instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Sunday, August 02, 2009

All this about Lay Dominicans

Occasionally, someone will ask me, "What's all this about Lay Dominicans?"

The short answer is that Lay Dominicans are Dominicans who are lay and laity who are Dominicans:

Fig 1. Graphical representation of the nature of Lay Dominicans.

Granted, the short answer isn't sufficient for all purposes.* The slightly less short answer is that Lay Dominicans are those who are committed toward living in accord with the Rule of the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic.

When people read the Rule, though, the reaction is often along the lines of, "Er?"

To crack the nut somewhat more, between now and the Feast of Saint Dominic on August 8, I'll try to write a little more about the Four Pillars of Dominican Life, as lived by laity in the world, in the context of
  • ongoing formation (the pillar of Study)
  • the combination of the contemplative and the apostolic (the pillars of Prayer and Apostolate)
  • chapter life (the pillar of Community)
Just keep in mind that these sorts of questions don't have canonical answers, and that my own opinions and experiences don't necessarily match those of any other Lay Dominican.

* And that's without even getting into the fact that Dominican nuns and sisters are also laity.