Thursday, August 4, 2011
Novena to St Dominic - Day 6
On this 6th day of our Novena in preparation for St. Dominic’s Feast day, a few thoughts on his spirit of ZEAL in dedicating himself totally to the salvation of souls through the spreading of the Good News of God’s Word are surely vital.
Our Lord’s own words in John Ch.2 “Zeal for your house devours me” can also apply so aptly to our father, Dominic.
In his Divine Comedy, Dante describes St. Dominic as a ‘friend fast-knit to Christ’ - how very true, for Dominic was indeed one with Christ in his intense life of prayer, in his thirst for the salvation of souls and in his love for the poor, the sick, the troubled.
We read in the Book of Numbers Ch.25, “the Lord said to Moses: ‘Phinehas, the priest, has turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, my people, because he was the only one among them to have the same zeal as I have…’”. How appropriately these words too, can also be applied to St. Dominic.
It was his zeal that led St. Dominic to spend his nights and much of his day in prayer, pleading for the salvation of souls even to the point of offering himself to be cut in pieces to be placed at the gates of hell. How he longed and longed to bring Christ’s Compassion to the suffering people of his time, and the light of God’s truth to those led astray by heresy.
And so it was that in his zeal, he founded his Order specifically for the salvation of souls. It is no wonder that he is addressed in one of the hymns as ‘a burning ardent lover’.
Each member of the Dominican Family is called to imitate this same zeal for the salvation of souls – those of us in the cloistered life, are called ‘to devote ourselves without hindrance to praying and pleading with God for the salvation of all peoples’ - called to be devoured by the same zeal as Dominic, and by frequent contact with the furnace of love as he was, we too are set on fire with ardour for the spreading of God’s Kingdom on earth and the salvation of souls.