Does Thomas know the way?

“Where I am going you know the way.”Thomas said to him,“Master, we do not know where you are going;how can we know the way?” (John 14:4-5) “Here Thomas denies the two things that our Lord affirmed.” St. Thomas Aquinas’ first … Continue reading

His Holiness

For many generations, especially throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, several popes had negative reputations on account of their sinful lifestyles or corrupt governance. While still possessing the authority of the Vicar of Christ on earth, these popes were not … Continue reading

Born for What?

“Why did you decide to give your life to this work?” The old farmer, weather-worn and bowed with age, answered my question with a wry smile: “Bad luck and being born into it.” Born into a family who had farmed … Continue reading

The Weight of Love

Faith and Film Friday: The Jeweller’s Shop Editor’s Note: This is the ninth and final review in our series, Faith and Film Friday. Read the whole series here. “Love is a constant challenge. It is given to man so he … Continue reading

Practice makes permanent

The season of Lent is a time of hope and renewal. We examine our interior spiritual lives, consider our imperfections, and work to improve on them. We commit to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. These practices no doubt have a positive … Continue reading

What are you fighting for?

We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them. —Bilbo Baggins Life is a great adventure, and as every seasoned adventurer … Continue reading

Religious Sign Value

Just a few weeks ago, a man approached me as I marched with my brothers and sisters up Constitution Avenue. “Hey! I was curious … who are you guys?” Having commonly fielded this question, I answered, “We’re called Dominicans. We’re … Continue reading

The Glory of the Hidden Stars

He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world (Jn 1:8-9). The cold keeps many from wondering at a January night sky where every star, … Continue reading

Whistler’s Mother

On this great feast day, when we remember the good and solicitous Virgin of Guadalupe, I am reminded of another, no less familiar, image. The reader may well identify the black-clad lady portrayed above as the mother of James Abbot … Continue reading

Sainthood: A Place That I Will Show You

Today we are a week away from our big All Saints Vigil celebration here at the Dominican House of Studies. As we prepare for this event, it occurred to me to ponder what it means to be a saint, and … Continue reading

To the Parents of a Black Sheep

Every family seems to have someone who sticks out above the rest, for better or for worse. It is not uncommon today to have parents who consider one (or more) of their children to be the “black sheep” of the … Continue reading

In the Breach

One of the homeless men in the basement was snoring. Loudly. Some years before I entered the Dominican Order, in the middle of a Confirmation class I was teaching, one student announced that he didn’t really believe in the Real … Continue reading

You Shall Be a Sign for Them

Poor Ezekiel. Obedient to God’s request, the prophet packed a bag, dug through a wall with his hands, and, in the evening, scrambled through that hole and wandered off into the darkness while other people looked on. Many of them … Continue reading

Divine Election

When the Gospels record the calling of the Twelve, none of them offers us the qualifications of the Apostles. Nowhere do we find a collection of resumes or CVs that explain to us why Jesus chose those Twelve men. Apart … Continue reading

Prenups with God

A few months ago, thirteen friars, including myself, made solemn vows. We offered everything to God, including all our possessions. But before the big day, a few friends and family members made some startling suggestions. Some counseled me to keep … Continue reading

The Priesthood and Spiritual Maternity

The vocation to be a spiritual mother for priests is largely unknown, scarcely understood, and, consequently, rarely lived, notwithstanding its fundamental importance. It is a vocation that is frequently hidden, invisible to the naked eye, but meant to transmit spiritual … Continue reading

Letter to My Brother

Hey Brother, So, we’re off. It’s one day after Pentecost and we’re getting a taste of the apostolic life, jumping into cars and hopping onto planes. Sorry I didn’t catch up with you before departure day. Summer assignments arrive so … Continue reading

GPS pro Anima

I was speaking with someone recently who confessed that, even when she knows where she is driving, she’ll use her GPS. “I like having a voice there talking to me,” she explained with a sheepish laugh. “It keeps me company.” … Continue reading

A Voice I Did Not Know

God never appeared to me and told me in clear and audible words what I was supposed to do with my life. He never told me to be a Dominican. Or maybe He did, and I just didn’t recognize His … Continue reading

Buried in the Prairie

Today I will be burying my grandmother. After 96 years of life, she returned to the Lord in the early morning of Easter Sunday. Despite the sadness, everyone in the family, every branch in that great tree, thought to themselves, … Continue reading

Martha or Mary?

To pray or do good? This seems to be the dilemma of anyone trying to live a Christian life. On the one hand St. Thomas Aquinas says that “the contemplative life is more excellent than the active,” but on the … Continue reading

What are you?

“So, what ARE you, anyway?” This is a question Dominicans get asked frequently. People don’t expect to see a bunch of young and joyful men wearing 13th-century garb—who are not play actors. I typically give the answer that we are … Continue reading

Moved to Remain

I have never mended a net. It seems like a tedious enterprise. As of now at least, there is no talk of the Dominican House of Studies entering into a net-mending apostolate, and for that I am grateful. In this … Continue reading

Advent Conference Audio: Mother Teresa

Dominicana is happy to offer this audio recording of “Jesus Messed Everything Up.” It was given by Br. John Thomas Fisher, O.P. as part of the 2016 Advent Conferences at the Dominican House of Studies. Series flyer with more information … Continue reading