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The Four Charisms of Dominican Life


The Four Pillars - Dominicans of Canada




Among the extraordinary graces which Catholics gain by becoming members of
a Third Order is a share in many Masses and prayers.

To mention, for instance, the Third Order of Saint Dominic, Pope Benedict
XV, himself a Tertiary, said: "One of the easiest and most effectual ways
of reaching a high degree of sanctity is by becoming a Dominican Tertiary"

The members of this order receive during life a share every day in
thousands of Masses and prayers, and after death, when, alas, so many are
neglected by their relatives, those who are members of this Third Order
have a share daily in thousands of other Masses and prayers, this for as
long as they remain in Purgatory!

Among the many beautiful characteristics of the Order of St. Dominic is its
intense devotion and love for the Holy Souls, especially for the souls of
its members, friends and benefactors. So true is this that a young Italian
nobleman who consulted the Pope as to which religious order he would do
well to enter received for answer: "My dear son, you may with much profit
join any of the Orders, for in each you will find abundant means of
becoming a Saint. After death, however, be a Dominican" The Holy Father
meant to imply that the suffrages given after death to their deceased
members are, indeed, most abundant in the Dominican Order.

The conditions of becoming a member of this order are so easy and the
advantages so many that half the world would become Dominican Tertiaries
did they know these advantages.

It is a sad reality that even Dominicans, in their zeal to preach the Gospel and to labour in the vineyard of the Lord, often neglect to pray. This is nothing new. Even St Raymond of Penafort complained: "I am hardly ever able to reach or, to be quite honest, even to see from afar, the tranquillity of contemplation." Time seems to fly away and there seem to be pressing demands on every side. But what can be more pressing than prayer? How is it that some do not feel the aching need to pray? Or perhaps they do but simply cannot find the strength to tear themselves away from the people who clamour for their attention. It was with sadness that, during my time in the Philippines, I listened to a friar lament his inability to find the time to pray and contemplate theology because he was so excessively busy and occupied with pastoral demands. It seemed to me, there was a real pain that he felt and some may call this the poverty of time, a sacrifice that the clergy make. However, I am certain that God does not ask the clergy to make such a sacrifice nor require such poverty. Clearly, what the Lord wants first is our flourishing and this is impossible without prayer. Indeed, God is seeking us out, waiting for us to converse with him in prayer.








This quote is a good reminder of the relation between the works of mercy as it applies to a preaching order by Humbert of the Romans:

There are some who with love apply themselves to works of corporal mercy, but preaching, because it devotes all its zeal to the salvation of souls in danger of death, surpasses in excellence the above mentioned works, as the soul surpasses the body. For this reason Our Lord said to him who wished to bury his father: “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but do thou go and proclaim the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60). So that if it is necessary, according to this command, to place preaching above the duty of burying one’s father, one of the most pious of corporal works of mercy, how much more should preaching in general be placed above all the works which have as their object only the well-being of the body. Whoever by his word nourishes souls with everlasting food does more, St. Gregory observes, than he who gives material bread in order to preserve the life of the body.




            Can Dominicans Really Be Lay People?