Those who fear the Lord seek to please him, those who love him are filled with his law. Those who fear the Lord prepare their hearts and humble themselves before him. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord and not into the hands of men, for equal to his majesty is the mercy that he shows. (Sirach 2: 16-18)
ROSA PATIENTIAE ROSE OF PATIENCE
Though so pure that Holy Church calls him “Ivory of Chastity,” and Christian art puts a lily into his hands, Dominic was always weeping over sin. His soul being full of contrition, acts of sorrow were constantly upon his lips. On seeing towns or villages, he used to weep over the sins committed there against God. But this sorrow was not merely hidden in the soul; it bore fruit in works of penance. Three times every night he scourged himself: once for his own sins, once for those of others, and once for the suffering souls. He was a rule of abstinence, even on journeys never eating meat or food cooked with meat. His fasts were strict and continual; even when traveling over Europe on foot, he fasted from September until Easter, though preaching daily. He never had a room of his own, but slept anywhere: on the ground, a bench, or the altar step. Being a zealous lover of the rule, he punished faults, but with such fatherly love that penance was accepted and even desired from his hands.
“If you have no sins of your own to weep for,” St. Dominic would say, “still weep, after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, and grieve for the sinners of the world that they may repent.”
Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27)
Pray for us, blessed father, St. Dominic, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray, O zealous preacher of penance, Holy Father St. Dominic, whose ardent desire for the salvation of souls made you ever ready to endure the greatest labors and fatigues and even to give your life in order to win them to God, pray for us, that treading in the steps of Jesus Crucified, the Redeemer and Physician of souls, we may disregard all suffering and generously sacrifice ourselves for the needs of others. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.