Today we honour the memory of the Passionist priest Blessed Dominic Barberi. Renowned preacher and spiritual writer. Received hundreds of converts into the Church including John Henry Newman. Blessed Dominic died near Reading in 1849 and was beatified in 1963 by Pope Paul VI. Considered by some to be the Apostle of England.
There have always been popular movements in the Church, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. In their own way each movement prompts individuals to recommit themselves to allowing God to play a central role in their lives and in the lives of their families. These movements remind us of a central theme of our faith: the stumbling block of the Cross.
Each time we celebrate the Mass and gather together as a community we proclaim that through death comes life, that there is power in weakness. Yet, as many members of popular religious movements seem to have recognised, it is often easier to recite the words of a creed than it is to live those beliefs in everyday life. Even for us religious, it’s easy to put on the habit in the morning, but difficult to put into practice what it means to be a religious.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routines that make our lives manageable, and we can quickly fall under the illusion that we are in control of our destinies and the deeper meaning of our lives. All the activity helps to obscure the fact that God, not we, created the world and is its master.
But we still have to manage our time and our talents and we must use them for the good of others, but we also need to remember that at the heart of our faith lies a mystery to be contemplated, a loving God who calls us to an ever deeper relationship with him. In times of quiet and prayer we discover that what the world counts as success, wisdom or power rings hollow. It is in such times that we find the strength to go about our daily lives with a renewed sense of purpose and perspective.