In a powerful and compelling way, St. Dominic proclaimed the Gospel to the men and women of his time. His fervent charity and apostolic zeal drew many to imitate and aid him by embracing his new vision of religious life. He inspired many others, while remaining in the lay state, to strive through prayer and penance to aid his work. Though times and means have changed, we, too, are lay followers of St. Dominic and have embraced the Rule of the Lay Chapters of St. Dominic, so that, like him, we may conform our lives more perfectly to Christ, and be strengthened by the Holy Spirit for the work of preaching the Word of God and saving souls.
To be effective instruments of Our Lord, we must live lives centered on Him. We must, as Saint Dominic did, bring Christ’s redemptive grace to our times by our own witness to the Word in life and action, keeping in mind that our apostolic activity flows from the fullness of prayer and contemplation.
As Lay Dominicans responding to His grace, we are called to be attentive to the Spirit, to study Sacred Truth, to know Church doctrine, and to collaborate with our brothers and sisters in the Dominican Family in order to proclaim the Word of God. As our Rule states, in our times, our preaching “involves the defense of the dignity of human life, the family, and the person.” Moreover, “the promotion of Christian unity and dialogue with non-Christians and non-believers are part of the Dominican vocation.” (Rule, #12.)
The Rule provides the general framework to help us respond to God’s call and actively nourish our relationship with God within the Dominican way of life. This Particular Directory is a specific implementation of the Rule for the Lay Dominicans of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.