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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Biblical Beasts: Cow

Thursday, July 14, 2011
The cow is the female of many animals but we usually take the term to refer to the most domesticated of farm animals, the one pictured on the left. She grazes in fields all over the world and supplies most of our milk and meat. When God created the land animals, the 'cattle' get special mention (Genesis 1:24). Again, it need not necessarily refer to what we now understand by that term: many kinds of bison, buffalo, and wildebeeste might be included. Read more

Biblical Beasts: Behemoth

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The behemoth is an animal that only appears in the book of Job, and there is a lot of speculation as to what kind of animal the behemoth actually is. The word itself just means great beast and the description is hard to identify with any known animal – he eats grass like an ox, his tail is stiff like a cedar, and his limbs are like bars of iron. Some believe the behemoth is something like a hippopotamus, an elephant or a crocodile whereas others think it is some kind of mythical chaos monster. So it’s a bit of a puzzle. But perhaps the bigger puzzle is why this animal features in the book of Job at all. Read more

Godzdogz editor gets new appointment

Sunday, July 10, 2011
Fr Vivian Boland OP has been appointed by the Master of the Order as his assistant (or 'socius') for North West Europe and Canada, and as socius for Initial Formation. The assistants help the Master of the Order in the exercise of his office over the whole Order. See the Order's website for further information about this and other recent appointments. As the master of students at Oxford, fr Vivian has been editor of Godzdogz since its inauguration in November 2006. This post cannot very well say 'we'll miss him' because it is being written by him, but please keep him and his new responsibilities in your prayers, and ... (that's enough, Ed.). Read more

Biblical Beasts: Ass

Friday, July 08, 2011

Biblical Beasts - Introduction

Wednesday, July 06, 2011
During the 'long vacation' Godzdogz will be offering a series of reflections on animals mentioned in the Bible. Sometimes they appear just as themselves, and why not? 'God saw all he had made and behold it was very good' (Genesis 1:31). All God  made includes the swarms of living creatures that live in the waters, the birds that fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens, and the cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth (Genesis 1:20, 24). Read more

Saints this Month - Blesseds Pier Giorgio Frassati and Adrian Fortescue

Monday, July 04, 2011
The Dominican family includes friars and nuns but also sisters, members of secular institutes, and fraternities of priests and laity (Fundamental Constitution §9). Our form of life is lived in many different ways, then. The first Rule for Dominican Laity was promulgated in 1285 and the most recent rule for the Lay Fraternities of St Dominic, promulgated in 1987, explains the life of the Dominican Laity in this way: Read more

Master of the Order visits England

Saturday, July 02, 2011
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The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Friday, July 01, 2011
I have never really supported the 19th century representation of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, standing with a open wound in his chest, where his heart is visible, or even with his heart removed from the body, maybe held in his own hand. It is not that I haven’t got the point – Christ offering his heart by love towards humanity – but I can’t help seeing it as a violation of the body, a disturbing image that removes me from the meditation on love. But popular devotions find their expression according to their own time and place, and one may ask how our time would like to represent this devotion today. Historically, the devotion to the Most Sacred Heart spread rapidly from the 17th century, but can be traced back to Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries in the 11th and 12th century. Read more
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