Nine Ways of Prayer of St. Dominic

In yesterday’s General Audience the Holy Father commented on the nine ways of prayer of St. Dominic:

Looking at him, the man of today can rediscover “that at the origin of witness of faith that every Christian must give in the family, at work, in social commitments and even in moments of rest, stands prayer” because “only a steady relationship with God gives us the strength to live with intensity every event, especially that of suffering”. And integral to  prayer, Benedict XVI recalled, “are our outward manners that accompany “dialogue with God”. The Pope then wanted to recall again the “necessity for our spiritual life of finding time everyday to pray quietly; we must take this time for ourselves especially during the holidays – a little time to talk with God”.

from l’Osservatore Romano

“Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers. In his life, Saint Dominic was able to combine constant prayer and zealous activity in the service of the Lord and his Church. By his example and intercession, may all of us rediscover the importance and beauty of daily prayer, and bear joyful witness to our faith in Christ the Saviour!”

from News.VA

The website of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia includes a beautiful description of the Nine Ways of Prayer of St. Dominic. Please note, anything unusual or distracting is better reserved for when you are all alone. Remember Our Lord’s instructions: “but when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6,6).

The Nine Ways of Prayer of St. Dominic is a treasured Dominican document on St. Dominic’s manner of praying. It was written by an anonymous author, probably at Bologna, between 1260 and 1288. Sister Cecilia of the Monastery of St. Agnes at Bologna (who had received the habit from St. Dominic) and others who had known him personally were most likely the source of this information.

These ways of prayer were the actual practice of our Holy Father. Standing, bowing, kneeling—St. Dominic knew that the gestures of the body could powerfully dispose the soul to prayer. In this experience of bodily prayer, the soul in turn is lifted to God in an act of praise, thanksgiving, and supplication. These ways of prayer are a glimpse into the inner life of St. Dominic and his intense love for God.

Text for The Nine Ways of Prayer (1997) is used (by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia) with permission of Father Simon Tugwell, O.P. and Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd, publisher.

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