José Luis de Miguel, OP
Dominic of Guzmán
“He arrived as fire.
He left as light”
Io-Ann Ianotti, O.P.
Dominic was a sensitive person, attentive to the aspirations and distresses of his contemporaries, for whom he was ready to relinquish his most precious possessions – his books, for example – and turn them into gift, a gift of life.
His heart was as the large altar where God’s mercy and the miseries of his sons and daughters had a daily appointment. Deeply human and brotherly, left us as legacy and task, a great sense of admiration and defense of the dignity of the person, of all persons, and an attitude of intense Evangelical compassion for those most in need.
Free man, he bequeathed to his brethren the indelible mark of his inner freedom, fruit of the action of the Spirit of Jesus. Free to dream, free to fly, free to serve. Centuries before the cry of “liberté, fraternité, et égalité” was launched to the air, Dominic with his brothers and sisters lived already in democracy, without adjectives, as their normal way of life.
He knew how to harmonize, eminently, and in an almost instinctive way, a great fidelity to the will of God with a lucid analysis of the reality of his time, including the reality of his beloved Church, without, nevertheless, closing his eyes of Prophet, which pierced deeply where lights and shadows nest. As a Prophet, he knew well how to look deep and far, and how to interpret the signs of the times.
Sharp observer of life, had, in addition, a clairvoyant vision of the future, ahead of history, and the knowledge to provide answers to the most pressing questions that concerned his contemporaries. These answers did not come to him by art of magic, but by a firm and constant dedication to study, as a means to help other people to know more about God, the mysteries of his love, and the project of his Kingdom.
Profound seeker of truth (the truth of God, the truth of the world and the truth of the others, brothers and sisters), after the manner of his Master Jesus, he came to love it, as our Brother Yves Marie Congar says, “as one loves a dear friend”.
Dominic was, above all, a deep lover of the Word of God, which he sought to listen, study, teach, and share. To the Word of God he devoted, in a particular way, his life. That has been his most precious legacy for all of us, his brothers and sisters of the Dominican Family. Legacy that has become today a real concern, challenge and task for us his sisters and brothers: how to follow Dominic’s original inspiration, re-reading it at the light of the Gospel and the challenges of contemporary society, with its countless lights and joys, with its shadows and pains. And be pilgrims, like him, leaving behind the wake in flames of hope, and the desire to embrace, the friendly face that invites us go to him…, smiling.
In the message dated on July 15, 2016, sent by Pope Francis to the Order of Preachers, on the occasion of our General Chapter of Bologna,
“The Holy Father hopes that all who follow the charisma of Saint Dominic, tireless apostle of grace and forgiveness, compassion for the poor and staunch defender of truth, rediscover the urgency of solidarity, love and forgiveness, and are testimonies of mercy, professed and incarnated in their lives, and indicative of the closeness and tenderness of God for today’s society”.