St. Dominic statue, Hawkesyard, Staffordshire, UKHappy feast day to my beloved spiritual father, St. Dominic!

Appropriately, I will be on retreat today with my Lay Dominican chapter, praying, studying, fellowshipping.  What better way to spend our founding father’s feast day?

There are two things that struck me early on about St. Dominic, and still today spring to my mind whenever I think of him: courage and trust in divine providence.  Probably because they are two lessons that I most need to learn!  Here are a couple of quotations from Dominican Spirituality : Principles and Practice by Fr. William A. Hinnebusch, OP.

An example of courage:

With courage he traveled through the Albigensian country. At times he knew his enemies were planning to kill him, yet he continued on his way. Once they took him, but seeing that he offered no resistance, they asked: “What would you have done, had we carried out our plans?” “I would have begged you to put me to death in the slowest possible way, to cut me to pieces bit by bit so my martyrdom would be prolonged for the good of souls.” Realizing how much he wanted martyrdom, they did not kill him. He was a martyr by desire.

A martyr by desire.  How many of us can say that about ourselves?

On his trust in divine providence:

The very fact that Dominic was willing to found a mendicant Order, one that owned no property and had no revenues, indicates his mighty trust in Divine Providence. He relied on the free-will offerings the faithful would give him. He so believed in God’s help, that he did not want the brethren to store up more food than they needed for a day. That is why they sometimes went hungry. But his faith was rewarded, more than once, by the miracle of the loaves. Both in Bologna and in Rome there were days when the early friars, unknown newcomers, did not get enough from their begging tours. Then they found a bare refectory. There was nothing to place before them. But the Founder had them offer the grace and take their places just the same. At Rome the angels came and distributed a loaf of bread to each friar. This was the answer of Providence to Dominic’s trust.

The sad thing about my having to constantly learn to trust divine providence is that… I know I can trust in it!  I because it has come through for me time after time after time.  Maybe not via the miracle of the loaves, but still in some pretty marvelous ways.  And yet… I still need to work on it.  Why, why is it so easy to lose sight of things like that?

At least I am in good hands.  If anybody can help me master it, it’s St. Dominic.

May his prayers and blessings be with you all… especially my fellow Dominicans!  :)

(photo by Flickr user Lawrence OP)

Advertisements