Stuff and Things. Mostly things. Some Stuff.

The Readings for the Feast of St Luke (C1)

Penulam, quam reliqui Troade apud Carpum, veniens affer tecum, et libros, maxime autem membranas.
When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.


This one verse, St Paul’s list of Things I Forgot to Pack for This Trip, was the opening line in Fr A’s homily this morning which left me meditating on God’s action in our lives.

This shopping list is part of Holy Scripture: part of the Holy Spirit’s work in the Church is St Paul saying, “Dang it, I forgot some stuff…” and that has come down to us as part of “the Word of the Lord (Thanks be to God)” for today. Ruminate on that…

Word reached me today that I’ve been given the ok to make my Temporary Profession as a Third Order Dominican. The Third Order lives the Dominican Life in the world.

The Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic was founded with their own rule in 1285 and was officially recognized by the Church on the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas in 1286.

Lay Dominicans “are accordingly distinguished both by their own spirituality and by their service to God and neighbor in the Church. As members of the Order, they participate in its apostolic mission through prayer, study and preaching according to the state proper to the laity.” (The Rule of the Lay Fraternity #4).

Lay Dominicans come from every background, joining the Dominican charism to their state of life in the world. In this unique Dominican way, they live out their special vocation “to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will.” (Lumen Gentium 31)


We may be lucky enough to find ourselves in community but for most of us, that community is a once-in-a-while thing. The family, our friends, our parish life, the local Knights’ council, etc, are our community. That’s where we live out the Dominican life. The Charism is really about Bringing the Gospel there… where we are. In other words, I will be able to continue exploring what it means to be a Dominican who is employed in Tech, who has friends in all walks of life and in various stages of their journey towards God.

Today’s reading with St Paul forgetting is cloak – the Word of the LORD! – highlights God working the ordinary, the mundane, the daily grind. God working as you take out the garbage. God working as the litterbox needs changing. God working as your child is born. God working as you fry eggs. God is working his purpose out – if you will let him – in each action of your life, each step of the dance. And changing all of this into Verbum Domini, the Word of the Lord.

St Benedict’s rule (to appeal to another monastic tradition) highlights normal, daily life as well. When I was inside the monastery, there was nothing magical, nothing at all like the wooji-wooji one might imagine. My first day at the Monastery was spent cleaning the kitchen. I heard Sue Anne Nivens say to Mary Tyler Moore, “Start at noon and work your way around the whole room like a clock.” I was vacuuming dead flies off the top of the fridge and using a degreaser around the room. Life in a Monastery. Stuff and things.

We are saved like this. One step at a time, one dead fly vacuumed up at a time. One new book studied, one new friend made in a coffee shop, one holiday meal cooked, served, and cleaned up after. Then death.

And glory.

You may be the only Gospel someone ever reads. What are you doing to make sure it’s not just a shopping list, but the Word of God?

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He is almost 59. He feeds the homeless as a parochial almoner and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He is learning modern Israeli Hebrew and enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

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