Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Saint Dominic's Fifth Way of Prayer

Here Saint Dominic is shown three times - so we see the movement of his fifth prayer-posture. On the left Dominic's arms are spread apart and his palms are open. He is standing the way a priest stands at the altar during the Mass. The posture is called an orans. 

And here is an icon called Mother of God ~ Orans. Follow the interior lines of Mary's hands and arms and see that they turn her into a kind of cup ready to be filled with what God has to share and offer. 

Perhaps when standing in this posture, my own  prayer-cup will be filled with consolation, or new insight or creativity, self-knowledge, willingness and joy. Or sometimes God shares divine energies (we might call it grace) that will confound us, disturb us, even agitate and change us. Am I open and willing as the gesture seems to indicate?

But then, look again, Dominic's arms are pulled together and folded over the chest: what concerns are treasured in my heart? Prayers for family, health, peace, direction, safety? Then Dominic's opens his hands and stretches them out slightly ~ the unfolding of the heart - like a flower opening, disclosing, revealing, offering. Like the lovely white Lotus opening here in the morning sun.

Pray that my heart would open and stretch to include others more generously. That my heart would reach beyond the messages of "far enough" to persons I never before dreamed I'd take an interest in, perhaps some new involvement or participation. Pray for my own new day,  which might mean a new way of looking at or approaching what I already have to do. Or my new day might mean stepping into an addiction free life. 

A religious sister who had taught privileged girls in an exclusive academy for twenty five years asked in her prayer for direction as to what to do next. Her prayer was answered, and like Dominic's unfolding hands and the opening Lotus, the sister returned to school for herself and became a physicians assistant opening a trailer-clinic in one of the country's poorest counties. She said she could never have imagined this new direction.


  1. Dear God
    Help me to become open to you through prayer as St. Dominic is shown here along with the Blessed Mother. I ask to be accepting of your love.

  2. Beautifully said Father Stephen. Let us open our hearts in prayer and be willing to be filled with love, generosity and openess to change. If God calls me to a new direction, I pray that I will hear it and follow.

  3. I love these posts for they are lessons and encourage us to learn more about our faith. Grace, there is so much to read about grace. It is an awesome gift. God has placed in man a longing for truth and goodness. It is an energy. I pray, I will always merit that grace.