St. Dominic

On Aug. 8, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of St. Dominic Guzman, who helped the cause of orthodoxy in the medieval Church by founding the Order of Preachers, also known as Dominicans.

“This great saint reminds us that in the heart of the Church a missionary fire must always burn,” Pope Benedict XVI said in a February 2010 General Audience talk on the life of St. Dominic. In his life, the Pope said, “the search for God's glory and the salvation of souls” went “hand in hand.”

Born in Caleruega, Spain around the year 1170, Dominic was the son of Felix Guzman and Joanna of Aza, members of the nobility. His mother would eventually be beatified by the Church, as would his brother Manes who became a Dominican. The family's oldest son Antonio also became a priest.

Dominic received his early education from his uncle, who was a priest, before entering the University of Palencia where he studied for ten years. In one notable incident from this period, he sold his entire collection of rare books to provide for the relief of the poor in the city.

After his ordination to the priesthood, Dominic was asked by Bishop Diego of Osma to participate in local church reforms. He spent nine years in Osma, pursuing a life of intense prayer, before being called to accompany the bishop on a piece of business for King Alfonso IX of Castile in 1203.

While traveling in France with the bishop, Dominic observed the bad effects of the Albigensian heresy, which had taken hold in southern France during the preceding century. The sect revived an earlier heresy, Manicheanism, which condemned the material world as an evil realm not created by God.

Dreading the spread of heresy, Dominic began to think about founding a religious order to promote the truth. In 1204 he and Bishop Diego were sent by Pope Innocent III to assist in the effort against the Albigensians, which eventually involved both military force and theological persuasion.

In France, Dominic engaged in doctrinal debates and set up a convent whose rule would eventually become a template for the life of female Dominicans. He continued his preaching mission from 1208 to 1215, during the intensification of the military effort against the Albigensians.

In 1214, Dominic's extreme physical asceticism caused him to fall into a coma, during which the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to him and instructed him to promote the prayer of the Rosary. Its focus on the incarnation and life of Christ directly countered the Albigensian attitude towards matter as evil.

During that same year, Dominic returned to Tolouse and obtained the bishop's approval of his plan for an order dedicated to preaching. He and a group of followers gained local recognition as a religious congregation, and Dominic accompanied Tolouse's bishop to Rome for an ecumenical council in 1215.

The council stressed the Church's need for better preaching, but also set up a barrier to the institution of new religious orders. Dominic, however, obtained papal approval for his plan in 1216, and was named as the Pope's chief theologian. The Order of Preachers expanded in Europe with papal help in 1218.

The founder spent the last several years of his life building up the order and continuing his preaching missions, during which he is said to have converted some 100,000 people. After several weeks of illness, St. Dominic died in Italy on August 6, 1221. He was canonized in 1234 by Pope Gregory IX.


Ezekial 1:2-5, 24-28c

2 On the fifth day of the month, the same was the fifth year of the captivity of king Joachin,
3 The word of the Lord came to Ezechiel the priest the son of Buzi in the land of the Chaldeans, by the river Chobar: and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.
4 And I saw, and behold a whirlwind came out of the north: and a great cloud, and a fire infolding it, and brightness was about it: and out of the midst thereof, that is, out of the midst of the fire, as it were the resemblance of amber:
5 And in the midst thereof the likeness of four living creatures: and this was their appearance: there was the likeness of a man in them.
24 And I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, as it were the voice of the most high God: when they walked, it was like the voice of a multitude, like the noise of an army, and when they stood, their wings were let down.
25 For when a voice came from above the firmament, that was over their heads, they stood, and let down their wings.
26 And above the firmament that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of the sapphire stone, and upon the likeness of the throne, was a likeness as of the appearance of a man above upon it.
27 And I saw as it were the resemblance of amber as the appearance of fire within it round about: from his loins and upward, and from his loins downward, I saw as it were the resemblance of fire shining round about.
28 As the appearance of the rainbow when it is in a cloud on a rainy day: this was the appearance of the brightness round about.


Matthew 17:22-27

22 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall rise again. And they were troubled exceedingly.
23 And when they were come to Capharnaum, they that received the didrachmas, came to Peter and said to him: Doth not your master pay the didrachmas?
24 He said: Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying: What is thy opinion, Simon? The kings of the earth, of whom do they receive tribute or custom? of their own children, or of strangers?
25 And he said: Of strangers. Jesus said to him: Then the children are free.
26 But that we may not scandalize them, go to the sea, and cast in a hook: and that fish which shall first come up, take: and when thou hast opened its mouth, thou shalt find a stater: take that, and give it to them for me and thee.


Psalms 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

1 Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise ye him in the high places.
2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.
11 Kings of the earth and all people: princes and all judges of the earth:
12 Young men and maidens: let the old with the younger, praise the name of the Lord:
13 For his name alone is exalted.
14 The praise of him is above heaven and earth: and he hath exalted the horn of his people. A hymn to all his saints: to the children of Israel, a people approaching to him. Alleluia.


Lord, may my obedience to You be my guiding principle

Monday August 8 2022
19th Week in Ordinary Time  
St Dominic, priest  
Ez. 1:2-5,24-28c; 
Ps. 148:1-2,11-12,13,14;   Mt. 17:22-27   (Ps Wk III)


What would it be like to have a vision of God or the place where God dwells? Awesome, beautiful, and terrifying are a few words that come to mind. Ezekiel’s vision of the divine chariot was at the core of Jewish mysticism, and it also flowed into the Book of Revelation. It is not to be taken literally – it is about God's majesty, power, and holiness. It is meant to reassure us and inspire us. God is in control and greater than all the negativity in our world. 

In a strange conversation with Peter, Jesus insists that God is the sole legitimate power, and all belongs to Him. The children of God are free, although they often do not realise it. But He did not want to get His followers into trouble, so He ordered Peter to catch a fish and take a coin from its mouth to pay their taxes. When we place obedience to humans over obedience to God, we are on the wrong track, which often ends in disaster. God is sovereign – we should never forget this.       

Lord, may my obedience to You be my guiding principle.