Celebration of Light
Eucharist today was the most austere thus far. We even recited the
canticle from the book of Wisdom!--which is the first that we recited.
Up to this point, all have been sung. There were then more moments
of silence. It was all in English (all except the silence, that
is). The Provincial of Australia presided, along with him another
friar of his province. Pursuant to the request of the secretary
of the chapter, a summary of the homily was then read in each of
the other two official languages of the chapter (this was not done
with the readings, and not because the word of the preacher is more
important than the Word of God, but because it is presumed the that
the capitulars can recognize the text by cognate key words such
as "Moses," Pharaoh," "Egypt," "Capharnaum,"
"Bethany," "Martha," "disciples,"
and so on). The Mass was in honor of Mary, and began with "Immaculate
Mary," the Lourdes hymn. In the homily the celebrant said that
the Australian friars have learned from the Spaniards studying English
there (i.e., those of Holy Rosary province) to gather together following
meals for a community chat. And it is Mary who always gathers us
together to listen to each other and to her Son. Like her, Dominicans
must be beget the Word of God and carry it to others. So be it.
are various opinions about commission work. Some brothers are effusive,
truly content with what they are doing. Others say that they feel
somewhat blocked. There are those who ask whether it is worth all
the work, for with all that has been written recently in chapters,
letters, etc., it is not easy to say something new.
afternoon likewise differed for different brothers: some had to
continue poring over texts in commission, others went on a lengthy
outing, others opted for the previously mentioned reflection--first
during the siesta ("ponder on your bed in silence")--and
then in the chapel or elsewhere on campus. A time of meditation
in common had been scheduled, while later groups divided up according
to language groups. Capitulars were free in attending the meditation
in Church and in groups.
as on the previous Saturday, we had the celebration of light. All
was in English, except for the "Salve" and "O Lumen"
at the end of the procession toward the "statue group"
that represented the Virgin Mary giving the Rosary to Saint Dominic.
This time there was no individual procession with candle to receive
the light of Christ, but rather, in more fraternal fashion, the
light was passed on from Dominican to Dominican, radiating out from
the central candle, Christ.
is only just to say a word of thanks to the Dominican student brothers
for their work. They are taking care of all the details, participate
actively in all the celebrations, organize prayer and recreation.
. . . In a word, they are a great help in the healthy functioning
of the chapter.