Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

8/9/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Saints put legs on the Gospel. They show us by flesh and blood example how we are to respond to the question - Who Do You Say That I Am?

Today we honor Saint Dominic. As the thirteenth century began, great errors were deceiving many of the faithful in the south of France. There were false teachers in the Church, leading many astray. Like all heresies, the Albigensian heresy, weakened the faith of many and led to a weakened Church. Those who succumbed to the errors could no longer properly answer that fundamental question - Who do you say that I am?  As a result, they lost sight of who they were - and who they could become by responding to grace and following the Lord in the heart of His Church. Cultures become less human when they cease to be fully Christian. This great saint discerned what was most needed, in the wake of this spread of error - a clear, unafraid, proclamation of the fullness of the Truths taught by the Scriptures and the Church which guarded the deposit of faith.

As a result of his clear teaching and heroic virtue, men began to gather around Dominic. They wanted to imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Cor. 11:1) and live a devout Christian way of life. The Order of Preachers (OP) was formed and spread as a seed of renewal for the whole Church. They dedicated themselves to instructing the faithful in the truths of the faith. They refuted the errors which had undermined and weakened the Church. These followers later come to be popularly referred to as Dominicans, after the man whom the Lord used to gather them to Himself.

As a result of his clear teaching and heroic virtue, men began to gather around Dominic. They wanted to imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Cor. 11:1) and live a devout Christian way of life. The Order of Preachers (OP) was formed and spread as a seed of renewal for the whole Church. They dedicated themselves to instructing the faithful in the truths of the faith. They refuted the errors which had undermined and weakened the Church. These followers later come to be popularly referred to as Dominicans, after the man whom the Lord used to gather them to Himself.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/9/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Daily Homilies

Keywords: Dominic, St Dominic, Dominicans, holiness, canonization, communion of saints.O.P., Order of Preachers, discipleship, holiness, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - In our Gospel for today's Liturgy (Mt. 16: 24-26), Jesus tells us, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

Throughout the history of the Church we have great examples of men and women whose heroic response to this invitation becomes a light which illuminates the path o for all of us, showing us how to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. On August 8th we celebrate the Memorial of St. Dominic, Priest. He was clearly one of those lights. 

Yesterday we read of an encounter between Jesus and the crowd. He asked them to answer the most important question faced by men and women, of every age - Who is Jesus Christ to me? After reporting as to who the crowds said He was, Jesus turns to the ones who had walked with Him. He wants to hear their response. It is Simon who responds with living faith:

"He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

In that encounter, as in many encounters in the Sacred Scripture, Simon is changed. He receives a new name, Peter, which means Rock. The promise Jesus gave to him, he gave to the whole Church. And, He has kept His promise. The gates of hell have not - and will not - prevail against the Church. The gift of Peter has continued to this hour in the office which protects the primacy of truth in every age and secures the Church in her mission of unity.

Yet, the darkness of sin is present in every age, along with the frailty of the human condition. Our Gospel text continues. Just after that first response, this same Peter does not respond to the Master with clarity:

"From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

The same Simon, now called Peter (Rock), who had just received the public affirmation of the Master, is now openly rebuked. Yet, Peter continued to be used profoundly by the Lord. That is because He loved deeply, passionately and completely. That is all that is required. Peter's faithful life and Martyrs death manifested a willingness, even after a fall, to get back up and continue on the Way. So it can be with each one of us.

The Saints put legs on the Gospel. They show us by flesh and blood example how we are to respond to the question, "Who Do You Say That I Am?"  They walk the talk. We are all saints, in the sense of having been set aside for the Lord to live holy lives. (CCC # 946 - 952) However, from the earliest centuries of the Church, those Christians who lived in intimate communion with the Lord, demonstrated heroic virtue, and reflected the radiance of Christ were honored, both during life and after death.

They were also given a place of honor within the communion of saints. This is the fertile field from which the practice of canonizing some of those members of the Body of Christ began. The Catholic Catechism explains:

"By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God's grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors. "The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church's history." Indeed, "holiness is the hidden source and infallible measure of her apostolic activity and missionary zeal." (CCC #828)

Today we honor Saint Dominic. As the thirteenth century began, great errors were deceiving many of the faithful in the south of France. There were false teachers in the Church, leading many astray. Like all heresies, the Albigensian heresy, weakened the faith of many and led to a weakened Church. Those who succumbed to the errors could no longer properly answer that fundamental question, "Who do you say that I am?

As a result, they lost sight of who they were - and who they could become by responding to grace and following the Lord in the heart of His Church. Cultures become less human when they cease to be fully Christian. This great saint discerned what was most needed, in the wake of this spread of error - a clear, unafraid, proclamation of the fullness of the Truths taught by the Scriptures and the Church which guarded the deposit of faith.

As a result of his clear teaching and heroic virtue, men began to gather around Dominic. They wanted to imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Cor. 11:1) and live a devout Christian way of life. The Order of Preachers (OP) was formed and spread as a seed of renewal for the whole Church. They dedicated themselves to instructing the faithful in the truths of the faith. They refuted the errors which had undermined and weakened the Church. These followers later come to be popularly referred to as Dominicans, after the man whom the Lord used to gather them to Himself.

Over the centuries, the Dominicans have always provided extraordinary assistance to the Church in her mission of leading all men and women to the fullness of truth. Some of the greatest theologians in the Catholic Church are Dominicans.  My memory of Dominicans is still fresh. During my studies toward the PhD in Moral Theology, many of my classmates were young Dominicans. Their freshness of love for the Lord was matched by their profound grasp of the deep truths of the Catholic faith and ability to impart it to others.  God knows we need it in this hour!

The Catechism reminds us that the Saints intercede for us:  "Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus. So, by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped." (CCC# 956)

One of the Saints cited in the footnotes which accompany this paragraph, a wonderful example of someone who helps to fix the Church in holiness, is Dominic. As he was dying, promised his brothers who had gathered around him:  "Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life." Our second reading from the Office of Readings for this day offers the following testimony from contemporaries of St. Dominic.

*****
He spoke with God or about God

Dominic possessed such great integrity and was so strongly motivated by divine love, that without a doubt he proved to be a bearer of honor and grace. He was a man of great equanimity, except when moved to compassion and mercy. And since a joyful heart animates the face, he displayed the peaceful composure of a spiritual man in the kindness he manifested outwardly and by the cheerfulness of his countenance.
 
Wherever he went he showed himself in word and deed to be a man of the Gospel. During the day no one was more community-minded or pleasant toward his brothers and associates. During the night hours no one was more persistent in every kind of vigil and supplication. He seldom spoke unless it was with God, that is, in prayer, or about God, and in this matter he instructed his brothers.

Frequently he made a special personal petition that God would deign to grant him a genuine charity, effective in caring for and obtaining the salvation of men. For he believed that only then would he be truly a member of Christ, when he had given himself totally for the salvation of men, just as the Lord Jesus, the Savior of all, had offered himself completely for our salvation. So, for this work, after a lengthy period of careful and provident planning, he founded the Order of Friars Preachers.
In his conversations and letters he often urged the brothers of the Order to study constantly the Old and New Testaments. He always carried with him the gospel according to Matthew and the epistles of Paul, and so well did he study them that he almost knew them from memory.
 
Two or three times he was chosen bishop, but he always refused, preferring to live with his brothers in poverty. Throughout his life, he preserved the honor of his virginity. He desired to be scourged and cut to pieces, and so die, for the faith of Christ. Of him Pope Gregory IX declared: "I knew him as a steadfast follower of the apostolic way of life. There is no doubt that he is in heaven, sharing in the glory of the apostles themselves."

-----

Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Daily Homilies

Friday, May 22 - Homily: St. Rita and the Greatest Evil Watch

Image of Father Matthias presents the story of St. Rita of Cascia, and focuses on her prayer after her husband was murdered.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Father Matthias presents the story of St. Rita of Cascia, and focuses on her prayer after her husband was murdered. Her prayer was that God would prevent her sons from sinning by exacting revenge on their father's killer, even if it meant taking their lives. Her ... continue reading


Thursday, May 21 - Homily: St. Christopher and the Mexican Martyrs Watch

Image of Fr. Elias on the martyrs of Mexico during the persecutions there in the 1920's.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fr. Elias on the martyrs of Mexico during the persecutions there in the 1920's. continue reading


Monday, May 18 - Homily: St. Felix Watch

Image of Fr. Elias preaches on the life of St Felix who was humble and holy Franciscan friar who lead a simple life.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fr. Elias preaches on the life of St Felix who was humble and holy Franciscan friar who lead a simple life. continue reading


Friday, May 15 - Homily: St. Isidore and Novena of Pentecost Watch

Image of Fr. Joseph preaches on the feast of St. Isidore, patron saint of farmers and the start of the novena of prayer before the feast of Pentecost.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fr. Joseph preaches on the feast of St. Isidore, patron saint of farmers and the start of the novena of prayer before the feast of Pentecost. continue reading


Monday, May 11 - Homily: Franciscan Ignatius Watch

Image of Fr. Elias on the humble life of St Ignatius the Franciscan, the lesser known St. Ignatius.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fr. Elias on the humble life of St Ignatius the Franciscan, the lesser known St. Ignatius. continue reading


Friday, May 8 - Homily: John 6: The Bread of Life Watch

Image of Our Lord uses various literary techniques to emphasize the essence of the Bread of Life discourse in the Gospel of John - that we must eat the literal flesh of Jesus Himself and drink His blood to have eternal life.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Our Lord uses various literary techniques to emphasize the essence of the Bread of Life discourse in the Gospel of John - that we must eat the literal flesh of Jesus Himself and drink His blood to have eternal life. continue reading


Thursday, May 7 - Homily: Fullness of Joy Watch

Image of Our Lord does not exhort us to keep His commandments and remain in Him that we might be sad, but so that we might share His joy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Our Lord does not exhort us to keep His commandments and remain in Him that we might be sad, but so that we might share His joy. continue reading


Wednesday, May 6 - Homily: The Pruning of the Vine Watch

Image of The metaphor used by Our Lord in today's gospel is one that is rooted in the history and consciousness of the Jewish people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The metaphor used by Our Lord in today's gospel is one that is rooted in the history and consciousness of the Jewish people. The image of the vineyard is one which was applied to the nation of Israel in the writings of the prophets, and now Jesus tells them that ... continue reading


Tuesday, May 5 - Homily: Seek Jesus in the Sign of the Eucharist Watch

Image of In the readings today Our Lord begins to move into the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the readings today Our Lord begins to move into the "Bread of Life" discourses and explains the difference between the spiritual soul that seeks signs versus the carnal soul that seeks the needs of the flesh. Today we continue to seek Him in the sacramental ... continue reading


Monday, May 4 - Homily: Who Loves Jesus? Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me." John 14:21. continue reading


All Daily Homilies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
16 On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 11:4, 5, 7
4 Yahweh in his holy temple! Yahweh, his throne is in ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:20-25
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 23rd, 2015 Image

St. John Baptist Rossi
May 23: This holy priest was born in 1698 at the village of Voltaggio in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter