Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Being Surrounded By The Cloud of Witnesses!


-Mass with our Dominican Friars earlier this month-

As Dominicans we hold this month of all saints and all souls very special in our hearts and prayers.

Each year, in addition to celebrating the traditional All Saints with the people of God, we also celebrate All Dominican Saints on November 7th and offer Mass along with praying the Office of the Dead for all our deceased Brothers and Sisters of the Order of Preachers on November 8th. Needless to say, it is a blessing to be a Dominican and a comfort to know that after we finished our earthly pilgrimage, we are always being remembered by our Dominican family in thoughts and prayers throughout the world.

What do the Dominican saints and our deceased Dominican Brothers and Sisters have in common? We can easily make the connection. When we listen to the words of our brother Henri-Dominique Lacordaire as he described the lives of the Dominican saints in his essay on the Re-establishment in France of the Order of Preachers, we are reminded of the faithful lives of all our Brothers and Sisters who have gone to the Father's house before us.

…Like their Master all of them wanted to be poor at a time when the Church was rich, poor even to the extent of being beggars. All of them, like their Father, at a time when the Church was powerful, wanted to exercise only one kind of authority: the voluntary surrender of human minds to virtue. They did not say as the heretics did: "The Church must be despoiled!" But rather they despoiled the Church in themselves and by themselves…

They loved God, they loved God truly, they loved God above all else. They loved their neighbor as themselves and more than themselves. They had received in their hearts that wound which has made all the saints eloquent. In addition to this asset of a passionate soul, without which no orator has ever existed, the Friars Preachers showed considerable shrewdness in grasping the kind of preaching which was suited to their time…

Throughout the day as our community gathers in prayer for the needs of the world and to give praise and thanksgiving to the Living God, we are edified and encouraged by the witnesses of our brothers in sisters whose presence surrounds us. Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, it is easier to strive and run the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.

OPNunsmenlo_ChoirThe Gothic splendor inside the nuns’ choir (chapel) with the stained glass windows of the Dominican Saints represented by their symbols.



 This shield represents Saint Peter of Verona who was felled by the assassins' sword after a long apostolic career and with the blood that flowed from his wounds wrote the first words of the Apostles' Creed on the ground, "I believe in God."




 -Cloister of the Dead-

Beneath the Altar is the crypt where our beloved Sisters are buried and where we often visit and pray for them and for all the holy souls, especially during this month for souls.



 Each Sunday during November we offer the Mass for the Holy Souls whose names have been sent to us by their loved ones.

Deo Gratias!

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