|DLS Panel on Prayer, 9/12/2013.|
One of the gifts we receive from participating in the CDN is getting to know the wider Dominican family. We have ample opportunities to practice hospitality as Dominicans pass through the house, staying for dinner, stopping overnight for a respite, or discussing order values during our Dominican Life Seminar (DLS).
Once a month, our DLS consists of an evening panel on a Dominican topic. We invite four Dominicans for dinner, evening prayer, and a dessert panel discussion. Discussions are topical and focused on questions surfaced by the novices. This semester our topics are the Four Dominican Pillars: Prayer, Community, Study, and Preaching. I have found these panels a fantastic way to form a relationships with the larger Dominican family and become more familiar with our pillars.
|DLS Panel on Study, 11/7/2013|
This past Thursday the CDN was graced with the presence of Colleen Mallon, Mary Ann Nelson, Jose Santiago and Martin Taylor for a discussion on Study. Our conversation helped me think about study in a new way. One important point that was made focused on the nature of Dominican study. The Order generally tends to attract a more academic bunch, yet our call is not to gain knowledge for ourselves to build up our ego. The Order has a rich tradition of “disputatio,” formalized public debates with a structure intended to examine a particular issue. St. Dominic and his immediate successors were known for this and early Dominican were schooled in the process. However, study cannot, and should not, be reduced to academic degrees. Rather, we are called to search out truth (“veritas”) and give to others the fruits of our contemplation (“contemplata aliis tradere"). The foundation of these pursuits is study. We study the world together: through life, through discussion, as well as through academia. Our call is to be curious, to ask questions, to discuss varying points of view and to learn about new ways of thinking. I am always thankful for the wisdom and experience Colleen, Mary Ann, Jose and Martin brought to the panel.
And so, as Dominican novices, we continue to study Dominican life. We strive to deepen our discernment and better understand the commitment we will be making with our vows.