A few words from Fr. Reginald Martin, O.P.
Dear Friends of the Rosary Center,
As I write this I am looking forward to celebrating the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption. However, we look ahead at the Rosary Center, so this issue of Light and Life will anticipate both the Feast of the Holy Rosary in October, and the Month of the Holy Souls in November.
Each day during November we will offer Mass for the happy repose of the souls of those close to you who have died, so please use the enclosed form to send us their names. Needless to say, we will remember your other intentions - and you - as well.
A WORD ON STUDY
As you know, your gifts support the education of the young men who will be the next generation of preachers in the Western Dominican Province. In May I attended the Commencement exercises at our Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (commonly called DSPT) and was altogether dazzled by the address delivered by one of our graduates, Br. Bradley Elliott. I've included a few paragraphs, to show you how well we've invested your contributions.
I cannot be completely satisfied in this life. My mind cannot, in this life, find complete rest. Not yet. I cannot yet see Jesus Christ. I cannot yet see that single vision in which alone the mind will find perfect satisfaction. I cannot yet hold Him and embrace Him. I cannot yet hold and kiss His face; Not yet. No. Not on this side.
But what I can do on this side of the veil is study.
I can study all that is true. I can, here and now, begin to recognize and distinguish, in the study of truth, what the features of that face will one day look like. I can, here and now, begin to appropriate to my soul, in the study of truth, a likeness of what that awesome presence might one day be like.
What a great gift to study philosophy and theology. What a privilege to be given the opportunity, the leisure, to study philosophy and theology.
This is why what we do here at the DSPT is so important. The DSPT assumes that the drive of the mind to ask ultimate questions, is not in vain; rather, it is at the heart of who we are as human persons. The DSPT assumes that faith and reason go together. And neither one must be checked at the door when I enter the classroom. The DSPT assumes that I am not the creator and master of my own reality as if from some self-enclosed sadness, but am rather the servant of a truth that reveals itself to all who humbly search - a truth in which we all live, move, and have our being - a truth that unites and binds us all. The DSPT has taught me that there is joy in being a servant of truth; joy in discovering it wherever it may be found; joy in learning it from another; and joy in passing onto another that which I have learned.
Br. Brad's reflection caused me to do some serious thinking about study - not simply the reading we do to learn facts so we can pass a test, but the study that is the defining characteristic of Dominican spirituality. Ultimately, study is a meditative enterprise, in which our reading and our prayer become one (or so it seems to me). Study is not something we carve out time for; it should be part of our way of life (or, once again, so it seems to me).
And that brings me to a book I just discovered, Heaven Sent, My Life with the Rosary. The author is Fr. Gabriel Harty, an elderly Irish Dominican. The volume proved simply breath-taking. Fr. Harty's reflections on the prayers of the Rosary are captivating, and his practical suggestions for employing the Rosary as a tool for meditation (and, perhaps, study) are unforgettable.
A word of warning: one chapter - it has nothing to do with theology or devotion - I found somewhat odd, and Fr. Harty is no fan of the Luminous Mysteries. He says he hopes to have a word with St. John Paul II when he encounters him in the Next World! Those minor quibbles notwithstanding, this book is utterly fascinating. To obtain this book visit our web page at www.rosary-center.org.
Dominican historian, Fr. Augustine Thompson, published a well-received biography of St. Francis, which has recently appeared in a paperback edition. This biography has been embraced by religious and secular experts alike, and many Franciscan superiors have said they will not be without it. The book portrays an engaging and sympathetic individual, but does not sentimentalize Francis, or attempt to gloss over his many challenges.
Popular theologian Mark Shea (whom Fr. Reginald knew when he served as pastor of the Dominican parish in Seattle, Washington), offers a new edition of a remarkable work, Mary, Mother of the Son. Originally published in three volumes, the work is now available in a single volume, and Fr. Reginald says it is hard to put down.
Volume one considers popular misunderstandings about Mary, the second treats Mary's virginity, Immaculate Conception and Assumption, and the third, which Rosary devotees may find most engaging, studies Marian devotions, including the Rosary. The volumes formed a part of Fr. Reginald's spiritual reading for many early mornings before the Blessed Sacrament; he urges the friends of the Rosary Center to share his enriching experience.
A NOTE TO OUR CANADIAN FRIENDS
If you send your gift to the Rosary Center in Canadian funds, your generosity is considerably reduced by the time the bank makes adjustments for differences in exchange rates and - especially - levies a transaction fee to convert your gift into American funds. To protect the value of your gift, please use a credit card or International Money Order.
2 Novenas of Masses in honor of
The Rosary Center
PO Box 3617
Portland, OR 97208 USA