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Br. Emmanuel Taylor, O.P.'s picture

To Dust You Shall Return

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"Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

These are, of course, the words proclaimed during the reception of ashes at the beginning of Lent. To remind myself of this fact I am going to visit the cemetery of the deceased Dominicans. 

The Western Dominican Province has a common place of burial at St. Dominic's Cemetery in Benicia, California. Not only do we have a holy resting ground, but we have a Dominican Friar who keeps it well maintained and is very interested in necrology. Through this effort we have a record of the deceased friars. This necrology allows young Friars to stay in contact with the history of our Western Province in the Order of Preachers. 

This Satuday I served as deacon for a monthly Liturgy of the Eucharist praying for all our deceased Friars. After the Mass we visited the grave a particular Dominican, Fr. Lawrence Jagoe. I picked this Friar because my grandfather remembered him from the days of the "Wild West" in California. From the stories, it seems like Fr. Jagoe was a great Friar Preacher, an entertaining man, and was a hero (see his necrology). Despite that he flourished in this life, the humbing fact remains: he too died and returned to dust. In the end, since everything else return to dust, the only thing that matters is that we repent and draw close to the Lord; Jesus is the one who will make us everlasting. 

Br. Isaiah Mary Molano, O.P.'s picture

Lenten Blossoms

My father died during my third year in the Order. As a memorial, my mother donated two magnolia trees--my father's favorite--to the gardens of Saint Albert Priory. The one featured here is our Magnolia Solangiana Rubra Rustica, located west of the chapel.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "Lent" comes from lengthen, meaning "spring" or "Springtime." Spiritually speaking, then, Lent is a season in which we revive our devotion to the Lord Jesus and His Passion.

I took these photos the Thursday after Ash Wednesday. It's interesting and profound, I think, to see the Solangiana blossoming at the beginning of Lent, especially against the morning fog. In a sense, too, our spiritual lives are called to blossom as Lent moves on.

For all of us, may this Lenten season be a time of revival, penance and conversion, as we await the Springtime of the Ressurection.