Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Pictures of the Pilgramige

I uploaded some pictures of the pilgrimage to Picassa, so anyone interested can have a look. I didn't make that many however, as I always feel that I don't really get a good sense of a place if I am only making foto's...


Sunday, 24 August 2008

Trip to Dominics Country

I have been away from my computer for almost three weeks now!
What a blessing! I must say I didn't miss it at all...

Now a short post on our pilgrimage to places in the South of France and North of Spain where St. Dominic was born and started to preach the Gospel... hence we call it Dominic's country.
Our trip started by arriving by plane in Carcassonne after which we travelled and stayed in Prouille, visited Fanjeaux, Toulouse, Caleruega (Spain) and ended the 10 day trip in Lourdes.
It was very enjoyable to join in prayer with the Dominicans from all the different countries while visiting these places of pilgrimage.

The trip was a real spiritual journey I found. Although we did a lot of travelling, I found it very touching to walk on the same paths and stay in the same places where our holy father St. Dominic has been 800 years ago.

Especially Caleruega was very special in eyes. Here, the birthplace of St. Dominic, he has grown up, and learned to pray and grew in love of God. Then after his studies for the priesthood he lived for quite a long time a relatively sheltered and contemplative live as a Canon in the cathedral of Osma, which we visited. It was only then, after growing in knowledge and love of God through contemplation that he embarked on the preaching mission as he discovered the need for this on a mission with his bishop which guided them through the south of France.

Once more I really felt this as being the way I am called too. St. Dominic shared the fruit of his years of study and contemplation, and his intimate relation with, and love for God with others through his preaching. It is this love that radiated from him that made him such a powerful preacher. That is in my eyes the example, that not only we as Dominicans but all Christians, should have in front of us: we share the fruits of our contemplation, so that our contemplation might bear fruit in others!
If we are genuinely seeking God and spent time with Him, He will fill our hearts with His love and make our inner being yearn for Him like a dear yearns for a running stream! Deep down we will feel the peace of knowing Christ, and others around us in our daily lives, will notice this and will start to yearn for this as well! In this way the light of Christ will shine through us!

I truly loved being around these places, and would have loved to spent more time there!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Pilgrimage to France

The noviciate is going on Pilgrimage the the South of France and the north of Spain. We are going to visit the birthplace of the Dominican order, and the areas where St. Dominic first started with only a few followers to preach the Gospel.

I am really looking to seeing the first foundations and a deeper sense of St. Dominic's spirituality. As I might have mentioned before, I didn't join the Dominican order because I had a particular devotion to them or to the founder, St. Dominic, but just because that is where I was lead in my vocation. It was only after I decided to join and during this past year that I learned about St. Dominic, and I must say that it has been a real surprise how well the founders spirituality appeals to me.

St Dominic really had a very intimate relationship with the Lord, and was in particular devoted to St. Matthews Gospel which he was said always to carry with him. Through a quite contemplative life in the start, he discovered the need for preaching in the heresy struck South of France. Through a combination of Preaching, Study and Contemplation he lived the pure message of the Gospel with a very simple life style, and in this way was a beautiful witness to the love of Christ. Through night long vigils, followed by action during the day he did in a relative short time a lot of work in the vineyard of the Lord! St. Dominic, please pray for us!


Straight after we will be back we will be a week at Knockadoon Camp, for the Folk Liturgy week, so I am afraid there won't be much posting between know and 24th of August!!

Please keep our journeys in your prayers.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

The Gospel of Today: vijf loaves, two fishes and vijfthousand men

In the gospel of today we read the story in which Jesus gives five thousand with men to eat with five loaves and two fish and "they all ate and were satisfied". (Mt 14:13 - 21). This is one of many miracles which Jesus performs. It is also one of the stories where eyebrows are frequently raised. I have people hear speaking concerning this story who said that it is in fact a tale of sharing. That all people themselves had food with them, and that they shared everything together and then there was enough for everyone.

Now, I agree that sharing is an important aspect of this story, but then in sharing at the table of the Lord. This is foreshadowing of the Eucharist, the breaking of the bread, and the communion of all people together from the one source. By reducing this wonder to an ordinary picnic we miss the important message of sharing from the one source, the all giving God!

Also, I do not get why some people have problems with the fact that Jesus shares the five loaves and two fish with the five thousand? Don't we believe in one god, who has made the heaven and the earth? Where is the problem then that this God gives five thousand people to eat? This is the God who has made everything we see and keeps all things in being! If we raise our eyebrows at such a tale I think we should firstly question ourselves and see where we really believe in, and what our image of God is!

Finally I want to look at the first line: "Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart". Jesus heard that John the Baptist, His cousin, was decapitated because he preached the Truth, and He wanted to be alone to pray. We see him frequently going to pray (Mt 14:23, Mk 6:46, Lk 6:12) and we see here again that it is important to pray. That it is important find a place where we can be quiet so that God can speak in the silence of our heart. In this case we see that Jesus wants to be alone to accept the news, to get consolation through his prayer, his communication with the father, and to get the strength to continue and to proclaim the good news.


The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


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