Today is the birthday of our Dominican Order, so I invite you to rejoice with me for this, as well as for the approaching festival of Christmas. On December 22, 1216, Pope Honorius III granted official approbation to the little Order that Saint Dominic had organized. He said in the decree of approval that this group would be “champions of the faith and a true light of the world.” Today, almost 800 years later, we Dominican men number some 7000 throughout the world, and our Dominican cloistered nuns and active sisters are many thousands more.
The greatest gift of God in my life, other than the holy faith itself, is my vocation to be a Dominican and a priest in this family of religious. So please join me in thanking God today for the Order of Preachers, as we are officially known, and for my own vocation to it, and I would also ask your prayers, now and in the future, for more men and women to join our ranks in the Dominican life and priesthood.
Today in the gospel at Mass, we read Our Blessed Mother’s beautiful prayer of praise called the “Magnificat.” In it, she speaks of herself as “God’s lowly handmaid,” but then also marvels at the fact that “from now on, all generations will call me blessed.” That is not a boast; it is a statement of wonderment and awe. It is certainly true, and every time we speak to Our Lady in prayer, we are fulfilling that prophecy of hers.
Very soon we will be contemplating her, in the stable at Bethlehem, having given birth to the Savior of the world, and we will continue to address her as we have all our lives, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
We are only 3 days away from Christmas now. Are you carefully adorning your hearts to celebrate the great feast as you adorn your homes and we decorate our churches? Thank you for allowing God to love you, God Bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.