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Following Christ into the rough seas of life

storms

I HAVE recently had a number of conversations with different people from all walks of life; all those disparate individuals repeated the same refrain, almost word-for-word: “It’s hard for me to be a Christian in public these days”. In the office, on the jobsite, at the dog park: they are surrounded, they tell me, by people who mock and belittle ... Read More »

Holiness is an adventure

Dominican choir

“BUT are they being formed for the real world?” This was a question apparently posed to one of our friars by a parishioner after Mass a few weeks ago. We are “they” – the student friars studying theology and philosophy, undertaking various forms of pastoral work and generally undergoing the Dominican order’s process of formation. This question provoked rather a ... Read More »

The heart of what we seek

Dominicans prostrate for First Professions

BROTHER Christian and I made our first profession a few weeks ago, during Mass on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. At the very beginning of the Rite of Profession, having thrown ourselves prostrate, cruciform on the floor – with noses pressed firmly into the carpet before our eyes – the provincial asked a very simple question: “What do ... Read More »

Spreading the joy of the Gospel to others

Dominicans

“TO contemplate and to pass onto others the fruits of contemplation.” Those words of St Thomas Aquinas encapsulate the essence of Dominican life – what it means to be a friar in the Order of Preachers. We are essentially contemplatives. We are called to be men who live lives of profound and intimate prayer with God. By virtue of a ... Read More »

Life of study sheds light on the Truth

study

“Study enables the brothers to ponder in their hearts the manifold wisdom of God, and equips them for the doctrinal service of the Church and of all people.” WITHIN the Constitutions of the Order of Preachers there is an entire chapter devoted to “study”. It stands alongside the chapter on religious consecration (obedience, poverty, chastity) and the chapter on the ... Read More »

Raise your eyes to the gaze of Jesus Christ

Crucifixion

“CHOOSE Life”. Those were the words, which the readings at Mass addressed to us the day after Ash Wednesday, taken as they were from Moses’ lengthy exhortation to the people of Israel from the Book of Deuteronomy. And all the chocolate eggs that will be consumed on Easter Sunday are a delicious and eloquent witness to the New Life that ... Read More »

Talking about the dirty ‘o’ word – obedience

Obedience and freedom

OBEDIENCE is, in fact, the only vow a Dominican friar takes. On the day of his profession, with his hands placed within those of his superior and upon the constitutions of the order, he vows obedience to God, the Blessed Virgin, St Dominic, the Master of the Order and his successors according to the Rule of St Augustine and the ... Read More »

Persimmon sandwiches? How Dominicans live poverty today

persimmons

“Anyone who shows the least inclination to really practise the poverty of Christ in his own life will be called a crank.” EVANGELICAL poverty embraced for the sake of the mission entrusted to us by Christ – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) – was an integral element of St Dominic’s vision for the Order of ... Read More »

Our pilgrimage of faith has been marked out by God

Laying of hands

THE evangelical counsels – the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience – have been the subject of a weekly class throughout our time here in Hong Kong and they will continue right up until the conclusion of our novitiate. It is obviously essential that we have a clear understanding of what these vows entail as – should we persevere and ... Read More »

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