Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our Dominican Friars share the fruits of their contemplation...

Fr. Eugene Sousa, O.P.
We're blessed to have Father Eugene Sousa, O.P. as our monastery chaplain, who nourishes our souls daily with the Bread of Life and the Word of God.  Father lives next door to us in a small Dominican community of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Fr. Nathan Castle, O.P.
Other members of the community are Father Nathan Castle, O.P., director and pastor of the Catholic Community at Stanford; Father George Matanic, O.P., director of the Vallombrosa Center which is right accross from our monastery; Father Isaiah Mary Molano, O.P. Associate Director, Parochial Vicar of the Catholic Community at Stanford.  Each Wednesday, when Father Eugene has a day off, we look for a surprise Friar replacement who gives us a different taste of the fruits of his contemplation in his homily.

Fr. Isaiah Mary Molano, O.P.

The Friars have put their Sunday homilies on podcast and you can listen to them at:
This morning at Mass, we enjoyed Father Isaiah Mary's homily that we would like to share with you.  Thank you dear Father, for your very well written and thought out homily.  May God continue to bless you all with much wisdom and strength to preach the Good News, to praise and to bless! His homily follows:
A married couple of 45 years were at an expensive restaurant.  It was their wedding anniversary.  He was dressed in a very expensive black suit and deep blood red shirt, she in a purple gown with a lot of sequins. After they had their second or third glass of wine, he experienced a heart attack and collapsed in front of her. 
They were brought into the hospital at 12:30 in the morning.  I was the chaplain on call.  The doctors told me that that he would not make it past the night.  I was called in to console the wife and be present when her husband of 45 years died.  …lucky me. 
We kept on praying, over and over again, the Lucan version of the Lord’s Prayer.  For some reason, Presbyterians pray this version of the Lord’s Prayer, and not the Matthaen.  But it was this prayer, the Lucan version of the Lord’s Prayer that we recited over and over again.  We read a little from scripture, we talked about her husband and their family, about what they had for dinner, about what songs they danced to that evening. But it was this prayer, over and over again that we came back to. 
Around 4 o’clock that morning, we told the wife to go home.  The head of the emergency told me to go home too, after I think about it.  As we were leaving, the wife said to me, “We ask the Lord to feed us, we ask him to forgive us and everyone else, we ask God to keep us from the final test.  We do not ask God to change our lives.”  With that, she got into her car, and drove off into the night.
When the Council of Jerusalem met, the Apostles found themselves at a terrible quandary.  They saw that Paul was exposing the Gentiles to the Jewish way of life.  They saw that Paul was allowing Gentiles into the Jewish inner-circle.  The Gentiles were being taught that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob wanted a relationship with them just as much as the progeny of Abraham himself.  Paul was making vast changes to the Jesus Movement, and the Apostles had no idea what to do with themselves. 
Yet, we know that these changes were indeed from the Holy Spirit.  We know that opening up the New Covenant to all of humanity was God’s Gift.  Jesus Christ was not only for the progeny of Abraham, but for the entire human race.  And this was the work of the Holy Spirit. 
 Though we may live within the heart of the monolith that is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of the Roman Rite, loyal of the Supreme Pontiff, the world around us is in perpetual flux.  Yes, Jesus Christ, the same now and forever, yet the world he created, is changing moment by moment.  The life we lead as members of the Order of Preachers is beautiful and wonderful for those who are strong enough.  However, simultaneously, how willing are we to expose ourselves to the ever changing world, showing the world how relevant and necessary our lives of contemplation, prayer and study really are?  …or would we rather disappear into the pages of history?  Are we willing to meet and confront the new demands of mass media and the internet, preaching a word of never-ending contemplation and prayer to the millions of young people around the world, begging for some sort of Truth, Oneness and stability?  …or are we hiding our pearl of great price? 
Change is terribly a scary thing.  I deal with it all the time at the University.  Most of the things I deal with when talking to my students have to do with transition and adaptation.  Change scares just about everyone. 
Our friend from the hospital said to me, “We ask the Lord to feed us, we ask him to forgive us and everyone else, we ask God to keep us from the final test.  We do not ask God to change our lives.”  …actually, he does.  The Holy Spirit constantly asks us to stretch, change, and adapt throughout our lives.  The question, though, is whether we want to.

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