To Praise – To Bless – To Preach

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

To Praise, to Bless, and to Preach is the Mission of the Dominican Order.  It is our mission as Dominicans of Peace to do so always and in all ways.

This mission resonated with my heart as I prayed to discern God’s call to religious life as a Dominican Sister.  I had no idea how I would live it out.  To be honest, I did not think I had the gifts to do it very well.  To my surprise, over the years God has drawn gifts out of me I did not know that I had which have been used to praise, bless, and preach.  As I reflect on each part of our mission, I invite you to consider how God may be calling you to embody this mission in some way – especially during Lent.

To Praise:  I discover God’s love through daily prayer and contemplation in Word and Sacrament.  This invites me to praise God through liturgical music, and the twice-daily singing of the Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours.  Gathered with my Sisters, singing or praying the Psalms, I am united with all around the world who are praying these same psalms, canticles & readings.  Together, our praise rises like incense to God.  How will you praise today?

To Bless:  In recognizing our relationship with all peoples and all of creation – we affirm ALL as Holy and celebrate its blessedness through our prayer and reverent stewardship.  Recently, a discerner asked me, “Can anyone offer blessings for others?”  I replied, “Yes!  Every baptized person is called to be a blessing and to bless.”  Catechism #1669.  You can read more about that here.  In fact, I often close e-mails, texts, and letters with “Blessings,” which for me is a real prayer for blessings upon the person.  In your life, how do you bless?

To Preach:  To listen and to respond to God’s Spirit with zeal, compassion, and joy through preaching the liberating truth of the Gospel of Jesus.  This is my goal each day.  How do I live it?  I preach when speaking with a discerner who is struggling to hear God’s voice and I remind her to listen to the still small voice already in her heart.  I preach the good news of hope to one who has kissed a loved one goodbye for the last time and I sit by her as she cries.  To preach is to break open the redeeming Word of God and to spill out its blessing upon the world.  How is God calling you to preach through your life today?  Listen and respond.

If God is calling you to join in our mission, to praise, to bless, and to preach, reach out and begin a conversation or attend one of our upcoming programs, or our Mini-Retreat this Sunday, March 27 from 2-5 pm.

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

One response to “To Praise – To Bless – To Preach

  1. Thank you, Sr. June for such an excellent explanation of our motto: “to Praise, to Bless and to Preach”. Like your self it attracted me as a young woman making retreats at our Dominican Retreat House in Elkins Park, Pa. I waited till after the retreat was over on a Sunday afternoon to listen to the sisters chant the Office of Vespers and Compline.
    On this Feast of the Annunciation of Mary, I give thanks to God for the Call to be a Dominican Sister and for you as well. Blessings and deep peace, Sr. Brigid

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