Today we honour the memory of Blessed Raymond of Capua, considered by some to be the second founder of the Dominican Order. He was the spiritual director of Saint Catherine of Siena and after her death he was elected Master of the Order and introduced numerous reforms which demanded the strict following of the rules laid down by Saint Dominic. Blessed Raymond died in 1399 and was beatified in 1899 by Pope Leo XIII to mark the fifth centenary of his death. Today we ask Blessed Raymond’s intercession and protection for the Order and of our community in particular.
Just consider the lengths God went to in order to speak to Jonah and guide his steps. As the story unfolds, God pursues Jonah in a variety of ways: through a prophetic calling, through a storm at sea, in the belly of a huge fish, even through a broom tree. When God first called Jonah to be his messenger to Nineveh, the capital of the powerful Assyrian empire, Jonah flatly refused. Suspecting that God intended to show mercy to these enemies of Israel, he became resentful and fled by sea to the distant city of Tarshish.
Jonah figured that even if he changed his mind, he would be too far away to do any good. But he quickly learned that it’s impossible to outsmart God when his attempt to run away included a violent storm and an unexpected trip overboard. That’s when God, with whom all things are possible, provided the great fish to swallow Jonah and speed him home so that he might start all over again. This unique mode of transportation helped Jonah put things in perspective so that when God called him a second time, he obeyed. Such a dramatic—and at times comical—story teaches us that God will persistently pursue us in order to work his will.
Stories like this are just one way in which God tries to speak to us. The Scriptures are also filled with historical narratives, prayers, poems, theological discourses, and even fables that flood us with the light of understanding. But God doesn’t stop with the Bible or the official teaching of the Church. In the course of a single day, he might speak to us through music, through our imaginations, in our prayer, through a casual conversation, through a new experience, or even through the old, familiar routine of our lives.
We can cultivate an ear for God through expectant listening and trusting obedience to what we hear. God is always calling out to us, and he will continue to speak, waiting patiently for us to hear his call over the busyness of our daily lives.