As the Catholic Church celebrates All Saints’ Day, I would like to write a few words on the Dominican Saints who have inspired me in my journey.
Love for Preaching
The love for preaching has always inspired me to further develop my love for these holy men and women. Be it St Catherine of Siena’s plea to the Pope to return to Rome or St Domenic’s plea to the heretics to return from their sins and embrace the Catholic Faith once more. Preaching from the heart after contemplating the truth of our Faith has always paved the way for such people to become saints. I soon learned that preaching wasn’t a moment where one would have the spotlight on oneself on the contrary through one’s words one ought to shine the light on Him, the one whom the world would like to place in the dark and forget about.
Love for One’s Neighbor
The love for one’s neighbor, is center in Catholic teaching. It is the founding stone behind our compassion and love. Once whilst doing my usual spiritual reading I was amazed and awe-inspired to read that St Domenic used to cry to the Lord while asking: “Lord what would become of the sinners?” I can’t even start to describe how moving such a question was for me as an unsure and uncertain vocation to this great Order. But the answer was there before me, if I wanted to follow the Lord I had to have the same love for my neighbour as St Domenic had, a love that would go as far as to cry out for the sinners and to preach the truth so that they might return back to their loving Heavenly Father.
Love for Knowledge
The love for knowledge, is crucial when it comes to preaching the Truth. Why? One needs to be knowledgeable on matters of Faith and Doctrine in order to preach it to others, otherwise how can we preach if we are ignorant and lack knowledge. As a student, many are the times when I fall for the illusion that I ought to study in order to be successful and gain prestige in saying that I am intelligent in certain scholarly matters. Soon I discovered that the Domenicans don’t enter the world of study for such a reason, on the contrary they love to study so that they would be able to save souls, and not for titles and letters behind their names.
Love for Contemplation
The love for contemplation, helps the Domenican to see the light at times of difficulty during his studies. The art of contemplation is cultivated carefully in the Order of Preachers, thanks to various moments of fraternal prayer times during the day and private moments of silence. St Thomas Aquinas once said: “Contemplata aliis tradere” which literally means “to give others the fruit of contemplation.” Thus in order to give good preaching, one has to have a fruitful harvest from the contemplation.