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From the Pastor 08/26/18

St. Dominic's Life of Prayer

St. Dominic was given to constant prayer, and a beautiful little anonymous work, The Nine Ways of Prayer has preserved for us his ways of praying with his whole body, mind, and heart.

The First Way: A simple bow of the head, a bow from the shoulders, and the profound bow from the waist. The Second Way: Dominic laid face down, outstretched on the floor, praying for God’s mercy. The Third Way: Dominic would scourge himself with an iron chain for repentance, humility, mercy and self-discipline.
The Fourth Way: Dominic was transfixed upon the cross, he frequently genuflected. In awe of crucified Christ, he would rise then kneel, rising and kneeling again and again. The Fifth Way: Dominic stood with his hands held before him as if reading from a book in such reverence as if to be reading the very presence of God. The Sixth Way: Dominic stood with outstretched arms, in the form of a cross, in anticipation of a miracle God would perform.
The Seventh Way: A prayer of supplication where Dominic’s whole being was seen as an arrow directed heavenward shot from a bow. The Eighth Way: Reflective reading, conversing with the Word. The Ninth Way: Praying on the journey, even when travelling with other friars, he would remove himself from their company and walk by himself, allowing for more prayer and contemplation.

Dominic was also given to long nights of vigil and to severe physical penance, scourging himself to blood, while groaning deeply for those to whom he preached, since, as he said, he wished he might throw his body over the mouth of hell to close it to sinners.

“We read of him genuflecting countless times before the figure of the crucified, repeatedly prostrating himself in vania in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Bowing, kneeling, standing, every posture of the body, every gesture of it, had, according to his idea, to be welded into the proper method of addressing God. By nature intensely positive, he looked on the worship to be rendered to God as something which claimed the whole of man, which was due from every gift or faculty of soul and body.” Jarrett, O.P., Life of St. Dominic, p. 91. “He loved silent prayer, pilgrimages, the veneration of the saints and of relics, all in perfect harmony with Catholic piety.” Bedouelle, O.P., In the Image of St. Dominic, p. 149.

A blessed week to all,

Rev. André-Joseph LaCasse, O.P. Pastor