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

Monday, November 07, 2005

All Saints of the Order of Preachers

We celebrate not one All Saints' Day but two! Today, we rejoice in the holy men and women who found salvation and holiness within the Order of Preachers. As the Office Hymn, Supernae matris gaudia sings:

"Once more the Church joys with delight
As Mother of a heav'nly throng;
Though now she holds a yearly rite,
She seeks one kept with endless song.

How happy is that city blest,
In which is sung this solemn day;
More happy still those courts which rest
From care, for ever and for aye.

Removed far from error dark,
Now dwell our fathers in Christ's ways;
They see the Truth, its ways they mark,
And merit there eternal days.

We number feasts, and count those saints
Who dwell in honour high above;
But when our worship clouds and faints,
They glory still the King of love.

There we find her to intercede,
Th' exalted Queen of virgin choirs;
To Christ our advocate will lead
And find forgiveness from sin's fires.

May Christ through grace join us to you
Who dwell above our present cares.
Of Father, Son, and Spirit true,
We ask thy mercy, and your pray'rs."

Trans: W.J.A. Soule (1989)

Dante wrote of St Dominic and the Order of Preachers in his Divine Comedy:
"He was called 'Dominic', and it is to him that I refer as the gardener chosen by Christ to help him in his garden. He poured forth, like a stream from a lofty spring, his teaching and will and apostolic life. From that stream flow many brooks, by which the garden of the Catholic faith is watered."
Perhaps he drew inspiration from the Dominican Pope Bl Benedict XI who wrote thus of the Order in 1304:

"From the bountiful garden of the holy Church, the ineffable Providence of the Creator in these last days has produced the famous Order of Preachers like a tree of life among its other beautiful and fertile plants, to advance the glory of His Name and procure the salvation of the faithful...

These are the famous warriors, who fight the enemies of the soul and the foes of the Church with the shield of faith, the sword of the spirit and the weapons of justice. They strive to bring about the growth of all catholic virtues, that the way of salvation may lay open to sinners and the insanity of heretical disease may be destroyed...

My beloved, you must therefore consider and think with watchful attention about the most firm foundations of the Order which have been laid before you, your famous leaders, strong warriors, unwearied soldiers. Of these some have already reached their heavenly homeland and are numbered solemnly in the catalogue of the saints, guests at the heavenly banquet and secure possessors of the eternal country. Because you are not any less worthy than these were, but rather are legitimate sons, you ought to be faithful imitators and to follow in their sure footsteps without faltering."
May these faithful witnesses of the Dominican Family pray for us in the Order and for all of God's holy Church and people whom we strive to serve, as they did.


Blogger Natty said...

Beautiful post, Beautiful blog, Br. Lawrence! I just discovered your site, but you can bet I'll be a regular reader! Blessings and peace!

2:49 am  
Blogger Joe said...

Is there any special significance in the date of today's feast? I'm curious because my own order celebrates an analogous feast on November 5th - the Feast of All Saints and Blessed of the Society of Jesus. In both cases, there may simply have been a desire to celebrate all saints of the order within the octave of All Saints' Day, but I wonder whether there's more to it than that.

Joe K., n.S.J.

5:40 am  

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