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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Thursday of the Second Week of Lent - Even if someone should rise from the dead ...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is Jesus God?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
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Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent - justice and humility

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Today’s readings remind us of two virtues that are at the core of Christian life: justice and humility. The first reading invites us to promote justice and become ourselves instruments of uprightness in the society. “Make justice your aim”; these words are powerful. They just mean: watching justice being trampled on and doing nothing means supporting injustice. 

Some Christians, at many times in the past and even today, have managed to find other aspects of their Christian life to hide in, in order to avoid the responsibility to uphold and speak out for justice in the world. It might happen that some even try to argue that justice is a secondary aspect of our Christian life. However, it is a core aspect of the Christian life and a commandment for all of us as Christians; not only for Mother Teresa of Kolkata or Bartolommeo de Las Casas.

To this aspect is linked another one very important: humility. In today’s gospel, Jesus makes it clear that the religious leaders, who did not care about justice, had grown at the same time proud and wicked. They had become unjust and arrogant. Their arrogance made them despise the poor and all the others they were supposed to care for.

One would be unfair towards the Scribes and the Pharisees if one had to assume that they were the ones to impose their status to the people. We are very much aware that, just it is in our times, religious leaders get a special treatment by those faithful to their religion. Thus, Jesus words could be understood at the same time as a criticism and a warning. The system favouring that attitude, it had become a trap for religious leaders of Jesus' time.

Lent is a good time to call back Christians to justice and humility. It is even a better time to encourage religious authorities to be humble as their sole master, Jesus Christ, was humble and gave the good example by speaking out for justice. Let us pray that this Lenten season becomes an opportunity for all believers to shape their lives to Christ's, the humble, meek and just Lord.
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Monday of the Second Week of Lent - Solidarity in Sin?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Second Sunday of Lent - Our Homeland is in Heaven

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday of the First Week of Lent

Saturday, February 23, 2013
Matthew 5:43-48 Read more

Feast of the Chair of St Peter: Binding and loosing on earth and in heaven.

Friday, February 22, 2013
1 Peter 5:1-4; Ps 23; Mt 16:13-19.  Read more

Thursday of the first week of Lent: Ask, Seek, Knock

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wednesday of the First Week of Lent - Something Greater is Here

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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Tuesday of the first Week of Lent - The Pater

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Today’s gospel brings intimacy into our Lenten season’s prayerful aspect. Prayer is one of the three main actions Catholics are encouraged to perform during Lent, together with fasting and almsgiving. In Lent, we are inclined to multiplying prayers. That is not a bad thing but it might take away the whole meaning of prayer: our relationship with God. That is why Jesus taught his disciples how to pray appropriately.

Most of our liturgies are made of pre-written, and most of times, pre-memorized prayers. That does not mean that they do not express our deep and genuine desire to get closer to God. However, one can easily ‘babble’ them without meaning what is in their core. The Lord’s Prayer is not pre-written prayers. It is more than that. The Our Father is a prayer that teaches us how to pray. It gives all the aspects of prayer (praise, thanksgiving, request…) and, more than that, it is a very intimate prayer.

Indeed, the beginning of the Our Father itself shows how much intimacy should exist between God and the one who prays. It is a prayer done by someone who already feels close to God. Jesus used himself to call God ‘Abba’, which would mean ‘daddy’. God is not only Our Father, but He is in heaven. The fact that we say that God, our loving Father, is in heaven, means that we are confident that He will grant our prayer (Lk11:13).

Thus, today’s readings encourage us to improve our way of praying. Our prayers during the Lenten season do not only need to multiply but also to become more intimate and we are invited to develop a loving and trusting relationship with God. It is only in that way that we won’t ‘babble’ like pagans do. That is also why we are encouraged to go into our rooms, lock the door, and pray quietly and confidently to Our father.

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