Notes on the Memorial of St. Dominic.
In the modern Roman calendar, today is the Memorial of St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers. Over at Dominicana, Brother Philip Neri Reese, O.P. marks the date with some sage commentary on St. Dominic, "Patriarch in Paradox":
Compared to many other saints (indeed, compared to many other founders of religious orders), we know relatively little about the person, and personality, of Dominic de Guzman. This only serves to accentuate the apparent contradictions latent in what we do know: though the patriarch of preachers, he was rigorous in silence; a man of austerity, he was renown for his warmth; devoted to study, he sold his books; ever firm in his purpose, he let himself be overruled.To read the rest, click here. On this Memorial of St. Dominic, I hope that you will join me in praying for all the members of the Dominican family, both for their consolation and in gratitude for all that they have done and continue to do for God's greater glory. AMDG.
For the sons and daughters of Saint Dominic, far from rendering him incomprehensible and inaccessible, these paradoxes provide a point of entry into his person, for they reveal the true nature of the Order he founded, and “the tree shall be known by its fruits.” If we find in him both contemplative canon and itinerant preacher, this is because his Order must also balance the tensions of the contemplative and active lives. If we find in him lowly poverty and high liturgy, this is because his Order must be energized by both ecclesial prayer and personal sanctity. If we find in him uncompromising austerity and generous dispensation, this is because he desired the members of his Order to be motivated by charity and virtue, not legalism or moralism.