- Tuesday, 15 November 2011 06:07
St Albert the Great reminds us that there is
friendship between science and faith and that through their vocation to the
study of nature, scientists can take an authentic and fascinating path of
His extraordinary openmindedness is also revealed in a cultural feat
which he carried out successfully, that is, the acceptance and appreciation of
Aristotle’s thought. In St Albert’s time, in fact, knowledge was spreading of
numerous works by this great Greek philosopher, who lived a quarter of a
century before Christ, especially in the sphere of ethics and metaphysics. They
showed the power of reason, explained lucidly and clearly the meaning and
structure of reality, its intelligibility and the value and purpose of human
actions. St Albert the Great opened the door to the complete acceptance in
medieval philosophy and theology of Aristotle’s philosophy, which was
subsequently given a definitive form by St Thomas. This reception of a pagan
pre-Christian philosophy, let us say, was an authentic cultural revolution in
that epoch. Yet many Christian thinkers feared Aristotle’s philosophy, a
non-Christian philosophy, especially because, presented by his Arab
commentators, it had been interpreted in such a way, at least in certain
points, as to appear completely irreconcilable with the Christian faith. Hence
a dilemma arose: are faith and reason in conflict with each other or not?
is one of the great merits of St Albert: with scientific rigour he studied
Aristotle’s works, convinced that all that is truly rational is compatible with
the faith revealed in the Sacred Scriptures. In other words, St Albert the
Great thus contributed to the formation of an autonomous philosophy, distinct
from theology and united with it only by the unity of the truth. So it was that
in the 13th century a clear distinction came into being between these two
branches of knowledge, philosophy and theology, which, in conversing with each
other, cooperate harmoniously in the discovery of the authentic vocation of
man, thirsting for truth and happiness: and it is above all theology, that St
Albert defined as “emotional knowledge”, which points out to human
beings their vocation to eternal joy, a joy that flows from full adherence to
Pope Benedict XVI
- Thursday, 03 November 2011 05:42
Today’s the feast of the great Dominican saint, Martin de Porres (1579-1639). A native of Peru, he was the son of a slave mother and a Spanish father (who weren’t married).
Martin’s holiness and charitable work is beyond compare. For a man of no education he had the reputation for wisdom that people of civil and ecclesial government along with the common person sought his counsel. One Dominican Friar told me that he and Saint Rose of Lima are two of the most popular saints from the Order of Preachers surpassing Aquinas and others. He was what we call today, “a man of the people.” Martin was the first black person to be given the habit of the Order of Friars Preachers taking vows in 1603. Blessed John XXIII canonized Martin in 1962 who called him, “Martin of charity.”
Each day I pass Saint Martin’s altar sometimes aware of De Porres’ supreme affection for Jesus and intense love for his brother and sister; other days, not so aware. But aware or not, my love for Saint Martin has only grown in recent times because I recognize in him an authentic and recognizable model of Christian charity and the desire to seek the Face of God in prayer.
Do you desire to be Christ, to follow Christ more closely? Walk on the path that Saint Martin shows….
Saint Martin de Porres, pray for us!
- Sunday, 09 October 2011 08:40
O God, through mortification of the body and preaching of the faith, you raised the blessed Louis, your confessor, to the glory of the saints; grant that what we profess by faith we may ever fulfill by works of piety.
The preaching one hears from a member of the Order of Preachers ought to lead each person to a deeper relationship with God. Saint Louis Bertrand said, “If because of your preaching men lay aside enmities, forgive injuries, avoid occasions of sin and scandals, and reform their conduct, you may say that the seed has fallen on good ground. But to God alone give all the glory and acknowledge yourselves ever unprofitable servants.”
~Saint Louis Bertrand to the young Dominican students
Let us pray through Saint Louis Bertrand’s intercession for the Church in the Americas and the Islands.
- Monday, 08 August 2011 07:41
Speaking always with you or about you, O God, beginning all his actions in contemplation, he advanced in wisdom. He brought many to Christ by his life and teaching, he devoted himself without reserve to the building up the Church, the body of Christ.
(Preface for the Mass of Saint Dominic)
Saint Dominic, model of the New Evangelization, pray for us!
- Thursday, 24 February 2011 05:19
God of justice and truth, you made Blessed Constantius renowned for his unceasing prayer and his zeal for peace.
By the help of his prayers may we walk in the path of justice
and reach everlasting peace and glory.
Here the liturgical memorial of a Dominican friar, priest and prior, Constantius (Bernocchi) of Fabriano (1410-1481), is observed. He was a 15th century Italian Dominican whose reputation, even as a child, led sinners to reconciliation with Christ and the Church. His spiritual fathers included Blesseds John Dominici, Laurence of Ripafratta and Florence’s Saint Antoninus. Constantius was a man of many austerities, prayer and service to the least. Constantius’ work as the elected head of several priories was to restore the regular life of the Dominican friars. His first miracle was the cure of his sister but always a peacemaker.
Father Constantius was beatified in 1811 by Pope Pius VII.