Monday, September 24, 2012

What's Black and White and...

A Franciscan brother asked me, yesterday, quite casually "so, how long have you been associated with the Domincans?" We were drying some dishes together and puzzling out the various locations for spatulas and trays -- working in someone else's kitchen is definitely foreign country: everything has it's place but it's not where you would put it. And if you can't find where something belongs, you make a new home for it and hope that you've not just upset the kitchen's entire ecological system.

The question about Dominicans gave me a pause - but not because I think I have any calling to be a Dominican nun/sister. But I am always hovering around Dominicans and love many of them quite dearly.

I certainly miss those that I know from Rome. One Dominican priest gave chocolates out at our exams -- and, then, worried that the heat and the chocolate might make us uncomfortable, brought along a canteen of water so that we could wash it down. He would also make up prayers before each class such as "Dear Lord. Help us to know that you are not an abstract entity, but a real concrete Person who dearly loves us...Help us to grow in knowledge, and help us to know this. Amen."

In all, this is a beautiful approach to God. In the midst of study about abstract things - things furthest from the reaches of the sensible - there is the danger of getting lost and treating all things not-so-immediate as beings in the same category. And charity takes precedence over all!

So why not associate with Dominicans?

Holy association, after all, is quite important.