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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Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete) 'Surprised By Joy'

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Virgin and Child. The Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist, St Dominic, St Peter the Martyr and St. Thomas Aquinas- Fra Angelico c.1387-1455- in the Museo di San Marco dell'Angelico. Florence, Italy. Gaudete Sunday reminds us that true joy mustn’t become something that we take for granted. True joy is transformative, it may be fleeting in time but it continues to hit our hearts deeply. At this time in our Advent journey we come face to face with a dramatic preacher in the wilderness. St. John the Baptist reminds us that we need to be ‘Surprised by Joy’ as we wait again for the Incarnation. In order to be truly surprised therefore at this charismatic signpost, we must be willing to show and reflect upon the areas in which we are lost. Read more

Second Saturday of Advent - Coming Down

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The disciples of today’s gospel are giving good example to Dominican Student brothers! After witnessing the extraordinary moment of the Transfiguration on the solitude of Mount Tabor, they come down the mountain to take this revelation to the world, trying to make sense as they walk of their experience of God, and the contingencies of human history, in the light of revelation.  Read more

Second Friday of Advent: "Bring me flesh and bring me wine", but not yet...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19; Psalm 1:1-4,6; Matthew 11:16-19

Somewhat earlier than expected in Dominican life, I find myself in the awkward position of trying to avoid repeating what I’ve already said about a particular Gospel passage. A more textual reflection on today's Gospel reading, which I wrote last year, is available here.
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Second Thursday of Advent: Wandering through the Wilderness

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Readings: Isaiah 41:13-20; Matthew 11:11-15

Sometimes the spiritual life seems to be stuck on repeat. Again and again we find ourselves walking over familiar paths; we experience the same alienations, we repeat the same sins, we find ourselves asking the same questions and we might well be tempted to think that we're walking in circles. Read more

Second Tuesday of Advent: Jesus is to come

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Just boring. Every single year, the same Christmas tree with the same Christmas baubles and the same tinsel comes and places itself near the fireplace. And every single year, everyone is required to be happy for Christmas eve and to eat the same Christmas pudding with one's family, just because Jesus Christ comes to live among us again and again …  Read more

Immaculate Conception

Monday, December 08, 2014

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Second Sunday of Advent: The Power of Repentance and Forgiveness

Sunday, December 07, 2014

When we use the word 'power' in relation to God, various images may spring to mind. Read more

First Saturday of Advent: Heralds of the Coming King

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Advent is not just about waiting in hope for Christ to come and being personally ready for this; it is about going out ahead of him with zeal, and actively working so that others may be ready for his coming. In short, Advent is a special opportunity to understand and participate in the work of evangelisation, especially the proclamation of the coming of Christ. Read more

Recommended Advent videos: Made for Glory

Thursday, December 04, 2014

A friend just brought my attention to some excellent Advent-themed videos: "Made for Glory". This is another great initiative by the Archdiocese of Southwark Vocations Centre. Read more

First Thursday of Advent: Solid Foundations

Thursday, December 04, 2014

What makes a house secure? If we were to examine the buildings around us we would probably first think about the walls. Do they carry the weight of the roof and floors? Do they withstand the elements? Next we might think about doors and windows, are they locked and watertight? What about the roof? Could a thief sneak his way in through loose tiles? There is a variety of criteria upon which to judge whether or not our house is secure. Read more

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