The words ‘water of life’ do not refer primarily to Dominic himself but are part of a bigger phrase ‘You freely poured forth [literally ‘passed on the cup of’] the water of wisdom’. But Dominic could not pass on what he had not first received.
For me, ‘water of wisdom’ firstly calls to mind these words from St John’s gospel. ‘On the last day, the great day of the festival, Jesus stood and cried out: Let anyone who is thirsty come to me! Let anyone who believes in me come and drink! As Scripture says, “From his heart shall flow streams of living water.” He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive. (John 7:37-39a). Like water, the Spirit gives life and refreshes: it is flowing and moving, alive and bringing life and energy, cleansing and fulfilling our needs. The gift of wisdom, that ability to see how God is at work in situations and to bring one’s own life and decisions into line with this, was seen as the highest of the gifts of the Spirit.
Dominic is thus presented as being wonderfully full of the Holy Spirit and his life was seen as one marked with the qualities and gifts (see Isaiah 11:2-3 and also 1 Corinthians 12:7-11) and fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). His wisdom did not come mainly from books, though he was a conscientious scholar, but from a deep desire for God and from humbly asking in faith for the Holy Spirit and his gifts. This caught up and placed all his knowledge and energies at the service of God. He was generous in sharing what he had received with others, and became a vessel of the Spirit through which the Spirit was able to change the lives of others.
Let us too humbly ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and with wisdom, and to be the Holy Spirit’s vessels in touching and filling others with God’s life.