|OUR LIFE & CHARISM
“What you have received as gift, give as gift…” Mt. 10:8
Charism —charis— is gift, is graced insight into the way of discipleship. Following the Second Vatican Council religious orders looked with fresh eyes at their charisms~ to be renewed and re-energized by these gifts of spirit and grace. As religious orders name and cherish anew the spirit of their founders, they appreciate as well their fundamental unity and solidarity with all who have received the baptismal call to discipleship.
While we realize fewer persons are seeking vowed religious life and experience this as diminishment and concern, we are also witnesses to and participants in a profound grace in our Church. Many men and women, across a broad spectrum, have heard and taken to heart the teaching of the Vatican Council on the People of God. Lumen Gentium, the Constitution on the Church, identifies Baptism as the primary source of vocation for all. Religious have supported, encouraged, guided, catechized, mentored and cheered on all sorts of persons in their ownership of the mission of Jesus for this broken and hurting world. We have a gift for them- the gift of the Charism of the Dominican Order.
We need to appreciate this wisdom ourselves, the unique way it helps us to keep the Gospel in mind at a time when this is of critical importance. Who are the persons with whom this gift of charism can be shared? We can look to our Boards, Partners in Ministry, Staffs, Associates. Wherever we are, there is an opportunity. Many resources are available; many ways in which this timeless wisdom can be shared. This, perhaps, is a special gift of vowed religious life today, the holy preaching given for all.
The Dominican Family has grown over the centuries since Dominic walked among us. Dominic, was one who included all. He certainly would be happy to see all the ways people have chosen to be Dominicans and to live the Gospel truth. Formerly, the Order consisted of the Friars, Nuns, Sisters and other Third Order groups. Today we rejoice in additional associations - women and men as Associates, groups of Young Preachers, our Former Members and the Dominican Volunteers USA.
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