The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

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April 1st - Bearing Witness to the Gospel

Wednesday, April 01, 2009
The Dominican order is very inclusive with brothers and sisters from a wide variety of backgrounds. One of the friars who lives in Oxford , Br Ursus, describes what day to day life is like for a Dominican bear.

"I get up at 7.43 every morning for Lauds. This is always a great challenge, especially in winter. Before joining the order, I used to hibernate for 6 months of the year, so it has taken me quite a while to adapt to getting up every day. It’s one of the sacrifices I have to make, but I receive many consolations. As it says in psalm 118 ‘Your promise is sweeter to my taste than honey in the mouth.’ As someone who very much loves honey, I find this imagery delightful, and it’s also very true.

"I’m currently studying philosophy and theology and I’m enjoying it very much. It’s really giving me the confidence to preach the Gospel. I’ve still got a lot to learn. In preaching classes, I’m constantly being reminded to speak up, but I find this very difficult without sounding like I'm growling. Still, the brothers are very encouraging.

"It’s taken a little while getting use to the Dominican habit, but it’s actually very comfortable. I do tend to get a few stares when I wander around Oxford , and occasionally I get people shouting out comments like ‘Super Ted.’ But the Dominican habit has become an important part of my identity and I think it’s an important eschatological sign.

"I’ve no idea what I’ll end up doing in the Order once I’m ordained - I’ll go where I’m told. Still, I miss living in the forest, so if I was given a choice, I’d love to be the chaplain for the Dominican sisters who are located in the New Forest ."

Robert Verrill OP


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