Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Can the Dominicans Help Rescue the Age from Itself?

Kathryn Jean Lopez | Jun 07, 2016

If Chesterton was right about the "degrading slavery" of being children of our era, author Kevin Vost suggests the Order of Preachers is vital to the age

“The Dominicans are going to save the world,” a friend commented while waiting for a newly ordained priest’s first blessing on Saturday. It’s not the first time I’ve heard something along those lines – usually as commentary on the scene of young, stimulating, grounded, prayerful student brothers and priests filling the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. Or the fact that what was once a residence for elderly and ailing priests at St. Dominic’s across town now houses those starting out instead, their numbers beyond the capacity at the DHS priory.
The Dominican order, founded by St. Dominic, is 800 years old this year. And so it was particularly fitting for the Eastern Province of St. Joseph to have its largest ordination class in 45 years. The eleven men were ordained two weeks ago by Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, also a Dominican, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  — the scene of a papal Mass and the Mass of Christian Burial for Justice Antonin Scalia in months past. Archbishop DiNoia, the highest-ranking American at the Vatican these days, called the men an answer to prayers. Pray for them and pray for more.
Kevin Vost is author of Hounds of the Lord: Great Dominican Saints Every Catholic Should Know, a bit of a practical primer to the 800th anniversary.
Kathryn Jean Lopez: You wrote: “One way to counter modern pressures to conform to the world and to ignore God is to embrace the Dominican way…” What’s so special about this “Dominican way”? And is there any basic recipe to follow?
Kevin Vost: There is an old saying that “If you’ve met one Dominican, you’ve met one Dominican,” which suggests there is certainly more than one “Dominican way,” at least as far as how it is expressed though the personality and talents of each individual.  There are several common denominators among Dominicans that do provide the basic recipe to bake up a Dominican, though. One of their mottoes declares their active mission: “To praise, to bless, to preach.” The traditional “four pillars” of the Dominican life are Prayer, Study, Communal Life, and Preaching.  We can see then that perhaps the most essential ingredient appearing both times is that of preaching. And what is it that they preach?  The pithiest of all their mottoes is simply “Veritas” (“Truth”).

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