Sunday, April 23, 2017
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Category Archives: Letters from a novice

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 »

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 »

Christmas is united with our own redemption

traditional nativity

“Since ancient times, Christians have called the period since the birth of Our Lord by a beautiful name: anni salutis reparatae ñ the years of restored salvation.” AS we once again gather alongside the Magi to adore the Christ-child, to hear the message of the angel with the shepherds in the field and to praise God in song together with ... Read More »

Christ has broken the bonds of death

rosary

THAT paraphrased quotation from 2 Maccabees 12:46 seems a particularly apt focus this November – the month traditionally ascribed by the Church for particular suffrages for the dead. As it happens, the Dominican order places tremendous importance on praying for the dead, particularly deceased members of the order and its benefactors. We are constitutionally required to recite Psalm 129 – ... Read More »

In this month of Our Lady, pray the Rosary

rosary beads

THE Order of Preachers has a particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin and rejoices in her protection as patroness of the Order.  As October is a month traditionally devoted to the Holy Rosary and Our Lady, it seems an appropriate time to reflect upon her significance for us as Dominicans. It would be hard for any objective observer to doubt ... Read More »

What I’ve learned in choir practice

choir practice

THE Order of Preachers places a heavy emphasis, not only on private prayer and contemplation, but also on official, public liturgical prayer, as the above quote from the Constitutions of the order indicates.  Given this emphasis, choir practice has comprised a not insignificant part of these first few months of our novitiate. Learning the various tones to which the Psalms ... Read More »

Why I am praying in Hong Kong for 12 months

bible

“BUT what will you do there?’ It is a question I had to answer on an almost daily basis in the weeks before leaving for my novitiate. I can’t tell you how tempting it was to reply: “nothing”. Of course, I did not thereby wish to imply that our novitiate was to consist of us simply sitting on the edge ... Read More »

What St Augustine meant when he wrote about religious common life

religious life

“The chief motivation for your sharing life together is to live harmoniously in the house and to have one heart and soul seeking God.” THAT excerpt from the Rule of St Augustine – chosen by St Dominic as the rule for the Order of Preachers in 1216 – is without a doubt one of the most poetically beautiful expressions of ... Read More »