Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day Eight

St. Dominic's Zeal for God and Souls

"The zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up"  (Ps. lxviii. 10)

St. Dominic's love for God and his neighbor bore marvelous fruits through his zeal for souls.  This was a natural outgrowth of his love; in truth, it was part of his love.  The goodness of our Blessed Lord, His mercy, and His love, were so deeply fixed in St. Dominic's heart that he longed to make all men partakers of these divine gifts.  His life was spent for souls.

The vision which was granted to him, -- in which St. Peter and St. Paul appeared to him and told him to preach, for God had chosen him for this office -- was but the confirmation of that other vision in which his saintly mother saw him, as with a flaming torch, going over the entire world, enlightening all men with the fire of divine love.  To him the words of St. Paul may well be applied: "He maketh his ministers a flame of fire."

His apostolate among the Albigensians God blessed with wonderful fruits.  He labored in Spain and Italy, and many thousands were brought back to the true fold by his preaching and miracles.  Over the earth he scattered his devoted followers; and soon Dominican blood was poured out in every land, the fruitful witness of St. Dominic's zeal for God and souls.  Every night he scourged himself till his innocent blood flowed on the ground, that God might show mercy to sinners.  In naught did he spare himself; rather, in all things he spent himself for Jesus Christ and souls redeemed by Him.  His life is the story of a holocaust of a victim entirely consumed for zeal.

Practice

What are we doing for God and souls?  Have we ever made a sacrifice for the honor of our Divine Master?  Have we ever done aught that Jesus might be better known and loved?  Do we ever think of the interests of Jesus?  Do we ever reflect on the value of souls, on the price which Jesus paid for them?  Is our charity active?  Do we seek to instruct the ignorant, to recall the wayward?  Or do we content ourselves with a selfish attention to our own spiritual wants?  Ah!  If we have true love for our Blessed Lord, if we realize what souls have cost Him, we shall be willing to sacrifice our own ease, to forget our own interests, in order to labor for Him by helping our neighbor on the way of everlasting life; and thus we shall more effectually secure our own welfare.  Earnestly ask St. Dominic to make you zealous for the interests of Jesus and souls.

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