All Christian preaching is a proclamation of the eternal salvation promised and given by Christ Jesus. He entrusted this mission to his Apostles who passed it on to their successors, the bishops. They entrust this responsibility to their priests. And among these priests are religious.
It is this belonging to a religious family that makes a manner of preaching specific. In this sense, preaching is Dominican when it comes from a friar priest of the Order of Preachers. Saint Dominic, in fact, requested of the Church the privilege for his friars to live exclusively for preaching. They were thus distinguished from monks, who do not have the vocation to preach, and parish priests who are above all pastors.
The whole life of the Dominicans is centred on the proclamation of the word of God. Their whole lives must be preaching, hence their name of “friars preachers”. It is the specificity of this life that makes their preaching Dominican. This life rests on four indivisible and indispensable pillars.
First, community life. The friars of the Order of Preachers must live the word of God in order to be able to proclaim it. Community life is priority, although, like all religious, but in their own way, they vow to be obedient to their superiors (whom they themselves choose by election), to live in poverty (by possessing nothing personally) and in chaste celibacy.
Their life is liturgical, both in their manner of praying and in the “ritual” way of life: frequent chapters and elections, but also community meals and a life governed by a tradition that is constantly being updated.
Their lives are studious. It is a question of closely examining the Word of God before proclaiming it. We must tirelessly go into the meaning of the mysteries in depth in order to be able to proclaim them clearly.
The life of the friars preachers is based on assiduous contemplation. As the saying goes: they contemplate in order to be able to proclaim the fruit of their contemplation.
Dominican preaching is the fruit of all these roots. It is like a lovely fruit tree. It bears excellent fruit when it is planted in good soil, when it is well watered and exposed to the sun. The soil is Jesus, the Word made man. Rain falls from heaven like the Holy Spirit. Light comes from the Father from whom all life proceeds. And it is a whole, the trunk, the branches, the leaves, the fruits. If the fruits are beautiful and good, then they really come from God.