Bookshelf

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

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A while back, a person came to speak with me and graciously gave me a gift in gratitude. It was a book entitled, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. It was written by Charlie Mackesy. It is an illustrated book, written in cursive. At first blush, you could quickly pass it off as a children’s book, but considering the source, I knew that there was much more to it. I spent two months reading just one page at a time, spending some time contemplating the few words spoken between the boy, the mole, the fox, and the horse. Here is what one special page holds. “What is the bravest thing you ever said?” asked the boy. “Help.” said the horse. When was the last time you asked for help, for anything?

Can an entire state of mind be echoed in a single word? Can we be brave enough to ask the God of the great universe for help? Can we ask each other for help? Can the help we offer when asked be a prayer, a connection between two hearts which is authentic love? A lot of questions that come from this one quote, “What is the bravest thing you have ever said?” 

This book has many more thoughts to contemplate in the simple words spoken between the boy, the mole, the fox, and the horse.

The New Wine of Dominican Spirituality

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The book, "The New Wine of Dominican Spirituality: A Drink Called Happiness," by Paul Murray, OP is another great book to delve deeper into the life and spirituality of our parish patron. 

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.

Bloomsbury.com

St. Dominic: The Story of a Preaching Friar

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As we continue to explore and learn more about our parish patron, St. Dominic, in this year of the 800th anniversary of his death, we offer a second fascinating book to add to your reading list. St. Dominic:  The Story of a Preaching Friar, by Donald J. Goergen, OP., tells the history of St. Dominic's life, mission, and spirituality. It is presented in a way that is approachable for the contemporary reader.

St. Dominic founded the Order of Preachers, better known as the Dominicans, but for Dominic, preaching did not mean being a good homilist. For St. Dominic, it was about sharing the Truth of Christ's death and resurrection, in being an evangelist like the apostles. His friars were to leave the monastery and go out into the world. They were to be humble, but boldly engage others in the quest for the Truth by sharing God's Word in human, understandable words, such as love, mercy, and compassion.  

We don't hear St. Dominic often mentioned when the great saints are named, but that is due more to St. Dominic's mission, which was to  always point to the Gospel, to point to Jesus. Like St. John the Baptist, he felt he must decrease and Christ increase. Yet, Blessed Jordan of Saxony, who became the successor Master of the Order of Preachers, wrote that St. Dominic was loved by everyone, because he loved everyone. He was full of grace and compassion. St. Dominic reflected the love of Christ through his life. His  spirituality was also tied very much into community, into listening to, living with, loving, and forgiving one another. 

We have much to learn and be inspired by the story of St. Dominic and this book provides a way to journey through his life.

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