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Laudare, Benedicere, Prae dicare

     Saint Dominic, the glorious Patriarch of the Order of Preachers, was a man of prayer.  It was said of him that he spoke only to God or of God.  According to Saint Catherine of Siena, he has in the Church the office of sowing the seed of Truth, of dissipating the darkness of error by the light of Sacred Science.  His preaching burst forth from the silence of his contemplation, after the example of Our Lord Who came forth to preach and teach after His hidden life of thirty years in Nazareth.  Down through the ages the sons of Saint Dominic have continued to preach the Word of God to all nations.

     Saint Dominic realized that spiritual renewal can only be effected in the hearts of men by the union of two forces:  the spoken word and that of prayer.  Given to the Church as a faithful watchdog bearing the flaming torch of Truth, he urges youthful hearts even to this day to burn with love for Him Who came to cast fire upon the earth, drawing into the joyous garden of his Order zealous souls dedicated to living this twofold life of contemplative prayer and apostolic works.

     In Dominican life the first place belongs to prayer.  Early in the morning the bell summons the Sisters to begin their busy day with meditation and the canonical hours of Lauds and Prime, followed by Mass and Holy Communion, from which they derive spiritual strength and ardor for their daily tasks.  From their participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, united with Jesus immolated upon the altar, their lives become more and more penetrated with the spirit of love and sacrifice.

     This is their privilege, to chant the official prayer of the Militant Church, praising God in the inspired words of the ancient psalms, giving echo to the hymn of praise which the Church Triumphant sings everlastingly to God.  The contemplative prayer of the Sisters overflows into a joyous and zealous activity, each with her designated share of work in the house, the school, the garden or the barnyard.

     So in the convent the hours fly by.  Days, weeks, years pass until at last her earthly life completed, the faithful religious stands at the door of eternity.  But she stands there calmly and without fear, for from her hours of prayer she knows well what lies beyond that door.  There is the blessed company of Jesus and Mary whom she has known and loved and served in this life, and whom by the mercy of God she will continue to love and praise for all eternity.

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