Thursday, November 7, 2013

What is the "Quidditas" of the Dominicans?
"If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire!"
-St. Catherine of Siena-

We give thanks to God and rejoice with the whole Dominican Order as we celebrate the Dominican Family Day on this Feast of all Saints of the Order! 

The Order of Preachers has been blessed with many saints and blesseds such as our holy founder St. Dominic, St. Peter of Verona, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert the Great, St. Martin de Porres, St. Hyacinth, St. Agnes Montepulciano, St. Catherine of Siena, Bl. Imelda, Bl. Diana, Bl. Henry Suso and many more holy men and women including the newest addition of the Dominican family, Bl. Piergiorgio Frassatti. 

What do these saints and blesseds have in common other than that they belong to the Dominican Order, professed the same vows and lived their religious life according to the Rules of St. Augustine, the Constitutions and the traditions? These holy Dominicans had saved their souls through the spirituality of the Order.  Moreover, they lived their Dominican lives intensely and fully in the spirit of our founder, St Dominic.

The essence or the 'whatness' of the Dominicans is based on this original spirituality that can be traced back to the sources of all Christian life, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, grounded in the Holy Mass, the Sacraments, the Liturgy and the traditional asceticism and monasticism.

The Christological character of the Dominican spirituality originates from the example of St. Dominic who ceaselessly contemplated on the Passion of Christ.  Therefore, throughout history, his children have followed the same path as we see in the lives of our Eucharistic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas with his great love for the Blessed Sacrament; and with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Catherine de Ricci, through their great devotion to the humanity and the sufferings of Christ had experienced the exchange of hearts; as well as St. Martin de Porres who drank from the side of Christ. [1]

As for us, the cloistered Dominican nuns, the essence of our life also is to be the part of our Order through our contemplative action and prayer where we make Christ the center of our life and the heart of our devotion.  For our monastery of Corpus Christi, like all Dominicans, the celebration of the Eucharist is central to our daily life.  An important focus of our day is praise and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and praying the Liturgy of the Hours at prescribed times.

God, source of all holiness, 
you have enriched your Church with many gifts
 in the saints of the Order of Preachers.
By following the example of our brothers and sisters 
may we come to enjoy their company for ever
 in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.
(From Morning Prayer)

[1] William Hinnebusch, O.P, Dominican Spirituality: Principle and Practice

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