So I am reading this book, as I mentioned before with my fellow blogger (a Lay Dominican, I’m just a newbie at this) Tiffany over at Life of A Catholic Librarian. In fact, the next book up for her book club series will be this book. It’s quite the treasure. The book is The New Wine of Dominican Spirituality: A Drink Called Happiness By Paul Murray OP. In reading this book, I have highlighted many passages. We tweet often (every day of late and that’s really nice) and I told her I would take some time to send those passages that I have highlighted. Then I thought I would share them with all of you too to get a flavor of the spirituality with which I am entering and journeying towards with a little reflection from me for each:
“It [preaching] is about being alive in God and for others. It is from this life that our preaching springs” (p. v)
When discerning a Third Order vocation I shied away from this one because of the negative connotation of the word “preach”. I never want to talk about my faith in such a way that is oppressive because I feel it to be freeing. After some thought, I am actually preaching in this blog and I’ve written about this little revelation here.
“Gospel as the new wine: ‘Let us behave like the drunkard who does not think of himself but only of the wine he has drunk and of the wine that remains to be drunk!’ St. Catherine of Siena. (p. v)
Do I need to say anything else than this is my kinda saint??
He (St. Dominic) made an amazing innovation to religious life in insisting that the Constitutions did not bind the brethren under pain of sin, because we ‘are not slaves under the law, but free under grace’.” (p. vi)
This is what I was talking about here. This is just what I needed with regards to my spirituality and faith. All of it. I can get rigid, and feel like I am a slave to the expectations and schedules I create for myself. This allows me a relax mechanism that is part of the rule. That I love.
“We talk to God as to a friend; we spontaneously share with God whatever is on our minds, out joys and fears, asking for what we desire and giving thanks for what we receive.” (p. vii)
I have always done this and always felt this is what a relationship with God is. Or what faith is. I feel like I’ve had this little light of faith, a flickering candle with me for as long as I remember. Even back when I visited different denominations as a young girl (read 12 years old people!) looking for God without encouragement, without help. I stopped looking but kept the flicker. And oh the flame it has become now!
“Thomas believed that anyone who lacked a sense of joy and could not enjoy jokes was morally unsound. Play is necessary for human life.” (p. vii)
I am all about the funny people. If you ask any one at work, in my family, anyone. They will tell you I should have been a comedian. I would do skits as a kid and re-do In Living Color sketches mimicking the slapstick, voices and timing. All because I had to get a laugh. Something about making people laugh and laughing feeds me. Favorite type of movie? You guessed it. Comedy.
“The motto of the Dominican Order is ‘Truth’, and that suggests a particular commitment to, and respect for, the life of the mind.” (p.3)
Truth. Trust. Honesty. Can’t get any more basic than that. It’s something I always seek and something I hate to be covered up.
“One phrase associated with Dominicans since the thirteenth century (and which by now, has almost become a Dominican motto) is the Latin phrase ‘contemplata aliis tradere’: to pass on to others what we ourselves have contemplated.” (p. 11)
And here is the title of this post. Because whatever I learn, I am always willing to share. In whatever capacity. Anything that will help someone else’s learning, I am willing to give anything I have to help them. When that light bulb of the brain turns on, it’s a beautiful thing.
“First see, then write, then send…What is needed first is study, then reflection in the heart, and then preaching’” (p. 13)
This is exactly, exactly how I preach (write this blog). Did I say exactly?
A wise preacher ought to return to himself after going out to preach, and carefully examine everything that has happened to him, so that he can wash away any defilement that he has incurred and repair anything that has got broken. He should be like a traveler who cleans and mends his shows when he arrives at a hospice, so that he can journey better thereafter. (p. 19 but quoted from Humbert of Romans, Treatise, IV, xix, 238; S. Tugwell, Early Dominicans
I am learning to unplug. That’s what this last passage says to me. I need more quiet time and I haven’t been shy about expressing that with you. Yes, I pray. I pray for all of you when you ask, every night, or whenever your name (yes, your name) crosses my mind at any given day. The prayer during those times are usually not particularly special, but they are heartfelt and full of tenderness for your intention. This means that sometimes with all the reflecting, I get tired. Sometimes, you know. When other parts of my life ramp up, like the school year, work changes, moves, etc. It is then that I get frustrated because all I really want to do, is pray.
And this takes me only to page 19, dear friends. I feel as if I have been called to this order my whole life and never really had the keyhole with wick my key would fit. I think if you have been with me, since May when I started writing here, you would see that all of these bits and pieces of Dominican spirituality reflect a light within me that I have tried to share here, however humbly with you.
I strongly encourage you to buy the book and share these findings with me. I of course, will share what I find with you. As the #LawnChairCatechism series comes to a close, I think this will take its place.
Until next time. Welcome to another new series “Contemplata aliis tradere” which means to pass on to others what we ourselves have contemplated. It may not always mean I reflect on this book, but it does mean I will always share what I know, with you.