Friday, August 8, 2008


Truth. It's the motto of the Order of Preachers, more commonly known as the Dominicans. Today is the feast day of their founder, St. Dominic, of whom I am an enormous fan. I will admit to some bias here. I lean Dominican in my outlook on most things, so I am naturally going to favor them in posting. I must also say that in looking at the post-conciliar wreckage, it has always seemed to me that the Dominicans have weathered the storm much better than others. Sure, there's a few Schillebeeecxes in the bunch, but they've had the guts to expel guys like Matthew Fox from the order altogether.

Anyways, St. Dominic. Most folks know that he's the guy who got the Rosary from the Blessed Mother with the instructions to spread that devotion throughout the world. That is only part of the story. The actual reason for Dominic's preaching was to exterminate the Albigensian heresy. Albigensians were dualists, who believed in what amounted to two gods, good and bad, spiritual and material. Everything material was bad, including the body. Suicide was a therefore a good idea. Material possessions were bad, too, so not having anything and/or killing those who did was a good idea. This latter element got so bad that armed conflict was necessary to stop them. They were also Arianish and had a bunch of other problems too numerous to list here. Why were they so successful?
Albigensians made it big because folks admired their ascesticism and contempt for the world. When contrasted with the sometimes plush lives of corrupt clergy, it made a big impression. Plus, the clergy at the time weren't really doing their jobs when it came to proclaiming the Truth to the laity. Dominic saw this and set about remedying by establishing an order sworn to poverty, but also based upon the charism of preaching. Needless to say, the rest is history. By the time of his death, the heresy had been severely weakened. The Dominicans finished wiping it out in the early 1500s.

Anyways, we owe a lot to this guy for the spiritual gifts he's left to the world. His dedication to Truth is something sorely lacking these days. Most folks are willing to just live and let live, with absolutely no care at all that such an attitude is completely contrary to the mission of the Redeemer.

St. Dominic, pray for us that we may never take the Truth for granted or let it go undefended.

No comments: