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Maudlin Preaching

07/22/2016 - 6:30am
Should joy characterize our Christian lives and evangelical efforts? The knee-jerk swiftness with which we all reply to this soft-headed question shows that we’ve come to accept the crucial importance of a happy, joyful witness to Jesus Christ. We’ve learned the evangelical power of a smile, of laughter, which can dispel the (strangely resilient) notion that […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Living with Dying

07/21/2016 - 6:30am
Make us know the shortness of our life in order that we may gain wisdom of heart.                                                                               […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Pilgrim Nostalgia

07/20/2016 - 6:30am
Nostalgia, Greek for the pain of homesickness, is my constant companion. I imagine that such is the case for many, if not all, immigrants, exiles, and refugees. Men and women who serve tours in the military, work in diplomacy, or drive a truck day and night probably carry it with them too. The time of […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Life’s Dramatic Irony

07/19/2016 - 6:30am
How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees? — Iago, Othello Dramatic irony: that moment when, as a reader, you know more of the actual story than do the characters. It’s sometimes humorous, sometimes heart-wrenching, but always cringe-worthy. It’s a moment when you wish you could jump […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Comfort of the Pure

07/18/2016 - 6:30am
When placed in the presence of greatness, we tend to feel our own inadequacies. Perfect things make us feel uncomfortable. They tend to highlight our failings in a way that nothing else can. A counterfeit or replicated piece of art always looks worse when placed next to the original. The original possesses a certain form […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Gift above all others

07/15/2016 - 6:30am
“I keep praying, but God’s not listening.” This woman was in distress. She lay in her hospital bed, with tubes protruding out of her arms and beeps pulsating the air. She was recovering from one surgery in a series of dozens more. However, her grief was not just about her recovery: her family back home […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

A Mountain of Hope, a Grace-filled Prison

07/14/2016 - 6:30am
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. -Isaiah 43:18-19 From where does our hope come? As humans, we have a tremendous capacity […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Truth, Beauty, and Citrus Fruit

07/13/2016 - 6:30am
The Dominican Order has a long history of producing preacher-poets. A preacher-poet, to appropriate the thought of Dana Gioia, is one who “understands the necessary relationship between truth and beauty, which is… an essential form of human knowledge—intuitive, holistic, and experiential.” On this relationship between art and knowledge Gioia continues, Art is a form of […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Don’t be Nice. Be Excellent.

07/12/2016 - 6:30am
“Be excellent to each other” is not only the catch-phrase of an 80s cult classic but also an excellent guide to life. And despite its dubious origin, there is wisdom contained in the memorable phrase, a wisdom of which we might need reminding. Being excellent means much more than being polite or nice to each […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Smiling Face of Terror

07/11/2016 - 6:30am
The Muslim holy season of Ramadan this year has been marred by major terrorist attacks by radical Islamic militants all around the world, from our own nation, to Turkey, Iraq, and others. Reading an article about the bombings in Bangladesh, however, caught my attention in a particular way. The details of each mass shooting or […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Forever 21

07/08/2016 - 6:30am
My list of pet peeves is short, and it runs like this: traffic, small dogs, and shopping. Fate has ruled that I shall always dislike these three things, and there’s no help for it. But for now, I want to focus only on the last one. Though I’ve spent my whole life ignoring clothing stores, […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Messages and Media

07/07/2016 - 6:30am
When I was an undergraduate, I was asked by a fellow student to give a talk to a group of teenagers at a local parish. The topic was the Church’s teaching on sexuality. I had never given a talk like that before, but I was an enthusiastic theology major, so I gladly accepted. I don’t […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Freedom of Faith

07/06/2016 - 6:30am
“Do what feels right.” This is a favorite expression of one of my friends. It’s catchy and certainly practical. In modern secular society, it can suggest an individualistic approach to morality, something that can involve relativism or hedonism—some sort of Woodstockian take on absolute freedom. Does that irretrievably taint the phrase? Not quite. It can […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Seeds of Hope

07/05/2016 - 6:30am
July 18th will mark the second anniversary since ISIS issued its ultimatum that gave three options to the Christians in Mosul, Iraq: convert to Islam, pay jizyah, or leave. Failure to comply with this ultimatum meant death. As a result, over 100,000 Christians abandoned everything they had and marched to Qaraqosh. They remained in Qaraqosh […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Pious Patriotism

07/04/2016 - 6:30am
This day in the United States is often marked by an outpouring of patriotic fervor. But in troubled times (which are, perhaps, every time), it can be difficult to square patriotism with devotion to God, or even simply with right reason. For some, patriotism must be tempered by discomfort with this nation’s stances on, for […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Junipero Serra and Apathy

07/01/2016 - 6:30am
Last year many of us Dominican friars here in D.C. were fortunate to attend the canonization Mass of Saint Junipero Serra officiated by Pope Francis. Serra, a Franciscan friar and the “Apostle to California” whose feast we celebrate today, was a native of the Spanish island of Majorca. He joined the Franciscan Order at an […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Divine Horizon

06/30/2016 - 6:30am
St. Augustine enjoyed watching lizards catch flies. He also confessed that he would become quite distracted at the sight of a dog hot on a rabbit’s heels, or a spider entangling its prey (Confessions, 10.35.57). Although he blames himself for being enamored of these trifling spectacles, it is refreshing to see a more casual and […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

A Papal Correction

06/29/2016 - 6:30am
It’s a heavy burden to correct the pope, but sometimes a saint has to do what a saint has to do. Likewise, sometimes a saint has to gird himself like a man and receive that correction. In his Letter to the Galatians, Paul narrates the scene in which he upbraids Peter. The story shows God […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

Home Is Where the Heart Is

06/28/2016 - 6:30am
“Home is where the heart is” and “life is a journey” are familiar sayings, too familiar to carry profound meaning for most of us. But they do connect to a Christian tradition almost as old as the Church itself. This tradition understands the Christian as homo viator on the way to life in patria. “Viator” […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations

The Cross and Desalination

06/27/2016 - 6:30am
Br. Joseph wrote about offering it up and relaxation a few weeks ago. My consideration today will focus in a little bit more on hardships offered up. Maybe you heard your parents or grandparents use the classic Catholic expression “offer it up”. But what does it mean and how does it work? It’s not a […]
Categories: Dominican Vocations