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Christocentric spirituality

The spirituality that St. Dominic embraced and lived was first and foremost a Christocentric one from which the Marian element then emerges. And we see this from the worship he had of the crucified Christ and of Christ present in the Eucharist. We can therefore consider the spiritual life of St. Dominic in three ways: (1) Worship of the Crucified Christ; (2) Eucharistic Life; (3) Scripture. These fit perfectly into his life as a preacher as well as into that of the Order which he founded, and are beautifully summed up and explained by St. Catherine of Siena:

And if you look at the boat of my dear son, Dominic your father, you will see the perfect order that is in it because he wanted his children to seek only my honor and the salvation of souls in the light of wisdom…

He entered into the work of the Word, the only begotten Son, so that the world saw clearly that he was an apostle, for he spread the seed of my word with great truth and light like it, and thus destroyed the darkness and showed light to all. It was a light given by me to the world through Mary, and sent into the mystical body of the holy Church to destroy heresies. Why 'through Mary'? For Mary gave him the garment of the Order, as in my righteousness I commanded her to do. At what table did he prepare the food of light and wisdom for his children? On the table of the cross. On the cross was laid the table for those who by holy desire want to live with souls for my sake. He wanted his children to seek nothing but to sit at this table in the light of wisdom and strive only for the glory and praise of my name and for the salvation of souls.

The dialogue goes on to state that St. Dominic "wanted the boat to be wide, fill it with joy and fragrance, and make it a delightful garden." [1] This passage shows how St. Dominic wanted to draw up an Order in which each member could come to Christ in his or her own way. In it they find an intellectual home such as St. Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas, artists such as Blessed Angelicus and Bartholomew of Modena, mystics such as St. Catherine of Siena and St. Rose of Lima (not to mention the mystics of the Rhineland), as well as chefs and janitors such as St. Martin de Porres and St. John Macias.

[1]  Saint Catherine of Siena, Dialogue (translation by Val. V. Barbara), Dominican Publications, Malta 1996, pp. 361-362, chapter 158.

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