Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Novena to St Dominic - Day 2: The paradox of the Cross

Novena to St Dominic
31st July 2018, Day 2

“For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; …
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; …
A time to mourn, and a time to dance; …
A time to love, and a time to hate …”  (Ecclesiastes, cf 3:1-9)                        

There is never, however,
a time to despair, and no matter how challenging or
God-less the time in which we find ourselves seems to be,
we are called at all times to be creatures of hope.

St Dominic’s time was not more desperate than ours, yet more than anything it could be said of him that he was a man of hope because of his amazing confidence in God and of his reverence for the length to which Christ went, in order to save us.

The paradox of the Cross:
A place of failure and of triumph;
A place of horror and also of indescribable love.

Pope St John Paul II frequently spoke and wrote of JESUS as the answer to all the questions man seeks an answer to, in order the better to know and understand himself and how to be human.
We could say that the shape of all the answers we seek, is the shape of the Cross.  … … … Difficult to gaze upon, and difficult to understand, and extremely difficult to reconcile with love – especially with divine love.  It is, nevertheless, the shape of all the answers we seek, and St Dominic knew and understood this so well, from the many hours he spent contemplating it. For the Cross is, among other things, also the shape of wisdom, which, when we put it on, becomes the shape of the freedom which is so essential to enabling us to be truly human.

To know that we are children of God is wisdom.  To have the courage to live according to this knowledge is holiness and a grace that we have only to ask for, to receive it. 
St Dominic embraced this truth all his life and lived it in union with the Lord whom he served so devotedly in his preaching and in his unceasing prayer.

The book of Ecclesiasticus encourages us with the following ‘thought’:

            “… wisdom is like her name, and is not manifest to many.
            … Put your feet into her fetters, and your neck into her collar.
            Put your shoulder under her and carry her, and do not fret under her bonds.
            Come to her with all your soul, and keep her ways with all your might.
            Search out and seek, and she will become known to you; and when you get hold of her, do
                                                                                                                                    not let her go.
            For at last, you will find the rest she gives, and she will be changes into joy for you.
            Then her fetters will become for you a strong protection, and her collar a glorious robe.
            Her yoke is a golden ornament, and he bonds are a cord of blue.
            You will wear her like a glorious robe, and put her on like a crown of gladness”
Cf Sir 6:22-31 (RSVCE).
This is the Cross Dominic wore: a Cross of wisdom and of truth; of triumph and of glory; a Cross of Divine power and love: the Cross of Christ.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Our New Card Catalogue is now available

Our Card Catalogue for 2018/19 is now available. It features a number of new cards; including, to mark the celebration of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin this August, a 'Holy Family Icon Card' by one of our Sisters.

Please click here to download the full catalogue.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

'Who touched me?' - A reflection on today's Gospel

“Who touched me?” (Mk  5:31)
Seeing this wonderful cross in the sky above our monastery reminded me of these thoughts in Pope Benedict’s ‘Spe Salvi’ (par. 27-28):

Whoever is touched by love begins to perceive what “life” really is. He begins to perceive the meaning of the word of hope that we encountered in the Baptismal Rite: from faith I await “eternal life”—the true life which, whole and unthreatened, in all its fullness, is simply life. Jesus, who said that he had come so that we might have life and have it in its fullness, in abundance (cf. Jn 10:10), has also explained to us what “life” means: “this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3). Life in its true sense is not something we have exclusively in or from ourselves: it is a relationship. And life in its totality is a relationship with him who is the source of life. If we are in relation with him who does not die, who is Life itself and Love itself, then we are in life. Then we “live”.

Yet now the question arises: are we not in this way falling back once again into an individualistic understanding of salvation, into hope for myself alone, which is not true hope since it forgets and overlooks others? Indeed we are not! Our relationship with God is established through communion with Jesus—we cannot achieve it alone or from our own resources alone. The relationship with Jesus, however, is a relationship with the one who gave himself as a ransom for all (cf. 1 Tim 2:6). Being in communion with Jesus Christ draws us into his “being for all”; it makes it our own way of being. He commits us to live for others, but only through communion with him does it become possible truly to be there for others, for the whole.