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Engaging in a Spirit of Totality and Joy

August 8 @ 1:02 pm

Celebrating the feast of our founding father, St. Dominic – August 8

While our own engagement with others is made difficult in this unprecedented time, we look to St. Dominic whose zeal for souls compelled him to share the love and truth of Christ with all those he encountered. 

Combating Heresy

Saint Dominic was a man moved by his engagement with reality. The Albigensian heresy ran strong in St. Dominic’s time, teaching that things of the physical world – material and created things – were evil and corrupt. It went so far as to devalue the humanity of Christ and the holiness of the sacraments, as they too were considered physical realities.   

Witness to Joy & Truth

While traveling through southern France in the year 1203, St. Dominic encountered a mindset among the people that moved him to engage with a particular Inn Keeper. All through the night, St. Dominic conversed with him about the topic of good and evil. What the Inn Keeper did not understand was that joy, hoped for and given to this physical world, comes through a total offering of self, not in the degrading of self.             

Symbols of Surrender & Joy

The joy resulting from a total gift of self is remembered and symbolized in the black and white Dominican habit, which the sons and daughters of St. Dominic are moved to put on every day. The black veil expresses the totality of surrender to the will of God in trust and confidence. The dominant white color of the habit confirms the joy which is our inheritance, lived right now in the reality of being eternally loved. 

Only with the conviction of love and joy is it possible to embrace sacrifice and the offering of oneself as a gift. When one encounters the person of Jesus Christ, in both His humanity and divinity, a decision must be made – to choose either totality and joy or a false reality.

…And The Inn Keeper

Whatever became of the Inn Keeper with whom St. Dominic was so moved to engage? That man, too, through St. Dominic’s witness, was brought to a moment of truth in which he chose to be moved by that same totality and joy.

Embracing this consummation of totality, our Sisters move forward in Self Gift! 

Late last month, eight of our Sisters made their Final Vows, professing their pledge of total self offering “for all my life”. Adding to our joy, seven Sisters made their First Profession of Vows, and our seven Postulants became Novices, taking on new religious names and being clothed with the Dominican habit. Praise be to God, now and forever!