The New Wine of Dominican Spirituality
There is a Dominican spirituality which is entirely distinctive and is inspired by the great Saint St Dominic himself. The Dominican Order of Friars was founded specifically to engage with the world-not to live in contemplative seclusion. There has always...
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There is a Dominican spirituality which is entirely distinctive and is inspired by the great Saint St Dominic himself. The Dominican Order of Friars was founded specifically to engage with the world-not to live in contemplative seclusion. There has always been a strong intellectual strain in the Dominican tradition. Like St Thomas Aquinas and Edward Schillebeeckx some of the greatest Christian thinkers have been Dominicans. With the conviction that Dominican spirituality is for everyone and for people of all sorts and conditions, Paul Murray OP has written a charming and forceful short book. The Gospel invites us to taste a new wine- a wine of ever lasting joy. Indeed Christian belief is supposed to make people happy. One reason so many in society today feel unfulfilled and are not happy is because the vision of life we are offered is one that is restricted to a pragmatic one dimensional view of the world. The Dominican path is truly broad and joyous and here Paul Murray makes available some of the different voices from the whole of the Dominican tradition. Much emphasis is laid on the order's motto - Truth. Christian life is concerned with exploring the truth-not just objective truth of propositions but the truth within ourselves which is the truth that will make us free. In this gentle and persuasive book, the author points to the underlying presence of God joy in our work and leisure but above all in our view and understanding of ourselves.
This lively and compelling book by Paul Murray OP names and celebrates aspects of the Dominican tradition which are at the very core of its spirituality. This tradition has often been described in the past, and for good reason, as scholarly and intellectual. But the lives of the Dominicans whose voices we hear in this book were also, and to an extraordinary degree, apostolic, exuberant, evangelical, risk-taking, mystical, and robust.
One of the things which has characterized the Dominican spirit from the beginning is a sense of openness to the world. Dominicans such as Thomas Aquinas, Jordan of Saxony, and Catherine of Siena, were not only impressive celebrants of grace. They were also defenders of nature. After the example of St Dominic himself, they learned to drink deep from the wine of God's Word, and became witnesses not only of certain great moral and doctrinal truths but witnesses also of an unimaginable joy.
One reason, in society today, why so many feel unfulfilled and are not happy is because the vision of life offered is one that is restricted to a pragmatic, one-dimensional view of the world. The Dominican vision of life we find presented in this book is one that is truly broad and joyous. It is a path of spirituality - a way - open to people of all kinds and conditions.
Paul Murray OP is an Irish Dominican, a poet, and a professor in Rome at the University of St. Thomas, the "Angelicum." He is the author of several books which habe been published in Ireland, England and the United States including "I Loved Jesus in the Night: Teresa of Calcutta." He lives in Rome, and is well known as a speaker throughout the United States.
- Foreword By The Most Reverend Timothy Radcliffe Op Introduction; 1. What Is Dominican Spirituality?; 2. Dominicans And Happiness; 3. Eat The Book; 4. Dominicans Drinking.