“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim the Good News to the poor; he has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, to give sight to the blind, to free the oppressed and proclaim a year of favour in the name of the Lord”
(The Gospel according to Luke, chapter four, verses 18 to 21)
Justice and Peace: Foundations of the Reign of God
Involvement in “Justice and peace” is not just an extra activity right in the heart of the life of the Order. It constitutes rather an orientation of ones life that is also central to it, a way of living and acting for the whole Dominican family: it is an integral part of our mission as preachers of the kingdom of God.
How can we remain indifferent when confronted with the suffering of millions of human beings, suffering which is caused by wars, economic crises or injustices of all kinds?
In many provinces and congregations of the Dominican Order, sisters, friars and lay Dominicans live Dominican spirituality in a fraternal way, through preaching which is lived and enlivened by compassion and mercy. The reality and vitality of the fundamental option for justice and peace taken by the whole Order is manifested in this way.
PROPHETS of the Kingdom of God
A prophet is not a model of sanctity but rather a person who, having taken the Word of God seriously, has the courage to bring it into confrontation with the laws of this world. God has called the prophet and assures him or her of his support.
Dominicans are called to be prophets, to be “wakers” of people’s consciences, to be people who, in season and out of season, remind the world of the primacy of the Word of God, the Word who desires salvation for all people and who draws himself close to those who are excluded or despised.
POVERTY for the Reign of God
Poverty is also one of the characteristics of Dominican spirituality. It implies both the stripping down of our securities, of our ministries or of our activities as well as a renouncing of material goods.
The vow of poverty is constitutive of religious life (life that is both in community and fraternal, prayer, sense of mission...). Poverty is directed towards charity, towards love, which is the very life of God. It does not call to austere accomplishments but to friendship and to sharing our lives with those who are excluded by our society. It allows us to be both available and free for preaching while bringing us close to the poorest. Poverty opens us to the life of the excluded, makes a place in our lives for the most needy and for victims of violence, all the while turning us towards solidarity: solidarity for and with them.