of truth. Others have Pax or Caritas or Gloria Dei. None of these is outside the orbit of the Dominican soul, but she will reach them by the way of truth : it is in the light of truth that she looks at everything. Truth sets off and quickens the elements that she shares with other
Christian forms of spirituality. A thirst for truth will be the ruling sentiment of our soul.
When we sing the praises of our Father, in a noble hymn every night after returning from our procession to the altar of Our Queen and Lady, Mary, we call St. Dominic “light of the Church, doctor of the Truth” : we say that he pours forth the water of wisdom and that
his preaching diffuses grace. And if we add that he was a “rose of patience” and “ivory of chastity,” these are but the accompaniments of his fundamental vocation
to be a man dedicated to the truth. He espoused the faith as St. Francis espoused poverty.
St. Dominic placed study in the forefront of his own life and of ours. St. Bruno forsook the schools to seek the wildest solitude and to shut himself up there : Dominic founded his priories and convents in the heart of the town and particularly in university centres to
study and teach there. St. Bernard, like St. Augustine, wished his monks to spend much time in manual work : St. Dominic did not hesitate to suppress such labours entirely in order that spiritual work alone should be undertaken.
All ancient observances that he retained are subordinated and adapted to the pursuit of truth. Francis of Assisi, putting poverty above all else, reproved a young disciple who wished to study theology, on the ground that possession of the requisite books would entail unfaithfulness
to holy poverty. Dominic, on the other hand, looks upon poverty as a release from temporal anxieties to facilitate concentration upon study. Moreover, he authorizes his disciples to possess, as he did himself, the books which are the instruments of knowledge. St. Catherine of Siena in her Dialogue rejoices to hear the Eternal Father praise that love of science which characterizes
the “barque”of Dominic. ” Our Order is the first,” said Humbert of Romans, “to have thus linked study to the religious life, prius habuit studium cum religione conjunction.”
It is not the pleasure of cultivating our mind that underlies our intellectual efforts : it is love of Him Who is the Truth itself, it is the love of God. Dominic seeks God in the sacred books where He has revealed Himself. Always, as he trod the highways which lead to Rome,he turned in search of God to the infallible Master of sacred doctrine. ” What is God ?” was the oft-repeated question of the little child in whom the Dominican vocation was beginning to awake, and who was to work until the end of his life to compile the Summa of what man can know on that divine subject.
” Our spirit,” said St. Thomas, ” must strive unceasingly to know God more and more.”
A St. Catherine of Siena bids us gaze upon God with a wide-open eye, the pupil of which is faith. Even simple Tertiaries should be relatively better instructed and more intellectual than other Christians, and assuredly no Dominican soul worthy of the name will ever prefer
sentimental dreams to t
he certainties of the faith. Study ought to upraise us towards God and lead us on to contemplate His perfections, His government and His activity within us. This contemplation will be the highest expression of that appreciation of truth which
characterizes the Dominican soul. It must be attempted even by those who cannot make long and profound meditation. To help them St. Dominic instituted the Rosary, which places the contemplation of the Christian mysteries within the reach of everyone. As Pere
Lemonnyer notes with pleasure in his book upon the Friars Preachers, it was by Masters of Theology that this splendid devotion was restored and propagated in the fifteenth century.”
At the Offertory, five sisters made the oblations of their lives in religious vows: four temporary professions and one perpetual profession.
Father doth not know woman; and Whose voice singeth sweet to me: Whom
when I love I remain chaste, Whom when I touch I am pure, and Whom when I take I remain a Virgin. With His Ring He hath wedded me, and He hath adorned me with most precious jewels.”