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August 28, 2022: Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Pastor’s Corner

This coming year, we will celebrate the sesquicentennial of St. Dominic’s Parish.  In light of this coming celebration, over the course of the next month, I want to highlight the life story of our founder St. Dominic.  Even though he is our patron, I am often surprised how little known and studied the life of St. Dominic is when compared to Saints like Francis and even other Dominicans such as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Catherine. So, I hope this series on the life of St. Dominic’s is both an introduction to his life and an encouragement to further inquiry!

Conclusion to the Story of St Dominic: Part VII

O Spem Miram

O wonderful hope
Which you gave to those who wept for you
At the hour of your death,
Promising that after your decease
You would be helpful to your brethren.
Fulfill Father what you have said
and help us by your prayers.
You shone on the bodies of the sick
by so many miracles,
bring us the help of Christ to heal our sick souls.
Fulfill Father what you have said
and help us by your prayers.

This week we conclude our series on the life of St. Dominic.  Over the past month, we have seen how St. Dominic’s compassion for those in spiritual need led him to strain every fiber of his being to make known Christ alive through prayer and preaching.

In summarizing his life, Dominic’s successor in the leadership of the order, Blessed Jordan of Saxony, gives a wonderful portrait of St. Dominic in the text of a famous prayer: “Inflamed by zeal for God and supernatural ardor, by your limitless charity and the fervor of a vehement spirit, you consecrated yourself wholly with the vow of perpetual poverty to apostolic observance and to evangelical preaching.” It is in fact this essential feature of Dominic's witness that is underlined: He was a man of veritas, truth.  He always spoke with God and about God.  In the life of saints, love of the Lord and of neighbor, the seeking of God's glory and the salvation of souls always go together.  At the end of his life, St. Dominic promised to be with his followers and to aide us in our efforts for the salvation of souls.  The prayer which recalls St. Dominic’s promise and asks St. Dominic to give us the virtue of hope in the midst of life’s discouragements is called the O Spem Miram (O Wonderful Hope).  It is perhaps my favorite Dominican chant, blending haunting melody with heartfelt prayer.  I invite you to pray the O Spem in moments when hope seems lost.   - Fr. Michael

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