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A Crown of Saints

6 hours 25 min ago
Bedazzling! That’s the word that comes to mind while looking at the crown of Charlemagne. But if you focus your attention on just one of the jewels—beautiful as they are—the splendor of the whole fades. It takes what seems to be an absurd amount of gems to produce such a powerful effect. In a similar [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Actively Living: A Deathbed Angel’s Tale

09/20/2017 - 2:00am
...that our joy may be complete. -1 John 1:4 Actively dying. That phrase the nurse whispered to your family a little too close to your bedside. No news to you, of course. You had known death for weeks and would whisper about it in the lonely darkness. You felt it in your bones and in [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Friendship and Hidden Things

09/19/2017 - 2:00am
The greatest things in life are hidden. Not just treasure, passageways, and tracks, but the substantial parts of life: beauty, love, goodness, justice, mercy. Intellectually and experientially, we know them, but the knowledge is partial. We can’t point to one thing and say, “There is beauty itself… love itself… etc.” We can only point to [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Box

09/18/2017 - 2:00am
Waiting outside can be agonizing. Thinking of what will be said inside, even more so. You rise from your seat and step towards the box, the open door inviting you into the darkness that has been waiting for you for days, months, or even years. Walking into the seeming abyss, the box smells musty, and [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Unfailing Beauty

09/15/2017 - 2:00am
Beauty quickens our love. It stirs the heart to give itself happily. And it sweetens the sacrifice once thought unbearable. Just ask the parent of a toddler. One smile lightens the weariness of the  midnight shift. But when beauty fails, what will stir us to love? Whether we are enduring an illness, accepting our failures, sitting [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Literally the Best Book You Will Ever Read

09/14/2017 - 2:00am
Warning: this paragraph may cause grammar-conscious readers to literally explode. In contemporary speech, many people use the word “literally” merely for emphasis, but those who hold fast to the word’s meaning know that this usage is literally barking up the wrong tree. Yet, confusion over the word “literally” has more serious implications than literally getting [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Teresa The Poet

09/13/2017 - 2:00am
Many have heard Teresa of Avila’s prayer “Let nothing disturb you… God alone suffices,” which she scribbled on a small bookmark of hers during prayer. I recently discovered, however, that she wrote many other poems. I was stranded on a long car trip with nothing but my breviary—the small book which priests and religious use [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

In Hora Mortis Nostrae

09/12/2017 - 2:00am
When death comes for me, what last word will I utter? Whither will my thoughts turn? Whom will I remember? Seldom do we ask these sorts of questions. We avoid them because we fear death. But if we give them some thought, they can help us prepare for our death, however and whenever it will [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

God, Terror, and September 11th

09/11/2017 - 2:00am
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on September 11, 2012. Fr. John Sica was ordained to the priesthood in May 2016 and now serves on the faculty of Providence College. When Pope Benedict commemorated the tenth anniversary of 9/11, he rejected the most pernicious notion in the ideology of the terrorists: God can be [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

A Day of Prayer for Peace

09/09/2017 - 2:00am
The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month held before the eyes of the nation an image of division. In view of these events, Bishop George Murray of the Diocese of Youngstown, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' ad hoc committee against racism, has called on Catholics and all people of faith to observe September 9th as [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

First Loved

09/08/2017 - 2:00am
I reached the heights of youthful self-absorption in the autumn of my nineteenth year. I’m tempted to plead it slipped my mind. But truthfully, it never even crossed my mind in the first place. I only realized it when, scanning my email, my eyes fell on a one-liner from my aunt: Your mother’s birthday was [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Ending and Beginning

09/07/2017 - 2:00am
Starting and Stopping: whether in writing or in life, the beginning and end are crucial. A writer’s  punchiest point, nestled two-thirds through the page, will fall flat without an introduction and conclusion. Why? Because human beings are like trucks that take turns slowly. It’s why you spend dinner still angry from the talk-show you heard [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Nations Conspire

09/06/2017 - 2:00am
Iceland has almost entirely eliminated children with Down syndrome. In a reenactment of the massacre of the Holy Innocents there is once again a state-sponsored effort to erase innocent children. Would it surprise you to hear that King Herod and the modern state share the same motivations? King Herod killed those young martyrs because they heralded the [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Please, Lord, One More

09/05/2017 - 6:22am
Many people are fond of quoting the opening lines of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The emphasis tends to fall on the second half, especially when speaking of our own day. A pessimism pervades even our progressive era. For Christians, this pessimism [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Toward the Eternal Sabbath

09/04/2017 - 9:30am
Today the nation takes a day off. We know that we need to rest from our labors, so today we replace the office or workshop with picnics and backyard softball. Nonetheless, resting can make us feel uncomfortable. To be sure, this discomfort stems from good motives. We try to work for the benefit of others, whether [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

St. Dominic’s Favorite Book

09/01/2017 - 9:00am
What was St. Dominic’s favorite book? As a scholar and preacher, it would have to be one that reflects the wisdom and goodness of God, one that he could return to again and again without exhausting it. Maybe one of the Gospels? Or the Conferences of St. John Cassian? One priest who had heard Dominic [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Loop

08/31/2017 - 9:00am
Our pets lived in an unnatural environment, but to be fair, they were strange pets. Mary Elizabeth, a black widow that Danny had caught with a plastic cup, lurked in an upside-down, gallon sized pickle jar. (Danny’s fiancée—also named Mary Elizabeth—refused to enter the apartment for a week after the spider’s arrival.) Right above the [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

08/30/2017 - 9:00am
This summer, a lady approached me and asked a surprising question: “Can I sleep well and still be a good Christian?” She went on to tell me that she often found herself worried at bedtime, either about her own tasks and shortcomings or the troubles and needs of others. When considering this question, it is [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Human Gene Editing: A Century of Tears to a Century of Fears?

08/29/2017 - 9:00am
On August 2, 2017, Shoukhrat Mitalipov’s research lab at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland published their results on the editing of DNA in human embryos, the first known attempt in the United States. The Mitalipov lab set out to correct the mutated MYBPC3 gene in human embryos, which often causes a condition called [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Paradox of Christian Autobiography

08/28/2017 - 9:00am
“Know thyself,” proclaimed the oracle at Delphi. St Catherine of Siena echoed this teaching with her emphasis on the importance of the “cell of self-knowledge” to the spiritual life. But how can I know myself? This question became especially pertinent when I sat down to write the autobiography required for my application to the Dominican [...]
Categories: Dominican Vocations