We are close to celebrating the feast of Our Father St. Dominic, a compassionate man, who desired to be a response of mercy to the world.
Blessed Jordan of Saxony offers us a beautiful description of the Saint, “inflamed with the zeal of God and supernatural ardor, possessing a limitless charity and the fervor of a vehement spirit”. He precisely highlights this fundamental trait of St. Dominic: he spoke with God or about God. In the saints’ lives the love for God and neighbor always go together.
In St. Dominic, three qualities stand out that have always caught the attention of his companions and that are more necessary than ever today: JOY, REALISM and COMPASSION. But I would like to particularly share with you COMPASSION, given the situation in which we find ourselves as humanity in these times of pandemic.
St. Dominic, from his childhood grew in compassion, so much so that he interiorized in himself the miseries of others. He had a great love for the poor and needy, seeing the presence of Christ in each one of them. We all know very well the great famine that occurred in Palencia, when he was a student there. He deeply sympathized with the poor and gave them everything he had, including what he cherished the most, his books. More dramatic is that other scene in his life where he thought of selling himself as a slave, when he no longer had anything else to sell. For all this he suffered misunderstanding and criticism, to which he replied with kindness and peace: «Christ should not suffer hunger in the poor while I keep something in my house with which I can help them.» In truth we can say that Dominic was poor with the poor and for the poor. This is a trait that surely challenges our life. Along with us nowadays, there is also the poverty of so many people and families, who, due to the current economic situation, are having a really hard time. Do these situations challenge our sensitivity, our solidarity and our charity? I think it should be an urgent call to detach ourselves from what we have to share with those most in need.
We are seeing how the world today, as a result of this pandemic, is in need of mercy and compassion in all its senses. The painful urgencies of many people make our compassion necessary, thereby implying a real commitment to all our suffering brothers, in order to walk towards an increasing solidarity in the world.
Sisters, as Dominicans, we are called to strive to achieve a more humane and fraternal world. Let us look at the model of the first Christian community, how it was built on prayer, the reading of the Scriptures, the breaking of the bread and the sharing of everyone’s goods, so as not to abandon anyone in need (cf. Acts, 2, 42-45). Let us ask the Lord to increase our FAITH, to strengthen our HOPE and thus increase our CHARITY.
HAPPY FEAST OF ST. DOMINIC!
My fraternal embrace,
Sor Mª Asunción González, O.P.