgio was a member of the lay Third Order Dominican.
Brandon Vogt’s interview with Seattle’s Archbishop Peter Sartain, “Pier Giorgio Frassati, Man of the Beatitudes: An Interview with Archbishop Peter Sartain” sheds some light on getting to know a blessed of the Church who’s gaining influence.
Pray for grace to adhere to Christ and to live in joy from Blessed Pier Giorgio. I am sure he’ll get the Lord to give you what you need.
- Saturday, 28 September 2013 12:04
Today is the feast of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint.
With the Church we pray,
Grant us, we pray, Lord God, the same perseverance shown by your Martyrs Saint Lawrence Ruiz and his companions in serving you and their neighbor, since those persecuted for the sake of righteousness are blessed in your Kingdom.
Lorenzo was a layman, a husband and a father; he was educated by the Dominican friars and a member of the Third Order. He was especially devoted, as you’d expect for someone connected to the Order of Preachers, to the rosary. Because he was unwilling to renounce his faith in Christ, he tortured and later suffered martyred with 14 others for the faith. Lorenzo Ruiz was canonized by John Paul in 1987.
- Thursday, 08 August 2013 06:51
In 2016, the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans, will observe 800 years of being an approved form of life in the Church. The Dominican family of nuns, friars, sisters, and laity –indeed, the whole Church, can be grateful to God for the genius of Saint Dominic. The image to the left expresses the Dominican charism as given by God through apostolic imitation of Saints Peter and Paul, and below, there is the narrative of the Order being under the mantle of Our Lady. Without these two bookends, the Order of Preachers is nothing. May we all follow this heavenly guidance.
Dominic was wrapt in spirit unto God. And he saw the Lord with the Blessed Virgin standing on His right hand… And looking about him he saw religious of every Order standing before God, but of his own he did not see one. Then he began to weep bitterly… but our Lady beckoned him with her hand to approach. Nevertheless he did not dare to come until our Lord also in His turn had made him a sign to do so. He came therefore and fell prostrate before them, weeping bitterly. And the Lord commanded him to rise and when he was risen, He said to him, “Why weepest thou thus bitterly?” And he answered, “I weep because I see here religious of all Orders except mine own.” And the Lord said to him, “Wouldst thou see thine own?” And he trembling replied, “Yes, Lord.” Then the Lord placed His hand on the shoulder of the Blessed Virgin and said to the blessed Dominic, “I have given thine Order to My Mother.” …Then the Blessed Virgin opened the mantle in which she seemed to be dressed, and extending it before the eyes of Dominic so that its immensity covered all the space of the heavenly country, he saw under its folds a vast multitude…
Augusta Theodosia Drane
The History of St. Dominic, Founder of the Friars Preachers
- Tuesday, 30 April 2013 08:12
Antonio Ghislieri (1504-72) was born near Alexandria, a town in Lombardy on the Adriatic. His vocation was with the Dominicans who educated him, had him ordained and missioned him to teach theology. He was elected bishop having served in several places where and he sought to reform the moral and theological, canonical and liturgical laxity of the clergy and laity alike; his concern was the coherence of the Catholic Faith. Sound familiar? Among his many responsibilities was taking up the work of Inquisitor in the Italian region. He was elected to the See of Rome in 1566. As Pope he strenuously promoted the Catholic Reformation outlined by the Council Fathers of Trent (doing of the same work as pope as he did as bishop), oversaw the excommunication of Queen Elizabeth I of England, encouraged missionary work and reformed the brieviary,the sacred Liturgy and the Catechism.
Some are criticizing Pope Francis for his desire for poverty but we ought to recall that Saint Pius V also sought to reduce the spending of the Papal Curia making it more akin to the lifestyle of the Dominicans of his time.
Saint Pius V, Pope, pray for us.