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Arch Bishop Micheal Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Spiritual Reading

  • Saturday 8 August 2020

    Saint Dominic, Priest 
    on Saturday of week 18 in Ordinary Time

    Spiritual Reading

    Your Second Reading from the Office of Readings:

    Saint Dominic, Priest

    St Dominic in Prayer, by El Greco (c.1541-1614).

    From various writings on the history of the Order of Preachers
    He spoke with God or about God

    Dominic possessed such great integrity and was so strongly motivated by divine love, that without a doubt he proved to be a bearer of honour and grace. He was a man of great equanimity, except when moved to compassion and mercy. And since a joyful heart animates the face, he displayed the peaceful composure of a spiritual man in the kindness he manifested outwardly and by the cheerfulness of his countenance.
    Wherever he went he showed himself in word and deed to be a man of the Gospel. During the day no one was more community-minded or pleasant towards his brothers and associates. During the night hours no one was more persistent in every kind of vigil and supplication. He seldom spoke unless it was with God, that is, in prayer, or about God, and in this matter he instructed his brothers. Frequently he made a special personal petition that God would deign to grant him a genuine charity, effective in caring for and obtaining the salvation of men. For he believed that only then would he be truly a member of Christ, when he had given himself totally for the salvation of men, just as the Lord Jesus, the Saviour of all, had offered himself completely for our salvation. So, for this work, after a lengthy period of careful and provident planning, he founded the Order of Friars Preachers.
    In his conversations and letters he often urged the brothers of the Order to study constantly the Old and New Testaments. He always carried with him the gospel according to Matthew and the epistles of Paul, and so well did he study them that he almost knew them from memory.
    Two or three times he was chosen bishop, but he always refused, preferring to live with his brothers in poverty. Throughout his life, he preserved the honour of his virginity. He desired to be scourged and cut to pieces, and so die for the faith of Christ. Of him Pope Gregory IX declared: “I knew him as a steadfast follower of the apostolic way of life. There is no doubt that he is in heaven, sharing in the glory of the apostles themselves.”


    The ferial reading for today:

    Saturday of week 18 in Ordinary Time

    From the treatise "Against the Heresies" by St Irenaeus
    I desire mercy and not sacrifice

    God did not seek sacrifices and holocausts, but faith, and obedience, and righteousness, for the sake of their salvation. As God said, teaching his will through Hosea the prophet, What I want is love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts. Our Lord taught the same, saying If you had understood the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless. Thus he bore witness to the truth of the prophets’ teachings while convicting the people of culpable folly.
    Giving directions to his disciples to offer to God the first-fruits of his own creation — not offering them as if God needed them but so that they themselves should not be sterile or ungrateful — he took a created thing, bread, gave thanks, and said This is my body. And as for the cup, which is part of the same creation as us, he proclaimed it to be his blood and taught that it was the new offering of the new covenant. The Church received this from the Apostles and offers it to God throughout the world, to the God who gives us food, the first-fruits of his gifts under the new covenant. Malachi, one of the twelve prophets, foretold this as follows: I am not pleased with you, says the Lord of Hosts; from your hands I find no offerings acceptable. But from farthest east to farthest west my name is honoured among the nations and everywhere a sacrifice of incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering too, since my name is honoured among the nations, says the Lord of Hosts. Thus he clearly indicated that the people of old (the Jews) would cease to make offerings to God, but that in every place a sacrifice would be offered, and a pure sacrifice at that; and his name would be glorified among the nations.
    What other name is there which is glorified among the Gentiles than that of our Lord, by whom the Father is glorified, and man also? Because it is the name of his own Son, who was made man by him, he calls it his own. Just as a king, if he himself paints a portrait of his son, is right in calling this portrait his own, both because it is a portrait of his son and because he himself painted it, so also the Father professes the name of Jesus Christ, glorified in the Church throughout the world, to be his own, both because it is that of his Son, and because he himself wrote it and gave it for the salvation of mankind.
    The prophet’s words are doubly appropriate, both because the Son’s name belongs properly to the Father, and because the Church everywhere makes her offering to almighty God through Jesus Christ: In every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure sacrifice. For as John says in the Apocalypse, incense is the prayer of the saints.


    In other parts of the world and other calendars:

    Saint Mary of the Cross (Mary MacKillop), Foundress

    A photograph from c.1870.

    From a letter of Mary MacKillop to Monsignor Kirby.

    Oh, Father, I cannot tell you what a beautiful thing the will of God seems to me. For some years past, my Communions, my prayers, my intentions have all been for God’s will to be done. I can never pray for a particular intention, a particular person, or anything particular about our own Institute, but in God’s loved will, that is – whilst I desire with all my heart to pray for these, I cannot help at the same time desiring that He only use my prayers for the intention that His own will most desires at this time. Thus I feel a joy when things go well, for I see His will in this, and an equal joy when they seem to go wrong or against our natural desire, for there again I see His will, and am satisfied that He has accepted my prayers and those of many more for some other object at the time nearer to His adorable will.
    To me, the will of God is a dear book which I am never tired of reading, which has always some new charm for me. Nothing is too little to be noticed there, but yet my littleness and nothingness has often dared to oppose it, and I am painfully conscious that in many ways I still in my tepidity offend against it without perceiving what I am doing. But such dear lessons as you gave me the other evening then come to my aid and encourage me, for the love of my sweet Jesus is too strong, too beautiful, and His merits too great, for me not to cling to Him.

    Copyright © 1996-2020 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd. All rights reserved.