The Liturgy of the Hours, part II – The Holiness of Time

It is perfectly conceivable that there is someone, somewhere, praying to God at this exact moment.  Moreover, it is perfectly conceivable that a human being is praying to God at every moment of the day.

The Liturgy of the Hours gathers the People of God at key moments of the day in order to focus and sing God’s praises.  We gather early in the morning, in the middle of the day, at the end of our workday, and before we go to bed, focusing and building our relationship with He Who Calls.

credit - www.motherearthnews.com

credit – www.motherearthnews.com

A very good friend of mine relates Divine Office to medicine.  “We are sick,” she says, “and Office is our medicine.  Taking our aspirin at regular intervals in order to keep us spiritually healthy.”

I’ve always loved that image.  It reminds me to stay humble, that I cannot do it on my own, and I will not ever do it on my own.  Rather, the Office is, in a way, that which sustains me in my relationship with God.

The General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours puts it this way: “The purpose of the liturgy of the hours is to sanctify the day and the whole range of human activity. Therefore its structure has been revised in such a way as to make each hour once more correspond as nearly as possible to natural time and to take account of the circumstances of life today.

“Hence, ‘that the day may be truly sanctified and the hours themselves recited with spiritual advantage, it is best that each of them be prayed at a time most closely corresponding to the true time of each canonical hour.’”

bow in prayer 2One of the reasons why I love the Divine Office is because it reminds me of my primary relationship.  We are to connect with the He Who Calls every moment of the day.  Since He had made the day, the entire day ought to be sacrificed to His service for the sake of His people.

Moreover, the Liturgy of the Hours reminds me that time itself is holy.  Every moment and breath will never be repeated.  While checking email, writing a post, curating Facebook material, at a meeting, getting ready for the day…while doing it with a mindful heart to God, that it is a holy act, in one way or another.

Wasting time with God is the best way to spend it.

If you would like to partake of the Liturgy of the Hours, please refer to the Parish Liturgical Schedule.

Holy Father Dominic, pray for us!

 

 

Our Pastor’s Corner, July 6, 2014, Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Thus says the LORD: Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; the warrior’s bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. (Zechariah 9:9-10)

flag_grayskyHappy Fourth of July weekend! The picnics, fireworks and family gatherings on Independence Day remind us of the value of freedom and honor those who have made it possible. Two hundred thirty-eight years ago, the dawning of a dream for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness broke free on the shores of these United States. And we are proud of such heritage even as we are humbled by the sacrifices made. The liberty we enjoy is not simply a freedom from oppression and tyranny, but a freedom for living a virtuous Christian way of life. We should never take these freedoms for granted.

Our first reading gives us a glimpse of how Christ comes as a servant king who will establish a culture of freedom. The freedom which the humble Christ offers is not simply a political freedom, but a promise of spiritual liberation. The power of sin and death dissipates in the lives of those who follow his rule. And yet, precisely because of its spiritual roots, the freedom Christ brings has social and political consequences. The Church has long been an advocate for religious freedom in various areas of the public square, often as a champion for those whose voices are threatened to be muted. In fact, the origin of our nation connects with many core values of our faith. For example, the Preface for the Eucharist Prayer on Independence Day highlights the connection between Christ’s work and the formation of our country. “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord. He spoke to us a message of peace and taught us to live as brothers and sisters. His message took form in the vision of our founding fathers as they fashioned a nation where we might live as one. His message lives on in our midst as our task for today and a promise for tomorrow. We thank you, Father, for your blessings in the past, and for all that, with your help, we must achieve.” Though Christ did not come to establish a political kingdom, the freedom which flows from the Gospel calls us to work for a more just, merciful and compassionate culture. It is interesting to note that Zechariah’s prophecy, “His Dominion shall be from sea to sea and from the Rivers to the ends of the earth” finds echoes in such lyrics of America the Beautiful, “And crowned thy good with brotherhood/from sea to shining sea” and God Bless America, “From the mountains/to the prairie/to the ocean white with foam.” Though we need to be cautious in conflating them, faith and patriotism are not divorced from each other. We are Catholics who are proud to live in a country where human and religious freedoms can be pursued.

And yet, the reason we are able to celebrate freely is because of the sacrifice of those who have answered the call to serve our nation. As a way of treasuring our independence, we remember those dear to us here in our own parish who have taken up the responsibility of shouldering freedom’s standard a world away. Each week, we publish the names of those men and women connected with St. Dominic who have answered the call of duty. Join me this week in praying for these brave men and women.

 

credit: hardingstreetcoc.net

credit: hardingstreetcoc.net

Prayer for Our Troops

All-powerful and ever-living God, when Abraham left his native land and departed from his people you kept him safe through all his journeys. Protect our soldiers. Be their constant companion and their strength in battle, their refuge in every adversity. Guide them, O Lord, that they may return home in safety. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

~Fr. Michael Hurley, O.P.

The Liturgy of the Hours, part I

10388390_10152511232195962_1462370136_nIt is early in the morning.  The friars and an assembled mass of lay faithful are seated in the choir stalls.  Some look at their watches.  One of the friars flips through a battery of books and looks up at the number board.  He nods ever so slightly and sighs, looking towards the tabernacle.  No one says a word.   Expectation.  Silence.

The prior knocks on the stall twice.

The community rises, and faces the tabernacle.

One of the friars intones, “O Lord, open my lips.”

The community responds, while signing themselves, chanting, “And my mouth shall declare your praise.”

 

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The first time I experienced the Divine Office in its fullness, I found my chin on the marble floor at our House of Studies, the Priory of Saint Albert the Great, in Oakland.  I was mesmerized.  I had never seen anything like it.  What is this and how come I have never seen this before? I thought.  It is a perfectly Catholic way to pray.  Fifty or so friars and a handful of lay faithful engaged in this liturgical ballet of chanting the psalms, reading from Scripture and the Fathers of the Church, reciting prayers of the faithful in an elegant, liturgical English.  But mostly, it was the chanting that had enchanted me.  It is the chanting, really, that still enchants me.

“Seven times a day I praise you…” the psalmist wrote in Psalm 119, and the Church continues to stop and pray throughout the day, also answering St Paul’s urge to pray constantly.

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Main Chapel, Priory of St. Albert the Great, Oakland, CA

Over the next few weeks, we will have present a number of posts regarding the Divine Office, more commonly known as the Liturgy of the Hours.  What is the hidden liturgy that sits in the heart of the heart of the Church?  What is this open-secret that all religious and clerics have been sanctioned and blessed to engage with several times a day?  What is this ancient form of prayer in which any baptized member of the faithful may partake?

With joy in my heart, I hope to write several reflections on this part of our parish’s life.  The Liturgy of the Hours is a way of prayer that has sustained me since entering the Order, and will sustain me till my dying breath.  I am so happy to share this gift with you.

In case you would like to partake in Office as we go through these posts, you are welcome to refer to the “Liturgical and Devotional Schedule” tab on the home page.

Holy Father Dominic, pray for us!

Our Pastor’s Corner, June 29, 2014, Saints Peter & Paul, Apostles

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This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. Through them, Christ’s power and mission continue in two important ways. First, through Peter and the Apostles, we can be confident that the sacramental life of the Church is rooted in the very words and power of Christ himself. My own priesthood is anchored in the fact that Bishop Vigneron, who laid hands on me, had hands laid on him in a unbroken succession that can be historically traced all the way back to the Apostles. When those in Holy Orders baptize, it is Christ himself who baptizes. When the priest absolves in the confessional, it is Christ who absolves, just as He forgave Peter for his three-fold denial. When oils are used for anointing the sick, it is Christ’s Spirit who touches both body and soul. Peter’s office as the Vicar of Christ ensures that the Church’s sacraments are not simply the continuation of ancient rituals and pageantry. Through the office of St. Peter, Christ heals, absolves and becomes present to us.

Second, St. Paul established the evangelical life of the Church though his preaching and ministry. St. Paul’s life and mission are characterized by Christ’s final words “to preach the Gospel to all nations.” His divinely inspired letters reveal that the gifts of the Holy Spirit enliven the various communities which he established. St. Paul’s faithfulness in preaching the Gospel animates and inspires missionaries and disciples who carry Christ’s message to the ends of the earth. Whereas St. Peter ensures that the Christ continues to nourish the Church through the sacraments, St. Paul gives the evangelical and missionary direction to the Church itself. The Church is not simply a club, no matter how holy, but the living Body of Christ meant to share the good news to all. Through Sts. Peter and Paul, Christ’s ministry and message live.

For us at St. Dominic’s, this Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul is celebrated in the context of our novena to St. Peregrine. Born in Forli, Italy in 1265, St. Peregrine grew up in a city and family culture that had rejected the primacy of the Pope and the validity of the sacraments. When the peregrinePope sent St. Phillip Benizi to be an ambassador for peace and reconciliation, Peregrine took to the streets to protest and heckle his preaching. In fact, during St. Phillip’s homily, Peregrine viciously struck him square in the face. What happened next changed Peregrine forever. Instead of a sharp word or violent response, St. Phillip literally turned his other check. Overcome with remorse, Peregrine abandoned his anger and was so inspired by the life of St. Phillip that he became a brother in his congregation. Peregrine worked to establish peace and reconciliation at a social and political level, but found his energies better served in direct care for the poor, neglected and infirmed. During the course of his ministry to the sick, he developed a cancer in his leg, which ultimately needed to be amputated. The night before the surgery, he spent the night in the hospital chapel in prayer before the crucifix. Falling asleep, he had a dream that Christ came down from the cross, touched his cancerous leg and restored him to perfect health. Awaking, Peregrine discovered his dream was a reality: he was healed! During the next 20 years, St. Peregrine ministered to the sick and was widely known as possessing the gift of healing through his prayers and touch. There are over 300 documented accounts of healing through his direct action. For this reason St. Peregrine is the patron saint of those afflicted with cancer, AIDS and other life-threatening maladies.

dominic and peter and paulThe story of St. Peregrine reminds us that when we are connected with the legacies of Sts. Peter and Paul through the sacraments and the evangelical life of the Spirit through the Church, Christ comes alive in and through us. In honor of St. Peregrine, this Monday we will celebrate the sacrament of the sick at the conclusion of the novena Masses. This sacrament is an extension of the healing ministry of Christ himself, and so I invite those who are in need of healing (in body, mind or spirit) to come and be anointed by the salve of salvation. Christ meets us in the midst of our suffering to bring comfort, peace, and encouragement. Through the intercession of St. Peregrine, may Christ work powerfully in the lives of all in need here at St. Dominic’s.

~Fr. Michael Hurley, O.P.

Young Adults Retreat – Reflections, part IV

photo 2On May 16-18, the Young Adults had their annual retreat at the beautiful Camp Saint Joseph in the Russian River Valley.  Here is the last of four reflections from our retreat guests.

Holy Father Dominic, pray for us!

Maria

When I first heard that the Young Adult group was having a retreat I was very interested because I had many positive experiences attending retreats in college and beyond. I was even more excited when I heard that the theme of the retreat was “How am I learning to stop worrying and love myself.”  In today’s fast-paced world, we are inundated with an ocean of stress and pressure related to jobs, relationships, finances and vocational decisions. These worries can preoccupy our hearts and minds, causing us to lose focus on our Faith—the one thing that can bring us lasting solace and peace. A retreat can help center our lives.

The St. Joseph’s Retreat Center is perched above the Russian River and is surrounded by the tranquil beauty of towering redwoods and verdant hills. In this peaceful setting we had the opportunity to participate in adoration, confession, silent reflection, small group discussions and joyful fellowship. Talented and passionate young adult speakers shared their personal experiences of challenge, growth and faith. I was particularly moved by the testimonies of two Dominican Sisters whose beautiful presence emanated a profound peace and joy. Their powerful stories of struggle, discernment, devotion and great love inspired in me a desire to know and love Christ on a deeper level.

I highly recommend this retreat not only because it inspired me to grow in my faith but also because I formed friendships and became part of a supportive Catholic young adult community.

Our Pastor’s Corner, June 22, 2014, The Most Holy Body and Blood

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever. (John 6:51-58)

Today we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn order to highlight the significance of this feast, we are reinstituting the traditional procession with the Eucharist at the end of select Masses. Historically, this feast emerged in the life of the church as a wonder-filled response to various Eucharistic miracles. Perhaps the most famous of these miracles occurred in the city of Lanciano, Italy, around 700.  There was a local monk, who had serious doubts about the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Amid these doubts, one day when he was celebrating Mass at the small Church of St. Legontian, as he said the words of consecration, “This is my body, This is my blood,” the bread changed into living flesh and the wine changed into blood before his eyes. Amazed and dismayed, he carefully reserved the host along with the precious blood, which are preserved and can be seen today.

courtesy: LifeTeen

courtesy: LifeTeen

Since 1574, various investigations have been conducted upon the miracle, the most recent of which was about 30 years ago, using modern tools of analysis. The results of these tests are quite astonishing.

First, the precious blood, which quickly coagulated into five irregular globules, is real, type AB blood (which is the same blood type as on the Shroud of Turin).

Second, although each globule varies in shape and size, each weighs the same as the others, and they always produce the same weight no matter which or how many globules are weighed. 

In other words, all five globules weigh the same as one, two weigh the same as three, etc. This is remarkable in light of our belief that, in the Eucharist, the whole Christ is present in even the smallest drop of the chalice or smallest piece of host. Third, the host is human-striated muscular tissue of the myocardium (the heart wall), also type AB, and is absolutely free of any agents used for preserving flesh. Moreover, it contains normally fractionated proteins that are present in the same ratio as those in normal fresh blood. In other words, not only is the host a piece of preserved heart tissue, it is living. Because of this and many other Eucharistic miracles, there was a movement from the faithful to celebrate the body and blood of Christ on a special day.

As we celebrate this feast, let us rejoice in the gift of the Eucharist. We know that as incredible as Eucharistic miracles can be, it is not because of such miracles that we believe. Miracles are not the cause of our faith. To those who believe no miracle is necessary.

Rather, such wonders confirm or witness to our belief. They rouse us and encourage us in living our faith. They quell doubts. So, like that monk of Lanciano, if the Eucharist is a difficult or doubtful part of your faith, you are not alone.

Remember that most of Jesus’ disciples left Him precisely because He said, “If you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53). Yet, Jesus does not call his friends to “take and understand, but “take and eat.” When we come to Mass free from serious impediment and sin, let us be prepared to be nourished by His life-giving body and blood. In the Eucharist, Jesus feeds us, so that we can feed others. We receive what we believe so we can be what we receive.

~Fr. Michael Hurley, O.P.

Guest Post – Corpus Christi weekend!

Guest Post: Tara Clemens

The Eucharist is at the root of every form of holiness, and each of us is called to the fullness of life in the Holy Spirit. How many saints have advanced along the way of perfection thanks to their Eucharistic devotion…Holiness has always found its center in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. (Sacramentum Caritatis, 94)

 

Pope Urban IV with the Dominicans

Pope Urban IV with the Dominicans

The solemnity of Corpus Christi is specially associated with the Dominican Order. This feast was instituted for the Universal Church by Pope Urban IV in 1264 after it had first been celebrated in several dioceses of northern Europe. In his proclamation of the feast, Urban explained that while the institution of the Eucharist was commemorated as part of the liturgy of Holy Thursday, the tenor of that day in the setting of Holy Week was focused on Christ’s Passion. Therefore another Thursday, the second after Pentecost, was chosen for the new feast which would be dedicated exclusively to honor the great sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood.

Pope Urban IV

Pope Urban IV

The proper texts for the liturgy (Mass and the Divine Office) were composed by St. Thomas Aquinas. Pope Urban admired the theological genius of the famous Dominican and trusted that he could capture the mystery of the Eucharist in words suited to the Church’s worship. Included in the works attributed to St. Thomas for this feast are several hymns as well as the sequence for the Mass. Portions of these hymns are used often in the Church under the titles “Tantum Ergo,” “O Salutaris Hostia,” and “Panis Angelicus.”

As Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, we treasure these hymns of our brother Thomas. They are integral to our celebration of the Mass and Office of Corpus Christi. This day is also marked for us by a Eucharistic procession. At our Motherhouse we honor the Most Sacred Body and Blood of Jesus with a procession that includes triple Benediction. The sisters process outside from our chapel, with one of the stations for Benediction in our community cemetery. Hymns, prayers, candles, and incense accompany the Lord, as our bodies and senses are engaged in proclaiming the goodness of the Lord in His Presence among His people. The procession returns to our chapel for the final Benediction, after which Jesus is again reposed in the tabernacle.

courtesy: LifeTeen

courtesy: LifeTeen

While we all have the joy of the celebration of the Mass each day, the feast of Corpus Christi gives us an opportunity to renew our love of our Eucharistic Lord. We immerse our minds in consideration of the theological mystery while our bodies and senses also take part in giving due reverence to the Blessed Sacrament.

In his homily for the office of Corpus Christi, written at the request of Urban IV, St. Thomas Aquinas notes that:

(a)lthough on the day of the (Lord’s) Supper, when we know the Sacrament to have been instituted, a special mention is made of this fact in the solemn Mass, nevertheless, all the rest of the day’s services pertains to Christ’s Passion, which the Church is concerned to venerate at that time. In order that the faithful may once again honor the institution of so great a Sacrament with its own service, the Roman Pontiff Urban IV, moved by his devotion to It, piously decreed that the memory of this institution should be celebrated by all the faithful on the first Thursday after the Octave of Pentecost, so that we who make use of this Sacrament throughout the year unto our salvation, may specially honor Its institution at that time when the Holy Spirit taught the hearts of the disciples to know the mysteries thereof; for at the same time did the Sacrament begin to be frequented by the faithful.

 

 

 About our Guest Blogger, Tara Clemens:

Tara Clemens, aspirant for the Dominican  Contemplative Nuns, Corpus Christi Monastery, Menlo Park, CA

Tara Clemens, aspirant for the Dominican Contemplative Nuns, Corpus Christi Monastery, Menlo Park, CA

My heart’s desire is to offer myself, my gifts and talents, to Christ in the cloister of a Dominican monastery, Corpus Christi Monastery, in Menlo Park, California, in contemplation and prayer, for the salvation of souls. But before I can enter, I must eliminate my educational loans. To that end, I am part of the 2013 aspirant class of The Laboure Society, a non-profit organization that helps aspirants resolve their education loans so they are free to enter formation in the priesthood and religious life.

If you want to contact me directly with questions, comments, or prayer requests, you may reach me at tara [at] laboureaspirant [dot] org. Thank you for your prayerful support and God bless!

Young Adults Retreat – Reflections, part III

On May 16-18, the Young Adults had their annual retreat at the beautiful Camp Saint Joseph in the Russian River Valley.  Here is the third of four reflections from our retreat guests.

Holy Father Dominic, pray for us!

 

Sarah

Have you ever found yourself worrying that you worry too much? I do. I am learning major lessons about unknowns right now. What should I do? Retreat? Yes.  I’m kind of a retreat enthusiast. I sought answers to my anxious questions on a fifth consecutive trip with the young adult group.

photo 1 (2)Retreat does not mean to give up. To retreat is to disengage from something difficult and to rest in a sanctuary. On the retreat, I was given a verse from Jeremiah to reflect on that reads, “When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me and I will change your lot.” Sr. Miriam, a Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist had passed verses around in a box and said not to worry about the verse we chose, it was meant for us by the Holy Spirit.

Upon reflection, I knew I was seeking God with a renewed heart. I had come to the retreat in a place of doubt about how much I loved myself. If I was not fully loving myself, then I could at least pray to want to love myself more. From Martin’s talk, I saw that in my past I had treated ‘loving’ myself as loving others first. Faith can be measured in small steps. Martin’s talk helped me tremendously. There is safety in having Faith. It provides Hope. And there, we find Love.

I had to remind my worrying mind that Jesus’ love is greater than my own love. During Adoration on Saturday night I asked God, “How can I hear you speak to me?” I felt so much fear in the silence. The idea occurred to me to write a letter to God. He provided the sacred space I needed, especially during Adoration, to ask Him anything. I’m not questioning as much anymore, and I’m taking small steps towards a whole heart and loving myself as God loves.

A Preacher’s Life – 12 Signs that you are probably a Dominican

I saw this on my Facebook feed the other day.  I had thought that the readership would enjoy this blog post from TJ Burdick’s blog.   What is funny still is that I have no idea who this guy is….

shield_prov474hThe coolest part is that there are two videos–TWO!–from the Western Dominican Province, one about an upcoming Philosophy Symposium at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, and another video made by our own Brother Brad about the Divine Office.

It’s awfully cool to see that the work from the Western Dominican Province is making its way to the internet.

Holy Father Dominic, pray for us!

Our Pastor’s Corner, June 15, 2014, The Most Holy Trinity

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:16-18)

Any man may have a child. It takes someone special to be a father. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn Trinity Sunday, we also commemorate Father’s Day. In remembering and honoring our fathers, we recognize that the vocation to be a father is divine. In fact, this is how God describes His relationship with us. When the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray, Jesus says, “Abba, Father.” Perhaps because we are so familiar with the Lord’s Prayer, we are not as astonished at these words as the disciples must have been. In Aramaic, the word “Abba” does not simply mean father, but is a familiar, intimate term of endearment akin to “daddy” or “papa.” (In Swedish, it is equivalent to “kitsch pop.”) For the Jewish people, the name of God is sacred and thus is seldom spoken or written, lest it be dishonored or used irreverently. For this reason, the authors of the Old Testament employ various circumlocutions for the name of God, which are translated as “Lord” or “Almighty.” When Jesus calls God, “Abba,” it is a shocking moment of revelation: God wants us to relate to Him not only as the Almighty creator of heaven and earth, but also as a loving father does with his child.  

PewterKnotThis connects with our celebration of the Trinity. The revelation that God is Trinity teaches us that God is not some isolate, distant force that exists apart from creation, but is a relationship of Persons who loved and continue to love creation into existence. We are invited to share in this dynamic love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as St Paul says to the Romans: “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as son, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Rom. 8:14-16). In this way, Jesus gives us insight into the inner life of God. The Holy Spirit that Christ sends at Pentecost is an extension of His own living presence, which echoes the eternal procession of love in the inner life of God. On this Sunday, we are invited to share in this life.

Last weekend, we hosted the Called and Gifted discernment retreat here at St. Dominic’s. called-and-gifted-flyer-1024x675What struck me about this retreat was the urgency of the mission to which Christ calls us. God calls us all to share the Gospel with others, and whether we know it or not, he gives us the gifts that we need to be successful. But let’s face it; we need to be reminded of the importance of this mission. As Fr. Emmanuel reminded us on Ascension Sunday, the last words Jesus speaks on earth are to commission His followers to make disciples of all nations.

This commissioning is a “Trinity moment” as Christ reveals God as Father, Son and Spirit. He says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:18-20) The mystery of the One God as a relationship of persons forms the sacred language of baptism, that moment when we are born into the life of God. As a spiritual father, it is always a privilege to speak these words of Christ whenever I baptize. As I pour the water and invoke the name of God as Father, Son and Spirit, the Trinity comes to life in the soul of the baptized. It is a moment of creation, for in the moment of baptism, we are drawn into the life of God who is a relationship of love. As we celebrate and honor our own fathers this weekend, let us once again experience God’s love for us as we pray, Our Father

~Fr. Michael Hurley, O.P., holding an icon of
The Most Holy Trinity painted by Lucia Dugliss