|St. Dominic's Bequest|
|Written by Michael Fones|
|Friday, 08 August 2008 05:52|
St. Dominic did not leave much in the way of written prayers, treatises, or even homilies. His active life was brief, roughly from 1206-1221, during which time he established his Order and gave us the general structure of governance which survives to this day. That structure includes the democratic election of leaders, so much did he trust Jesus' promise to send the Holy Spirit to guide those who invoke Him.
He was the first official theologian of the Pontifical Household, a role still held by a Dominican to this day.
One of the statements attributed to Dominic is particularly important to me. On his deathbed, the saintly poor man promised his brothers that he would be of more help to them than he had been in life. He had nothing to give away to his friars but this advice, ""Have charity one for another; guard humility; make your treasure out of voluntary poverty." St. Dominic knew that members of an Order with a strong intellectual bent would need to remember to be charitable with one another as they disagreed; that humility would be necessary no matter how brilliant they might be. Even St. Thomas Aquinas, the most brilliant of our friars, was able to note that all he had written "was as so much straw" compared to the reality of God he had witnessed in a vision. St. Dominic was convinced that brilliant arguments against heresy would not be effective unless they were presented in true humility. Voluntary poverty can easily be rationalized away and comfort justified by a sharp mind and a weak will.
Holy Father Dominic, pray for your sons and daughter so that other men and women join with them to praise, to bless, and to preach that Jesus Christ is Lord! Pray that we might all be brothers and sisters in your beloved Jesus, united in charity, clothed in humility, and in solidarity with the poor in fact as well as in spirit.