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

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Propinasti Gratis "You Freely Poured Forth"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
It has always been difficult to define or categorise Dominican spirituality. It is not rooted on a single type of prayer or spiritual exercise. However, I think it is fair to say that the heart of Dominican spirituality is in what we are called and compelled to do, to preach. We are an order of preachers founded to proclaim the Gospel. Preaching the truth however is not something that we own or create ourselves. We are sharing in the mission of the Incarnate Word and the charismatic grace of preaching is fuelled and powered by the Holy Spirit. Fr. Simon Tugwell OP uses the image of a water pipe to demonstrate this idea to great effect. A water pipe can only give water if it is receiving water from a source. Conversely it can only receive water if it is allowing water to flow from it. Read more

Edmund Hill OP (23 July 1923 - 11 November 2010)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The following obituary is by fr Emil Blaser OP, of the Order's general vicariate in South Africa Read more

Homily for St Cecilia's Day

Monday, November 22, 2010
This is a homily for St Cecilia's Day by our deacon, fr. Lawrence Lew OP, who is also house cantor at Blackfriars, Oxford. Read more

Requiem Mass in Woodchester

Sunday, November 21, 2010
On 18 November 2010, five brothers from Oxford, including the Prior, fr. John O'Connor OP, visited Woodchester, which is near Stroud in Gloucestershire. Still called Woodchester Priory, from 1853 to 1967 this was home to the novitiate of the English Dominicans, apart from a period during the wars. Many Dominican friars are buried around its church, which is dedicated to the Annunication. Among those buried there is fr. Bede Jarrett OP who founded the Oxford priory. Hence, we had returned to Woodchester to pray for our deceased brethren buried there, and also to offer Mass for all the dead of the parish. Read more

Aquam Sapientiae

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ebur Castitatis - 'Ivory of Chastity'

Thursday, November 18, 2010
At the translation of the relics of St. Dominic, we are told that the air was filled with the odour of sanctity. Indeed, this manifestation of St. Dominic’s holiness was certainly due, in no small part, to that purity of body and soul with which he lived his remarkable life. Chastity, from the Latin root of the adjective castus meaning pure, was a virtue highly prized by St. Dominic, and in his final discourses, he placed considerable stress upon the cultivation of this virtue. It is recorded that he told those brothers present toward his death, of the ‘jealous esteem’ in which he always held the virtue of purity, and admitted to them that he had received the grace of perfect virginity of body and soul. Then, rather unexpectedly, he added that nevertheless he was ‘no stranger to the charm of youth in women’. We can take this final statement as, perhaps, a sign of humility from St. Dominic or even perhaps a show of humour, but it runs much deeper than these surface impressions. Out of this display of candour shines a rare simplicity of being, a simplicity that allowed the grace of purity to take such firm root in his soul. He believed, as we should, that we must strive to be pure as God is pure. Read more

Wilfrid Ardagh O.P. (1896-1980)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
William Ardagh, who was born in Birmingham on 7 December 1896, entered the Dominican novitiate in Woodchester at the age of sixteen, receiving as his religious name Wilfrid: he made his profession a year later on 21 September 1913. Such was his youth that he had to wait seven years (rather than the usual  five) after profession before being ordained to the priesthoood soon after his 24th birthday (the earliest someone can be ordained priest) on 18 December 1920. Read more

Remember... we have Family in Iraq!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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Rosa Patientiae

Sunday, November 14, 2010
Patience is the first characteristic of love (1 Corinthians 13:4) and it is a key marker of sanctity - 'he had the patience of a saint' is a very familiar phrase. Patience is not about being submissive, or being able to wait a long time, but it is the virtue of being able to suffer evil for the sake of what is truly good. So we can see why the rose is such an appropriate symbol of patience. The rose is primarily a symbol of love. Even though a rose has thorns, these don't detract from its beauty. In fact the thorns are necessary for this beauty to flourish. In 2 Corinthians, St Paul speaks of the thorn in his flesh and how the Lord spoke to him: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 'for the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, and calamities.' The meaning of patience is summed up in Fr. Vincent McNabb's short poem, Rosa Patientiae:  Read more

Dealing with Monkey Business

Saturday, November 13, 2010
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