Today's Scratchpad Reflection

Kildare Cathedral Nave North Window 05 Predella Beheading of Saint John the Baptist 2013 09 04
August 29, 2015

Beheading of John the Baptist

by Daniel Thomas Op
Saturday in the 21st Week of the Church Year Today’s Feast: Martyrdom of John the Baptist. Scripture Readings for today's Liturgy: 1st Thessalonians 4:9-11 Psalm 98 Mark 6:17-29 "Blessed are those who are persucuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 5:10) On this Memorial of the Beheading of John the Baptist the Church takes the first reading from the… Read more...


Solemnity of the Ascension

Saint for the day: St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444

Readings for today's liturgy:

Acts 1:1-11

Psalm 47

Ephesians 4:1-13

Mark 16:15-20 

“Why do you stand here looking up to the sky?...”

The answer to this question seems to be wrapped up in the notion of letting go. Or, as the great American radio broadcaster, Paul Harvey would say as he finished one story and was about to move on to the next: “Page …two…” with a slight upbeat to the “two.”

Today’s feast of the Ascension marks a significant turning point in the life of the early Church. As Jesus told them, “Unless I return to the Father the Holy Spirit (the Creator and re-newer of life) will not come!”

But most of us don’t like that notion. We want things to stay as they were. We don’t like having to “step out” in faith. We’re just like the Apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration, “Lord, it’s good that we are here. Let us build a monument(out of solid stone) to keep you here.”  My one loose translation. But the bottom line message of Jesus is, “Go out to the ends of the world and tell them of this good news: I have conquered sin and death…”

The problem that we face is that we simply don’t have the proper words to describe Heaven. In the movie, “Charlie St. Cloud” the story tells of Charlie, a teenager, and his younger brother who are involved in a tragic automobile accident. The younger brother dies but the older brother is revived and lives. Yet, he has experienced something of life “on the other side” and he gets to see his younger brother almost every day. Finally, the younger brother comes and Charlie can’t see him and he is told, “Charlie, I’m on my way. You can’t see me because you simply couldn’t comprehend what I really look like. Don’t just stay here waiting … go on with your life.”

If you haven’t seen this move, check it out. It’s a great way to help you understand today’s feast.

In the end, Charlie “goes on” with his life with a new sense of purpose. He “goes back on the road…” just like all of us have to do. “Lord, it is good to be here but we’ve got much to do and we’re going out on the road!” After all, “It’s Heaven all the way to Heaven!” Amen!


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Our Spirituality



Dominicans center our lives on Jesus Christ, the true light, and are moved by the Holy Spirit who radiates God’s healing presence in the world today. We celebrate the Word in daily common prayer, meditation, study, and in the proclamation that is preaching


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We live together in large (as many as 30) and small (as few as 2 or 3) communities. The basic idea of community is not just people living together under one roof. Rather, community living is about the willingness to share our lives with one another.



The primary object of Dominican study is the Word of God, which comes to us through Scripture & Tradition, is interpreted authoritatively by the Church’s Magisterium, and Whose fullest manifestation is the very Person of Christ Himself.



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St. Dominic, the founder of the "Order of Preachers" in the early part of the 13th Century gave his friars guiding principles which were called, "The Four Pillars." They are the basis of all that we, even now, do in our prayer, study, life and ministry. Simply put, they are just that: Prayer - Study - Community - Ministry.