Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Off to Blackfriars Cambridge

As that Beatles song goes, "My bags are packed, I'm ready to go..." It did not take long to pack what the Novice Master called a "minimum of possessions." I had to dig out my winter clothes, wash the smell of moth-balls off my jumpers and try and squeeze them into my one-and-only suitcase along with T-shirts and some shirts. I also packed one barong Tagalog to use at the Clothing Ceremony (Vestition) which takes place on Friday 16th September.

I was instructed to take no more than 50 books and I managed to choose only 30... the rest will stay in boxes here in Skipton. I had agonized for weeks over which books to take but when it came to deciding it was fairly simple! I have of course the books requested (A New Jerusalem Bible, a Weekday and Sunday Missal, the Catechism, the complete Breviary and a small Latin dictionary) but in addition I have brought a Bible Commentary (Oxford), the Code of Canon Law (Latin/English edition), A Companion to the Catechism, Denzinger's (The Christian Faith), the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, the New Dictionary of Theology (Komanchak, ed.) and a bunch of books which I'm currently still reading by De Lubac, Balthasar and Cantalamessa. No books by Dominicans there because I expect to find them in the library in Cambridge... however I do have a copy of 'God's Way to be Man' by Geoffrey Preston, OP. This was given to me by my parish priest last night - his favourite book of all time.

Finally, I have my trusty notebook - precious for its cargo of treasured photographs and music, which I have spent the last 3 days compiling!! This has allowed me to leave all my CDs behind, except for 'The Veil of the Temple' by Tavener. I'm still trying to digest it and I need the libretto with me to help me unravel this complex, mystical work.

And so, as I stand now of the threshold of a new chapter of my life... how do I feel? To be honest a little afraid but also excited. One really doesn't know quite what to expect, hence when I was packing last night, I kept wondering what I needed to bring with me. I also feel a bit uncertain because I am moving to a new community, in a new town, in an altogether different part of England. I know there is a road before me but I know not how it wends... All this uncertainty requires that one thing of me: Trust in God.

I had similar feelings when I set out for Manila over a year ago to live and work as a Dominican volunteer... and how blessed that time was. Looking back at it all, I can still say it was the best year of my life. And so, with that same trust in Jesus and Our Lady of Guadalupe, I am setting off today on a new adventure. Come what may, I am certain that they are with me and that I am held in God's loving embrace who unfolds His gracious plans for me in His time.

And last night, as I was looking at some websites of the Dominican family, I was filled with excitement and joy as I remembered just how wonderful is the religious family God has called me into...

"Lord, you have called me and I have said 'Here I am'. Take me by the hand and lead me on. Amen."

Fortified by the sacraments of Confession and Eucharist, I will set off from Skipton at noon with a dear friend who was also a Leeds diocesan seminarian with me.

I want to thank you all for your prayers and support. I don't know when I shall write again on this blog - maybe sooner than I expect but I certainly hope to be able to post something by Vestition day. As you'll know it is my custom to write a reflection on the Sunday Liturgy, but as I have been unable to do so this week, I wish to re-direct you to Fr Cantalamessa's wonderful homily which may be found on Zenit.

The photo above is of the main entrance to Blackfriars Cambridge, my home for the next week. The address is: Blackfriars, Buckingham Road, Cambridge CB3 0DD, United Kingdom.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless you.

From us here in SLRP, Navotas

12:16 pm  

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