Contemplare et Contemplata Aliis Tradere (“to hand down to others the fruits of contemplation.”) was the advice given to us by St Thomas Aquinas in his opus magnum Summa Theologiae, the Order has gratefully accepted it as our motto. St Dominic considered study as a fundamental part of Dominican life and sent brothers to schools and institutions of learning(LCO 76§1).Being assiduous in Study and abundant in Contemplation are part of the fundamental fabric of Dominican life (LCO 1 §IV). Being heirs to a grand intellectual tradition illuminated by stars like St. Albert the Great, St Thomas Aquinas, St. Raymond etc. study and contemplation go together for us. Although there is a Ratio for studies in the Order, intellectual formation is not a separate compartment isolated from the rest of our formation. For Dominicans “study is ordered to preaching, and preaching to the salvation of souls” (De Vita Regulari, VIII).
Our study begins and ends with the Word of God. For us, contemplation means seeking to understand the Word that is Christ and so be united with him as the Way of Truth that leads to Life. The Dominicans pay particular attention to the study of St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P., since his works provide a systematic and deeply profound account of creation, human nature, morality, the spiritual life, the mystery of the Triune God, and the person of Jesus Christ. In fact, the Code of Canon Law exhorts all students of theology “to penetrate more deeply into the mysteries of salvation, with St. Thomas in particular as their teacher” (CIC, 252, §3). Dominicans undertake study with a view to deepen love of God, to evangelize, to understand more profoundly the call of the Gospel and the needs of humanity.