Very Rev. Charles E. Bouchard, O.P.
Prior Provincial Central Province, USA
The Advent/Christmas season has become almost hopelessly eclipsed by shopping, traveling and partying, so maybe it’s worth focusing on Epiphany, a time of discovery and adoration, to get our spiritual bearings.
Epiphany isn’t as popular here in the U.S. as it is in many other countries which have a rich tradition of “The Three Kings.” These kings, as you recall, followed a star to find the new born Christ. They were the first official visitors to recognize him and to offer their gifts and adoration to him.
We call it Epiphany because it was a “showing” or a “manifestation” of the power of God, incarnate in the infant Jesus. There was the first Epiphany which we celebrate in January; but these manifestations of God’s grace at work in the world did not end there.
Basilian Father Thomas Rosica says,
Epiphanies, both large and small, tend to be private events – yet events with great significance for the public. Trying to share the details of an epiphany is fraught with complications. The words are never quite right, and even the most sympathetic listener cannot fully bridge the gap between description and what it was like being there. Most of us keep our personal experiences of the Holy to ourselves. Who would believe it? And who would really understand? The irony is that epiphanies are made for sharing, even as they are impossible to communicate fully.”
It may be difficult, but we keep trying. Even now, whenever we undertake a ministry, we do it to “show” the power of God through preaching, pastoral care, and teaching. It is through the Church’s ministries that the Word of God continues to become incarnate in the world. So this issue of Dominican Central Quarterly will be a “showing” of some of our ministries and how they have carried out their work over the past year.
Join us as we visit with Fr. Sean Martin, the new president of Aquinas Institute of Theology; hear from a student brother about why he wants to complete a doctorate and become a professor of philosophy; celebrate with us the 17 years of service of a long-time Shrine employee who just retired; and remember the lives of brothers who are no longer in this world, but whose lives and ministries continue to bear fruit.
Each of these events shows us how God works in our world. Perhaps something in their experience will inspire you to “show off” the grace of God in your own life in a new way.