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The Penance of St Dominic

"Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed …More
"Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. And that servant who knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more." – Luke 12:43-48, which is part of today's Gospel at Mass. This 17th-century fresco, from the Great Cloister of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, shows one of the ways of prayer of St Dominic that is often forgotten or ignored out of embarassment. St Dominic, following a custom that is alluded to in the writings of St Paul, is disciplining the flesh and undertaking a bodily penance of beating himself with a chain, taking on such deep suffering on behalf of sinners. As he did so, he would cry "Lord, what will become of sinners? Have mercy upon us!" Perhaps inspired by a Gospel such as today's he undertakes the beating so that others will be spared. As he does so, he looks on the Cross, for the Lord was crucified for our sakes, suffered for sinners so that we might not be condemned but might be spared eternal damnation. St Dominic thus seeks to imitate the Lord through his penance.

Source: Lawrence OP on Flickr
Gospel passages like this are why I'm glad I completed my 5 First Saturdays Devotion & wear The Brown Scapular. Otherwise I'm toast. :/