I urge you to think of those “ancient paths” by which our predecessors hastened to their rest with all the intensity of their spirit, and now reign with the Lord, forever comforted in bliss and repose; all the days of pain with which God humbled them have now been turned to joy.
When they lived on earth, it was for spiritual gifts that they were jealous; they thought little of themselves and scorned the world. It was the kingdom they longed for, and so they were strong to endure hardship, enthusiastic for poverty, on fire with love.
Surely our father Dominic, of holy memory, was one of these. When he was living with us in the flesh, he walked by the Spirit, not only not fulfilling the desires of the flesh, but actually quenching them at the source.
He displayed a true spirit of poverty in his clothing, his food and his behaviour. He prayed constantly, was outstandingly compassionate, used to intercede for his sons with abundant tears because of the fervour of his zeal for souls.
Difficulties did not daunt him, obstacles did not worry him. We could see from the works he accomplished, from his virtues and miracles, what a great man he was on earth. Now that he is with God, his greatness has been made known to us in these last days, when we were moving his holy body from its previous burial place to a more noble tomb.
Praise to our Redeemer! Praise to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for choosing such a man as this to be his servant and for setting such a man over us as our father, to form us by his religious training and inspire us by the example of his resplendent holiness.
[…] There are some among you, by the mercy of God, for me to rejoice over and thank God for. There are some whose aim is beauty, who do cultivate their consciences, who do seek perfection and who do work hard at their preaching, who are zealous in study, whose hearts catch fire in their prayers and meditations, who keep the Lord always before them, looking to him as the one who will reward and judge their souls.
Rejoice, if you are such as these, and seek to abound still more. But if you are not yet like this, work at it, devote energy and attention to it, so that you may grow towards salvation in him who called you to this state of grace in which you find yourself, not to make you lukewarm, but to make you perfect.
Jordan of Saxony (c.1190-1237): Encyclical Letter, from the Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours for the Order of Preachers, Feast of All Saints of the Order of Preachers (November 7th).