The Dominicans are my favourite Order. If I had ever felt a vocation, it would have been to become a Dominican.
The Dominicans are closely identified with the Inquisition, and this already makes them very special to my eyes. They are also closely identified with the Rosary, which makes them even dearer to me. When I hear them called domini canes, I can’t but find it a compliment.
It would appear that, after going through a phase of disorientation in the dreadful years following Vatican II, the Dominicans are now reacting in a different way than the Franciscans and the Jesuits and that they are, thankfully, recovering their identity and tradition.
Apart from anecdotical evidence (I mention here a brilliant commenter on another blog, and the author of the also brilliant domine, da mihi hanc aquam blog; a blog which has even made it in the very exclusive list of blogs linked to from this site 😉 ), the video below (taken from the above mentioned blog) seems to show that things are going – at least in the English province – in the right direction.
What striked me in this video were the following elements:
1) not one word on “social justice”, or “social issues”, or the like. Not one. Can’t imagine it’s a coincidence.
2) Not one second in which someone of them appears in anything than their traditional habit.
3) Average age (at least of the people appearing in the video) is rather low; there seem to be no huge difficulty in attracting vocations.
4) Strong accent on prayer and study. Strong accent on intellectual work. No effeminate emotionalism. God bless them.
5) Mission clearly given as the one of helping people to get to heaven, not helping people in their social instances or grievances.
6) At 8:11 a beautiful altar is shown, in the process of being aspersed with incense. The altar is clearly ad orientem. This looks like the beginning of a Tridentine Mass to me. Again, I can’t think this is a coincidence.
I can’t say I liked everything (well the white socks for starters 😉 , but a couple of rather naked, ungainly-looking Novus Ordo altars were not entirely pleasing either), but if this video is – as it must be – representative of the way the English Dominicans want to be perceived and therefore of what – irrespective of the problems they may still have – they want to become, then there is reason to be optimistic about their future.
Kudos to the English Province of the Dominicans, then, and best wishes to them in their chosen vocation.
Absolutely brilliant entry from Fr Philip Neri Powell, the Domine, da mihi hans aquam! blogger.
A famous scene from Monty Phyton’s “Life of Brian” is the witty starting point to the right understanding of what it means to follow Christ. The exposition is based on brilliant metaphors: bill payments, tuition costs, everyday sayings, military considerations and surrender’s conditions are all put together in a striking way.
The blog entry can be read in a couple of minutes, what you learn from it will probably stay with you forever.