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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Celebrating Priesthood: Fr Gerald Vann OP

Sunday, April 11, 2010
When I was an undergraduate studying theology in London my chaplain, Fr Tim Calvert OP, gave me a copy of The Divine Pity as spiritual reading. I remember being surprised at how slim a volume it was and I immediately began to read it. What struck me most of all was the punchiness of the text: this was clearly a man who was not afraid to challenge his readers with the hard hitting truth. I found myself drawn to this book and had many questions for Fr Tim about its author. As I was hoping to join the Order at this time, it was a thrill to think that I might one day belong to the same province as this priest who had such insight into the human condition and wrote so beautifully.  Read more

Celebrating Priesthood - Monsignor Georges Lemaître

Friday, April 09, 2010
One of greatest fallacies of the "new atheists" is that modern cosmology and physics prove the mendacity of religion and therefore people of faith ignore or even attack scientific inquiry. Last September I was lucky enough to be at the University of Edinburgh Student Union's freshers fair and came upon the secularist society's stall. Amongst their promotional paraphernalia were badges saying "I Believe in the Big Bang". I, of course, was very happy to take one of these badges and, to the horror of these 'rational' youths, put it on my habit. I think they would be further mortified if they realised that the 'hypothesis of the primeval atom' or the Big Bang Theory was proposed by a Belgian Catholic priest in 1933. Monsignor Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître was born in 1894 and was educated by Jesuits. At the age of 17 he entered the Catholic University of Leuven to study civil engineering. His studies were interrupted when the Kaiser invaded Belgium in 1914. The young Georges enlisted as an artillery officer in the Belgian army and served throughout the great war with distinction, being awarded the Croix de Guerre with palms.
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Pope Dedicates Audience to St. Albert the Great

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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Jesus Christ is Risen Today

Monday, April 05, 2010
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EASTER SUNDAY - Ridicule, Reversal, Rejoicing

Sunday, April 04, 2010
Readings: Acts of the Apostles 10:34, 37-43; Colossians 3:1-4 (or: 1 Corinthians 5:6-8); John 20:1-9

A monk, whose name has been lost in history, was pondering the meaning of the events of Holy Week, with its solemn observances of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the astonishing, earth-shaking events of Easter. "What a surprise ending," he thought. Then suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, he had a new insight. His hearty laugh startled his fellow monks, breaking the silence of their contemplation.

"Don't you see?" he cried. "It was a joke! A great joke! The best joke in all history! On Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified, the devil thought he had won. But God had the last laugh on Easter when he raised Jesus from the dead." This reaction is understandable. When faced with the resurrection the most understandable response is laughter. There is the the laughter of ridicule and mockery that St. Paul received from the Athenians at the Areopagus, a laughter we still hear today from the secularist wings of society. Their cries of "No way! I have never experienced resurrection so it can't be true" continue to mock and sneer at this event which is pivotal not only to our faith but to the whole universe and to the entire created order.

The laughter of ridicule is however hollow and self condemning. For we think so little of ourselves that we must raise ourselves by inches as we stand on others. When we mock life it is not because we embrace life, but because we are afraid of it. This is the laughter of ridicule; this is the laughter of fear and it has about it the odour of death. There is however another type of laughter, the laughter of reversal. Humour is "tragedy standing on its head with its trousers split." Laughter is the response to seeing death step on the banana peel and what is feared more than death? What a cause for hilarity: the mighty have been brought low. It is the laughter of reversal. St. Paul says "Death is swallowed up in victory". And today it has been.

God is in the business of reversing "the way things are." Today the rhetorical question "what good can come out of Nazareth?" is answered. The King of Kings who was shamefully crucified, died and was buried, but who is alive and glorified: He came out of Nazareth. And by joining in with this laughter of reversal and by grabbing the hand of the Risen Christ we begin to experience the final form of laughter, the laughter of rejoicing. The laughter of rejoicing allows us to cry out in victory over the worst this world can dish out. The last laugh is at the resurrection, not a laugh of ridicule or even of reversal, but a laugh of rejoicing. Sin, death and sorrow have been swallowed up by redemption, life and joy.
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HOLY SATURDAY - Good News About The Church

Saturday, April 03, 2010
"And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised" - Matthew 27:51f.
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Lent Week 3: Saturday

Saturday, April 03, 2010
Today's readings:  Hosea 2:15-6:6; Psalm 50; Luke 18:9-14 Read more

GOOD FRIDAY - The Message of Jesus' Sufferings

Friday, April 02, 2010
Readings: Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1:19:42 Read more


Thursday, April 01, 2010
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