St. Dominic was led to preach and to foster education so that there would be many good preachers of truth. Other saints were moved to action in different ways. If we want to grow in holiness there are a multitude of ways we can be moved to action as well, but no matter what it is, the source of our action must always be the love of God. Saints are the ones who allow God’s love to so flow through them that it is obvious to those around them that their love is extraordinary. St. Dominic points out to us that this takes desire and effort. All of us are supposed to grow in holiness throughout our lives, though we are not meant to become perfect since that is impossible. Rather, we should desire to become more like Jesus, learning from His teachings and actions. Jesus' disciples were so touched by His love for them, that in responding to that love, they began to have deeper love for those they met. His love literally propelled them to choose a life of sharing what they had received with others. If we are also His disciples, our encounters with Jesus can propel us outward, too.
There is so much in the world that needs healing, assistance, and mercy. Our efforts to be peaceful, loving, and of service are how we bring that love to life in the world. We are indeed called to holiness, but not for holiness sake: we are called to holiness because the world needs it in a dire way. Our goal is not to be holy simply because we want to be the object of admiration, but we want to become holy because it glorifies God and it helps His people. Holiness is not an end, it is the path. The goal is God, and God is found in His world because our love helps to make His love present. This is why it is important to learn from St. Dominic and those who imitated his specific quest to make the truth of God’s love present in the world. St. Dominic learned from Jesus that the truth sets us free. The truth is that God loves us and cares for us. The truth is that God wants to be present to us, heal us, forgive us, lead us to Heaven, and to have mercy, compassion, and love for us. God wants us to be present to Him so He can do these things, since He does not force Himself upon us. He wants us to help Him to work against evil and suffering, and we do this by being a person of prayer and therefore of love. It means we must have the discipline and intentionality of St. Dominic in our prayer in order to open ourselves to love and to sharing that love with others. Let us allow the truth of God’s love to transform us that we can bring it to those we meet through our words and deeds, and like St. Dominic, be drawn to the Father.
©Michele L. Catanese
*If interested, you can read about St. Dominic and his life at these sites: http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/Saint.aspx?id=1101
The photo at the beginning is mine. It is a patch of lavender taken near Copper Mountain, Colorado.
The next two paintings are by one of my favorite painters, Bl. Fra Angelico. I chose these because Fra Angelico was a Dominican and it seemed fitting to display his works when I used him as an example. The first is called Seventeen Blessed of the Dominican Order and Two Dominican Tertiaries. It can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/musette1960/fra-angelico/
The second is called St. Dominic at the Foot of the Cross and it can be found at https://christbearers.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/st-dominic-at-the-foot-of-the-cross/
Next is the work of Fr. William Hart McNichols, an icon called Beato Fra Angelico Patron Of Artists. It can be found at http://fineartamerica.com/featured/beato-fra-angelico-patron-of-artists-william-hart-mcnichols.html
Finally are two photographs, the first of which is mine. It was taken at Big Bend National Park in Texas. The second was taken by my husband Tony while we were in southern New Mexico.