PrayerContemplation and the Monastic Life

At the heart of our religious consecration is our relationship with the One who has called us to be His own. Contemplative prayer is the breath that gives life to our consecration and our apostolic work. Knowing the importance of a strong prayer life and valuing the monastic life, Dominic held fast to the monastic practices of religious life when he founded the Order. Today, the monastic practices of our life permeate both day and night, aiding us in contemplation. Further, asceticism or the life of penance strengthens us in order to live the spiritual life with generosity and fervor. Finally, contemplation is aided through the beauty in our convents, our surroundings, and our music, lifting our hearts and minds to the Eternal.

The Dominican must sanctify himself before he can go out to help his neighbor. The end of the Order, in all branches, is a contemplation that fructifies in the apostolate. A Dominican’s life is a life hidden in God with Christ, lived in the solitude and silence of the religious house. There he dwells alone with God while his exterior activity is the voice of cloistered silence…The Order produces contemplatives and has them in the present day…The saints of the Order exemplify the beautiful balance of Dominican spirituality, the perfect blend of contemplation and apostolicity. They have been among the greatest contemplatives of the Church: St. Dominic, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Vincent Ferrer, yet they have been zealous apostles. The pages of Dominican history are sprinkled liberally with great souls who have become saints in the Dominican way, following their rule with utmost fidelity, working faithfully for the good of souls. (Father William A. Hinnebusch, O.P.)