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More Eloquent than the Blood of Abel

1 hour 55 min ago
Growing up the third of four boys I have thought long and hard about the story of Cain and Abel. Beside pondering fraternal conflict and the effects of original sin, the story of the brothers intrigues me with regard to sacrifice. The story is familiar, but consider it here with this in mind. “Now Abel […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Primary Importance of Being Able to Sit

02/22/2017 - 9:30am
The music stops, and all the children feverishly vie for a seat, aware there is one fewer chair than players in the game. Brother and sister race through the parking lot to the family minivan, their frenzied cries of “SHOTGUN!” having proven too inconclusive to definitively award the sole front passenger seat to either claimant. […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Truth or Death?

02/21/2017 - 9:30am
The Princess Bride just starts to get interesting with the kidnapping of Buttercup and the following pursuit. The Man-in-Black chases after the kidnappers, overcoming all obstacles to track Buttercup down. “There is no misunderstanding,” Vizzini says to the Man-in-Black once he defeats both the lithe swordsman Inigo Montoya and the mighty giant Fezzik, “You are […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

A Thomistic Litany of Humility

02/20/2017 - 9:30am
Cardinal Merry del Val’s classic Litany of Humility is known to many Catholics. It’s a powerfully worded prayer, one that always makes a splash. However, revisiting it as a Dominican, the litany raises questions for me. There surges within me a need to make distinctions…or even to write a new litany. Dominican friars aren’t always […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Did the Virgin Mary Tickle the Baby Jesus?

02/18/2017 - 9:30am
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on December 10, 2014. Fr. Gabriel Torretta was ordained to the priesthood in May 2015 and now serves as a parochial vicar. When you picture Mary holding the Christ-child, what do you imagine her doing? Gazing into his eyes? Nursing him? Just holding him close? Thanks to the […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Martha or Mary?

02/17/2017 - 9:30am
To pray or do good? This seems to be the dilemma of anyone trying to live a Christian life. On the one hand St. Thomas Aquinas says that “the contemplative life is more excellent than the active,” but on the other hand St. James says that “faith by itself, if it has no works, is […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Burdened under the Law

02/16/2017 - 9:30am
The Church’s moral law has received attention in the public square for many years now, on topics ranging from contraception to torture. These sorts of discussions take place within the Church as well, as seen in the current discussion on civil divorce and remarriage. It often happens that people are more or less opposed to […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Gamaliel Principle

02/15/2017 - 9:30am
It’s another swelteringly hot day in Jerusalem and many good Jews, on their way into the Temple for worship, stop for a break in the shade of Solomon’s Portico. There they find a group of men (twelve to be exact) working many healing miracles and preaching in the name of Jesus the Nazarene. Wasn’t this […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Blood Red Love

02/14/2017 - 9:30am
The love of St. Valentine goes unrequited on Valentine’s Day. The cities are painted red with roses, lips, young love, and small chalky candies with audacious imperatives: “be true,” “hug me,” “be mine.” Yet, the true red of St. Valentine’s Day comes from the veins of Valentinus, a man who gave his life in the […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Latin and the Language of God

02/13/2017 - 9:30am
Prayer can be described as conversation with God, but in what language? What if, when God speaks, it sounds like nonsense to us? Learning to pray, to be with God, to converse with him, is a bit like learning a language. As Dominicans, we take Latin during our first years of studies. At the beginning […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Our Heavenly Knoxville

02/10/2017 - 9:30am
“Son, no matter where you live or how far you may roam, Tennessee will always be your home.” This has been my dad’s mantra to me ever since I was in the crib. A South Carolinian for nearly 30 years, he admirably remains loyal to his alma mater, the University of Tennessee. Growing up, life […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Quizbowl and the Rosary Lady

02/09/2017 - 9:30am
Can you name this sixth President of the Uni…Bzzz! John Quincy Adams! In high school I enjoyed being on the “It’s Academic” team, which competed with other high schools on two televised quiz-shows each year, along with the lower-stakes, but still high intensity, quiz-bowl tournaments held throughout the county. Victory was often elusive as we […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Homeward Bound

02/08/2017 - 9:30am
Being lost in Manhattan can be a terrifying experience. No idea where you are, no idea where to go, and no familiar faces to ask for directions. Might as well throw on a blindfold for good measure. And yet, if we ever find ourselves in this position, we usually make it out okay. We get […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Mocking Mercy

02/07/2017 - 9:30am
How does the world react to true mercy? Sometimes it laughs. I recently saw the film Silence, (spoiler alert) about two Jesuit missionaries in Japan during a time of terrible persecution, and it features one particularly striking character named Kichijiro. He was a Japanese Christian who, when the persecutions came, abandoned his faith and watched his […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

You Too Were Strangers

02/06/2017 - 9:30am
Having heard a very different speech earlier in the day, my Dominican brothers and I sat down in our chapel a few Fridays ago and heard these words from the Prophet Moses: On your fathers did the Lord set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them… He executes justice for […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Opening the Book of Revelation (Part I)

02/04/2017 - 9:30am
Editor’s note: This post, originally published on November 28, 2011, is the first in a series on the Book of Revelation. You can read the whole series here. Fr. Leo Checkai was ordained a priest in May 2014 and now teaches at Providence College. We speak a wisdom to those who are mature, but not […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

St. Agnes and the Women’s March

02/03/2017 - 9:30am
“Jesus Christ was recklessly charitable,” a wise friar told me after hundreds of people lined up to use the restroom at a Dominican priory. There were not enough restrooms set up for the Women’s March that took place in Washington, DC, the day after the presidential inauguration. I found this out while visiting the Dominican […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

A Song Beneath

02/02/2017 - 9:30am
Kino heard the little splash of morning waves on the beach. It was very good—Kino closed his eyes again to listen to his music. Perhaps he alone did this and perhaps all of his people did it. His people had once been great makers of songs so that everything they saw or thought or did […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Fake News Is Great News

02/01/2017 - 9:30am
I have known many men who wished to deceive, but none who wished to be deceived. –St. Augustine “Fake news” has become big news in recent months. How could the proliferation of deliberately fabricated articles be a good thing? It’s in the outcry against fake news, coming from both liberal and conservative corners. The clamoring […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

A Sign of Hope

01/31/2017 - 9:30am
After an exhausting year, which made me grateful that my hope is based solidly upon God alone and not upon any human person or institution, I was nonetheless ready for some sign of hope to start this new year. The recent and widely publicized presidential inauguration and large protests here in Washington, DC, did not […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations