Born in Caleruega, Spain, around the year 1170, Dominic was the son of Felix Guzman and Joanna of Aza, members of the nobility. His mother would eventually be beatified by the Church, as would his brother Manes who became a Dominican. The family's oldest son Antonio also became a priest.
Dominic received his early education from his uncle, who was a priest, before entering the University of Palencia where he studied for ten years. In one notable incident from this period, he sold his entire collection of rare books to provide for the relief of the poor in the city.
After his ordination to the priesthood, Dominic was asked by Bishop Diego of Osma to participate in local church reforms. He spent nine years in Osma, pursuing a life of intense prayer, before being called to accompany the bishop on a piece of business for King Alfonso IX of Castile in 1203.
While traveling in France with the bishop, Dominic observed the bad effects of the Albigensian heresy, which had taken hold in southern France during the preceding century. The sect revived an earlier heresy, Manicheanism, which condemned the material world as an evil realm not created by God.
Dreading the spread of heresy, Dominic began to think about founding a religious order to promote the truth. In 1204, he and Bishop Diego were sent by Pope Innocent III to assist in the effort against the Albigensians, which eventually involved both military force and theological persuasion.
In France, Dominic engaged in doctrinal debates and set up a convent whose rule would eventually become a template for the life of female Dominicans. He continued his preaching mission from 1208 to 1215, during the intensification of the military effort against the Albigensians.
In 1214, Dominic's extreme physical asceticism caused him to fall into a coma, during which the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to him and instructed him to promote the prayer of the Rosary. Its focus on the incarnation and life of Christ directly countered the Albigensian attitude towards matter as evil.
During that same year, Dominic returned to Tolouse and obtained the bishop's approval of his plan for an order dedicated to preaching. He and a group of followers gained local recognition as a religious congregation, and Dominic accompanied Tolouse's bishop to Rome for an ecumenical council in 1215.
The council stressed the Church's need for better preaching, but also set up a barrier to the institution of new religious orders. Dominic, however, obtained papal approval for his plan in 1216, and was named as the Pope's chief theologian. The Order of Preachers expanded in Europe with papal help in 1218.
The founder spent the last several years of his life building up the order and continuing his preaching missions, during which he is said to have converted some 100,000 people. After several weeks of illness, St. Dominic died in Italy on August 6, 1221. He was canonized in 1234 by Pope Gregory IX.
O Holy Priest of God and glorious Patriarch, St. Dominic, thou who wast the friend, the well-beloved son
and confidant of the Queen of Heaven, and didst work so many miracles
by the power of the Holy Rosary,
have regard for my intercessions.
On earth you opened your heart
to the miseries of your fellow man,
and your hands were strong to help them; now in heaven your charity has not grown less nor has your power waned.
Pray for me to the Mother of the Rosary and to her Divine Son, for I have great confidence that through your assistance I shall obtain the favor I so much desire:
[Mention your intentions here.]
As Dominican Friars, Fr. Duber and I are celebrating the 800th anniversary of when our Founder, St. Dominic, was called to the presence of the Lord. St. Dominic, a strong man of faith and a faithful servant of the Lord, was born in Caleruega, Spain, on August 8, 1170, and died on August 6, 1221.
To live our entire life imbued in the love of Christ, to become one with Him in prayer, and to speak about God seems like a difficult challenge for us Catholics, but not for our founder, St. Dominic. He died at the age of 51 and had perpetual and perfect communion with God and his neighbors.
For Dominic, praying for sinners was his greatest concern; he always exclaimed, “What will become of sinners?”
At the age of 24, Dominic was ordained and was very close to Bishop Diego de Acebo and, at one point, accompanied him on a diplomatic mission to Denmark. Returning from their mission by way of Rome, he saw the necessity to preach the Good News of Salvation among many people who had been evangelized and involved in dangerous heresies; Catharism or Albigensianism, whose followers believed in two gods, one good that is in the New Testament and the other evil that is in the Old Testament. This vast misbelief led St. Dominic to start his mission in the midst of all that was wrong. He desired to help them understand the proper teachings of the Catholic Church. Filled with zeal and fervor to lead everyone to the truth, St. Dominic was able to win a hearing from the heretics through the strength of his character and the wisdom that came from God.
But his hard and dedicated work soon needed help. On December 22, 1216, he founded the Order of Friars Preachers. The newly founded Dominican Order spread rapidly as mendicant (supported by begging) preachers proclaiming the Gospel throughout Europe and beyond with ardor and enthusiasm.
He loved Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother, from whom he received the Holy Rosary, that for centuries has become the most beautiful meditation of the Mysteries of the love of God in Jesus through Mary. Pope Pius XI (1857-1939) stated, “The Rosary of Mary is the principle and foundation on which the very Order of St. Dominic rests for making perfect the life of its members and obtaining the salvation of others.”
On August 6, 1221, only a few years after the papal approval of his Order, Dominic Guzman breathed his last in the Dominican convent in Bologna. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope Gregory IX thirteen years later, who had known the great founder and preacher personally. Years later, St. Dominic was described by one of his spiritual children as being “as tender as a mother, but as strong as a diamond.”
As Dominicans, we continue with his legacy of 800 years of history. Thousands of great men and women have embraced the ideal of St. Dominic and have become the Church pillars that have made our Church holy. To only mention a few includes: St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert the Great, Blessed Fra Angelico, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Rose of Lima,
St. Martin of Porres, or St. Louis Bertrand.
For us, it is an honor, a significant responsibility, and a challenge to carry on 800 years of the glory of our religious community. It is also an honor to wear the habit that has been a sign of the TRUTH for centuries!
In St. Dominic,
Fr. Alfonso Cely
Fr. Alfonso Cely was born in Colombia in 1968. After studying Hotel & Tourism, he worked for American Airlines. He was then called to follow the Lord as a priest. Fr. Alfonso entered the Dominican Order in January 1993 and pronounced his first vows in 1994.
Fr. Alfonso studied Philosophy at St. Thomas University and Theology at the Studium Generale of the Dominicans in Bogota, Colombia. His specialization is in Dogmatics from Pontifical Bolivariana University in Medellin, Colombia.
In 1998, Fr. Alfonso performed his perpetual vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience.
He was ordained to the priesthood in 2001 by Bishop Augusto Castro on the feast of St. Charles Borromeo on November 4.
Fr. Alfonso came to America to work for the Diocese of Orlando as a missionary. Bishop Norbert Dorsey assigned him to Blessed Trinity in Ocala as Parish Vicar for nine years.
Bishop John Noonan appointed him as Parish Vicar at St. Mary Magdalene in Altamonte Springs for three years. In 2015, he was assigned as Pastor at St. Ann Church to this day.
He has found a wonderful family since he arrived in this country. According to Fr. Alfonso, "He will die in this blessed Land of Liberty."
Nuestro Padre, manteniendo el cuerpo erguido, inclinaba la cabeza y, mirando humildemente a Cristo, le reverenciaba con todo su ser.
Se inclinaba ante el altar como si Cristo, representado en él, estuviera allí real y personalmente.
Se comportaba así en conformidad con este fragmento del libro de Judit: «Te ha agradado siempre la oración de los mansos y humildes» (Jdt 9, 16).
También se inspiraba en estas palabras: «Yo no soy digno de que entres en mi casa» (Mt 8, 8); «Señor, ante ti me he humillado siempre«(Sal 146, 6).
Enseñaba a hacerlo así a los frailes cuando pasaban delante del crucifijo, para que Cristo, humillado por nosotros hasta el extremo, nos viera humillados ante su majestad.
Jesús es el único Señor de la historia: un crucificado se erige como salvador de todos los hombres y mujeres.
Inclinamos unos instantes nuestras cabezas ante Jesús crucificado porque es el único Señor de nuestras vidas.
Ante Él recordamos a tantos jóvenes envueltos en historias oscuras: drogas, problemas familiares, sin ilusiones y esperanzas de futuro, parados, sin techo…
Ante Él oramos por tantos jóvenes que trabajan como voluntarios sociales, en hospitales, albergues, asilos, campos de trabajo, misiones… por todos los que trabajan en favor de los marginados.
Oraba con frecuencia santo Domingo postrado completamente, rostro en tierra. Se dolía en su interior y se decía a sí mismo, y lo hacía a veces en tono tan alto, que en ocasiones le oían recitar aquel versículo del Evangelio:
«¡Oh Dios!, ten compasión de este pecador» (Lc 18, 13).
Con piedad y reverencia, recordaba frecuentemente aquellas palabras de David:
«Yo soy el que ha pecado y obrado inicuamente» (Sal 50, 5).
Del salmo que comienza, «Con nuestros oídos ¡oh Dios! hemos oído«, recitaba con vigor y devoción el versículo que dice:
«Porque mi alma ha sido humillada hasta el polvo, y mi cuerpo pegado a la tierra» (Sal 43, 26).
En alguna ocasión, queriendo exhortar a los frailes con cuanta reverencia debían orar, les decía:
«Los Reyes Magos entraron…, y cayendo de rodillas, lo adoraron» (Mt 2, 11)…
Nosotros pedimos perdón por nuestros pecados y decimos: ¡Señor, ten piedad!
Hacemos memoria en nuestro interior de los niños y niñas que en el mundo están sometidos a todo tipo de explotación, trabajo o delincuencia.
Recordamos a emigrantes humillados por nuestras maneras de vivir que justificamos hasta con leyes.
Motivado santo Domingo por todo cuanto precede, se alzaba del suelo y se disciplinaba diciendo: «Tu disciplina me adiestró para el combate» (Sal 17, 35), «Misericordia, Dios mío,» (Sal 50), o también: «Desde lo hondo a ti grito, Señor» (Sal 129). Nadie, por inocente que sea, se debe apartar de este ejemplo.
Sufre y ora por todos los que sufren, prolongando en su cuerpo la Pasión de Jesús.
Nosotros hacemos memoria en nuestro interior por los que sufren, en el cuerpo o en el espíritu, quizás conocidos o familiares nuestros.
Pero recordamos, de manera especial a los enfermos incurables, a los de SIDA, a tantas personas, cuyas imágenes nos llegan por los medios de comunicación, que son víctimas de guerras, violencia y terrorismo.
Después de esto, santo Domingo, se volvía hacia el crucifijo, le miraba con suma atención.
A veces, tras el rezo de la oración de Completas y hasta la media noche, y decía, como el leproso del Evangelio:
«Señor, si quieres, puedes curarme» (Mt. 8, 2).
O como Esteban, que clamaba:
«No les tengas en cuenta este pecado» (Hc 7, 60).
Tenía una gran confianza en la misericordia de Dios, en favor suyo, en bien de todos los pecadores y en el amparo de los frailes jóvenes que enviaba a predicar.
En ocasiones no podía contener su voz y los frailes le escuchaban decir: «A ti, Señor, te invoco, no seas sordo a mi voz, no te calles» (Sal 27, 1); así como otras palabras de la Sagrada Escritura.
Domingo ora ante Cristo presentándole la obra de sus manos, unas manos que son también las nuestras ¿qué le podemos presentar de nuestras vidas?
Levantemos nuestras manos ante Él, no buscamos méritos ni alabanzas, pero deseamos tener un corazón lleno de nombres, de rostros concretos a los que amamos y deseamos amar más.
Por eso recordamos a nuestras familias, que nos han transmitido una vida, o a quienes hemos dado una vida, el amor, la educación… o que nos han posibilitado el estar aquí.
Por eso recordamos a nuestras comunidades, fraternidades, grupos, movimientos, nuestros superiores, líderes…
Por eso recordamos a nuestros amigos, amigas, vecinos, gente que comparte nuestra vida, compañeros de trabajo, alumnos…
Pero no podemos olvidar a los que aún no queremos, a aquellos con los que mantenemos relaciones tensas…
Algunas veces el Padre Domingo, estando en el convento, permanecía ante el altar; mantenía su cuerpo derecho, sin apoyarse ni ayudarse de cosa alguna.
A veces tenía las manos extendidas ante el pecho, a modo de libro abierto; así se mantenía con mucha reverencia y devoción, como si leyera ante el Señor.
En la oración se le veía meditar la Palabra de Dios, y como si la recitara dulcemente para sí mismo. Le servía de ejemplo aquel gesto del Señor:
«Que entró Jesús según su costumbre en la sinagoga y se levantó para hacer la lectura» (Lc 4, 16).
A veces juntaba las manos a la altura de los ojos, entrelazándolas fuertemente y dando una con otra, como urgiéndose a sí mismo.
Elevaba también las manos hasta los hombros, tal como hace el sacerdote cuando celebra la misa, como si quisiera fijar el oído para percibir con más atención algo que se diría desde el altar.
Domingo ora en actitud de ofrenda, ora por toda la creación, ora con toda la naturaleza. Es el universo hecho oración en la mente y corazón de Domingo.
Nosotros también oramos con nuestras manos y oramos por los que se preocupan de la naturaleza, aunque con frecuencia no lo damos importancia.
Pedimos que Dios ponga en nuestro corazón sentimientos llenos de esperanza para cuidar la creación, pero sobre todo para cuidar a la humanidad y que la humanidad no destruya la obra que Dios le entregó, recordando ese Cántico del Profeta Daniel:
«Criaturas todas del Señor, bendecid al Señor… Hijos de los hombres, bendecid al Señor…bendito el Señor en la bóveda del cielo, alabado y glorioso y ensalzado por los siglos» (Dan 3, 57ss).
A veces se veía también orar al Padre Santo Domingo con las manos y brazos abiertos y muy extendidos, a semejanza de la cruz, permaneciendo derecho en la medida en que le era posible.
De este modo oró el Señor mientras pendía en la cruz y «con el gran clamor y lágrimas fue escuchado por su reverencial temor» (Hb 5, 7).
Pero santo Domingo no utiliza este modo de orar sino cuando, inspirado por Dios, sabía que se iba a obrar algo grande y maravilloso en virtud de la oración, o que Dios le movía con especial fuerza a una gracia singular.
Pronunciaba con ponderación, gravedad y oportunamente las palabras del Salterio que hacen referencia a este modo de orar; decía atentamente:
«Señor, Dios de mi salvación, de día te pido auxilio, de noche grito en tu presencia;…Todo el día te estoy invocando, Señor, tendiendo las manos hacia ti» (Sal 87, 2-10)
Se identifica con Cristo y abraza a todos los hombres y mujeres con su oración.
Nosotros podemos elevar nuestros brazos y formar una gran cruz de humanidad.
Unidos hacemos memoria de los hombres y mujeres que no son cristianos pero creen en Dios y lo buscan con sincero corazón, oramos por todos los buscadores de Dios.
Oramos por los que desde su fe buscan la paz y lo hacen desde la justicia. Pedimos a Jesús que murió por todos que seamos capaces de superar actitudes racistas o de marginación por cuestiones religiosas o de cultura.
Recordamos a quienes llevan su cruz de cada día, a quienes les cuesta aceptarla, a quienes la rechazan, a quienes se la cargan a otros…
Se le hallaba con frecuencia orando, dirigido por completo hacia el cielo. Oraba con las manos elevadas sobre su cabeza, muy levantadas y unidas entre sí, o bien un poco separadas, como para recibir algo del cielo.
Pedía a Dios para la Orden los dones del Espíritu Santo y la práctica de las bienaventuranzas.
Pedía mantenerse en la pobreza, en el hambre y sed de justicia, en el ansia de misericordia, hasta ser proclamados bienaventurados.
Pedía mantenerse devotos y alegres en la guarda de los mandamientos y en el cumplimiento de los consejos evangélicos.
A veces decía
«Escucha mi voz suplicante cuando te pido auxilio, cuando alzo las manos hacia tu santuario» (Sal 27, 2).
Domingo se deja llevar por sus pensamientos, por sus deseos, por sus dudas, por sus proyectos y se los expone a Jesús con sinceridad de corazón.
Nosotros también podemos situarnos ante Jesús sin engaños, abrirle nuestro corazón y decirle lo que nos preocupa, los proyectos, los anhelos… Jesús escucha.
Nuestro Padre Santo Domingo tenía otro modo de orar, hermoso, devoto y grato para él. Se iba pronto a estar solo en algún lugar, para leer u orar, permaneciendo consigo y con Dios.
Se sentaba tranquilamente y, hecha la señal protectora de la cruz, abría ante sí algún libro; leía y se llenaba su mente de dulzura, como si escuchara al Señor que le hablaba, según lo que se dice en el salmo:
«Voy a escuchar lo que dice el Señor» (Sal 84, 9).
A lo largo de esta lectura hecha en soledad, veneraba el libro, se inclinaba hacia él, y también lo besaba, en especial el Evangelio.
Sería interesante que orásemos como hoy nos enseña Nuestro Padre: con la lectura de la Palabra de Dios, sólo así de nuestros labios saldrán de aquello que abunda el corazón: amor, porque Dios es amor.
Observaba este modo de orar al trasladarse de una región a otra, especialmente cuando se encontraba en lugares solitarios.
Decía a veces a su compañero de camino: Está escrito en el libro de Oseas: «La llevaré al desierto y le hablaré al corazón» (Os 2, 14). En ocasiones se apartaba de su compañero y se le adelantaba y oraba.
Y es que siempre «hablaba de Dios o con Dios».
Domingo ora mientras va de un lugar a otro como testigo, como predicador. Oración de súplica, de alabanza, de acción de gracias, de petición, de contemplación.
Es la oración de toda la Familia Dominicana: monjas contemplativas, frailes, religiosas, seglares, movimientos juveniles… todos en camino con Santo Domingo para hacer realidad aquellas palabras del Maestro: «Id por todo el mundo y predicad el Evangelio a todas las gentes«.
Y es que santo Domingo para nosotros es aquel de quien proclamamos: «Luz de la Iglesia, Doctor de la Verdad, ejemplo de paciencia, fulgor de castidad, predicador de la gracia, nos regalaste la fuente de la sabiduría, únenos un día a los santos«.
Santo Domingo, según la tradición que ha llegado hasta nosotros, terminaba cada jornada con la rezo de la SALVE a María, madre y protectora de la Familia Dominicana.
Our Father, keeping his body erect, bowed his head and, looking humbly at Christ, revered him with all his being. He bowed before the altar as if Christ, represented on it, were there really and personally.
He behaved like this in accordance with this passage from the book of Judith: "You have always been pleased with the prayer of the meek and humble" (Jdt 9:16).
He was also inspired by these words: "I am not worthy to have you come into my house" (Mt 8:8); "Lord, I have always humbled myself before you" (Ps 146:6).
He taught the friars to do so when they passed in front of the crucifix so that Christ, humbled by us to the extreme, would see us humbled before his majesty.
Jesus is the only Lord in history: a crucified man stands as the savior of all men and women.
We bow our heads for a moment before Jesus is crucified because he is the only Lord of our lives.
Before Him, we remember so many young people involved in dark stories: drugs, family problems, without illusions and hopes for the future, unemployed, homeless.
Before Him, we pray for so many young people who work as social volunteers, in hospitals, shelters, asylums, work camps, missions… for all those who work for the marginalized.
St. Dominic prayed frequently, completely prostrate, face to the ground. He ached inside of him and said to himself, and sometimes he did it so loudly, that sometimes they heard him recite that verse of the Gospel:
"O God, have compassion on this sinner" (Lk 18:13).
With pity and reverence, he frequently recalled those words of David:
"I am the one who has sinned and done wickedly" (Ps 50:5).
From the psalm that begins, “With our ears, oh God! we have heard," he recited with vigor and devotion the verse that says:
"For my soul has been humbled to the dust, and my body stuck to the ground" (Ps 43:26).
On some occasion, wanting to exhort the friars with how much reverence they should pray, he would say to them:
"The Magi entered ... and falling on their knees, they worshiped him" (Mt 2:11) ...
We ask forgiveness for our sins and say: Lord, have mercy!
We make memory in our interior of the boys and girls who in the world are subjected to all kinds of exploitation, work, or crime.
We remember emigrants humiliated by our ways of living that we justify even with laws.
Motivated by St. Dominic by everything that precedes, he rose from the ground and disciplined himself saying: "Your discipline trained me for combat" (Ps 17:35), "Mercy, my God," (Ps 50), or also: "From I cry out to you, Lord ”
(Ps 129). No one, however innocent, should deviate from this example.
He suffers and prays for all those who suffer, prolonging the Passion of Jesus in his body.
We make memory within ourselves for those who suffer, in body or spirit, perhaps acquaintances or relatives of ours.
But we remember, in a special way, the incurable patients, those with AIDS, so many people, whose images come to us through the media, who are victims of wars, violence, and terrorism.
After this, St. Dominic, turned to the crucifix,and looked at it with great attention.
Sometimes, after praying the Compline prayer and until midnight, he would say, like the leper in the Gospel:
"Lord, if you want, you can heal me" (Mt 8:2).
Or like Esteban, who cried out:
"Do not hold this sin in mind" (Acts 7:60).
He had great confidence in the mercy of God, in his favor, in the good of all sinners and in the protection of the young friars whom he sent to preach.
At times he could not contain his voice and the friars heard him say: "To you, Lord, I invoke you, do not be deaf to my voice, do not be silent" (Ps 27:1), as well as other words from Holy Scripture.
Dominic prays before Christ presenting him with the work of his hands, hands that are also ours. What can we present to him of our lives?
Let us raise our hands before Him. We do not seek merit or praise, but we wish to have a heart full of names, of concrete faces whom we love and wish to love more.
That is why we remember our families, who have given us a life, or to whom we have given a life, love, education ... or who have made it possible for us to be here.
That is why we remember our communities, fraternities, groups, movements, our superiors, leaders ...
That is why we remember our friends, friends, neighbors, people who share our lives, co-workers, students ...
But we cannot forget those we do not love yet, those with whom we have tense relationships ...
Sometimes Fr. Dominic, being in the convent, would remain before the altar; he kept his body upright, without leaning on or helping himself with anything.
Sometimes he had his hands extended to his chest, like an open book; thus, he stood with much reverence and devotion, as if he were reading before the Lord.
In his prayer, he was seen meditating on the Word of God, and as if he were reciting it sweetly to himself. He served as an example of that gesture of the Lord:
"That Jesus entered the synagogue according to his custom and got up to read" (Lk 4:16).
He sometimes would clasp his hands at eye level, clasping them tightly and hitting each other as if urging himself.
He also raised his hands to his shoulders, just as the priest does when he celebrates Mass, as if he wanted to fix his ear to perceive with more attention something that would be said from the altar.
St. Dominic prays in attitude of offering, prays for all creation, and prays with all nature. The universe becomes a prayer in his mind and heart.
We also pray with our hands and pray for those who care about nature, although we often do not give it importance.
We ask that God put in our hearts feelings full of hope to take care of creation, but above all to take care of humanity and that humanity does not destroy the work that God gave it, remembering the Canticle of the Prophet Daniel:
"All creatures of the Lord, bless the Lord ... Children of men, bless the Lord ... Blessed is the Lord in the vault of heaven, praised and glorious and exalted forever" (Dan 3:57ff).
Sometimes it was also seen praying to Fr. St. Dominic with hands and arms open and widely extended, like the cross, remaining upright as far as possible.
In this way the Lord prayed while he hung on the cross and "with the great cry and tears he was heard by the reverential fear of him" (Heb 5:7).
But St. Dominic did not use this way of praying except when, inspired by God, he knew that something great and wonderful was going to be done by virtue of prayer, or that God was moving him with special force to a singular grace.
He pronounced the words of the Psalter that refer to this way of praying with thoughtfulness, gravity and opportune. He said attentively:
"Lord, God of my salvation, by day I ask for help, by night I cry out in your presence… All day I am invoking you, Lord, reaching out to you" (Ps 87:2-10).
He identifies with Christ and embraces all men and women with his prayer.
We can raise our arms and form a great cross of humanity.
United, we remember the men and women who are not Christians but believe in God and seek him with a sincere heart; we pray for all seekers of God.
We pray for those who seek peace from their faith and do so from justice. We ask Jesus who died for all that we are able to overcome racist attitudes or marginalization due to religious or cultural reasons.
We remember those who carry their cross every day, those who find it difficult to accept it, those who reject it, those who carry it to others ...
He was frequently found praying, directed all the way to heaven. He prayed with his hands raised above his head, very raised and joined together, or slightly apart, as if to receive something from heaven.
He asked God for the Order for the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the practice of the beatitudes.
He asked to remain in poverty, in hunger and thirst for justice, in the desire for mercy, until they were proclaimed blessed.
He asked to remain devoted and joyful in keeping the commandments and in fulfilling the evangelical counsels.
He sometimes said:
"Listen to my pleading voice when I ask for your help, when I raise my hands towards your sanctuary" (Ps 27:2).
Dominic lets himself be carried away by his thoughts, by his wishes, by his doubts, by his projects, and he exposes them to Jesus with a sincere heart.
We, too, can stand before Jesus without deceit, open our hearts to him and tell him what worries us, our projects, and hopes… And Jesus always listens.
Our Fr. St. Dominic had another way of praying, beautiful, devout and pleasing to him. He was soon going to be alone somewhere, to read or pray, staying with himself and with God.
He would sit quietly and, having made the protective sign of the cross, he would open a book before him. He read and his mind was filled with sweetness, as if he were listening to the Lord speaking to him, according to what is said in the psalm:
"I am going to listen to what the Lord says" (Ps 84:9).
Throughout this solitary reading, he venerated the book, leaned toward it, and also kissed it, especially the Gospel.
It would be interesting if we pray as Our Father teaches us today: with the reading of the Word of God, only in this way will our lips come out of what the heart abounds: love, because God is love.
He observed this way of praying as he moved from one region to another, especially when he was in lonely places.
He sometimes said to his companion on his way: It is written in the book of Hosea: "I will take her to the desert and speak to her heart" (Hos 2:14). At times he would withdraw from his companion and go ahead of them and pray.
And it is that he always "talked about God or with God."
Fr. Dominic prays as he goes from one place to another as a witness, as a preacher. Prayer of supplication, praise, thanksgiving, petition, contemplation.
It is the prayer of the entire Dominican Family: contemplative nuns, friars, religious, lay people, youth movements ... all on their way with St. Dominic to make those words of the Master come true: "Go all over the world and preach the Gospel to all people."
And it is that St. Dominic, for us, is the one of whom we proclaim: "Light of the Church, Doctor of Truth, example of patience, radiance of chastity, preacher of grace, you gave us the source of wisdom, join us one day with the Saints."
St. Dominic, according to the tradition that has come down to us, ended each day with the prayer of SALVE to Mary, mother and protector of the Dominican Family.
This shrine was donated entirely by the John XXIII Diocesan Movement, Haines City. Their love and dedication will be forever remembered at
St. Ann Catholic Church.
Thank you to the Diocese of Orlando for featuring our parish on the front page of their website and the Florida Catholic newspaper. We invite you to visit our new "Guadalupe Shrine" located on our church campus, a place for prayer and meditation to Jesus through Mary.