Common Life

“Whoever lives with me has God as his possession!” These striking words of St. Augustine sum up the heart of one of the essential monastic observances of Dominican life-fraternal life in communion, striving to be of one mind and heart in God. This communion is possible only when it finds its source at the heart of Trinitarian communion.

We have not arrived at heaven, we are still on the way, and because each one of us brings to the monastery the frailty of our personal wounds and sins such a life of communion is not easy. It calls for reconciliation when we have offended each other. It asks us to be patient with each other in our failures and weaknesses. It demands that we live the Gospel imperative to “love one another as I have loved you.”

This dynamic life of love is for the world a witness to the reconciliation of all things in Christ preached by our brethren. In this way, a Dominican monastery becomes a holy preaching-“a city set on a hill that cannot be hid.”

Words to Ponder

Contemplatives have a double responsibility: to strengthen preachers by their contemplation, and to form them by their thirst for the Word. The cloister is consequently the place par excellence where the mystery of holy preaching ought to be lived.
-The Contemplative Life, Fr. Thomas Philippe, OP

The unanimity of our life, rooted in the love of God, should furnish a living example of that reconciliation of all things in Christ which our brethren proclaim in their preaching of the Word.”
-Constitutions of the Dominican Nuns