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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Not All Tears are Bad

Thursday, November 14, 2019

By Br Thomas Thérèse, O.P.A close friend of mine says frequently, ‘not all tears are bad’. A true statement that I think can only be truly known by someone who has learnt how to grieve well, to grieve wisely. Read more

Examination of Conscience & the Divine Physician

Friday, March 16, 2018

Given that Lent is a time for greater focus on repentance, examining our consciences with renewed honesty is essential to obtaining that goal. I don’t know about you, but allowing myself to be more open about my own faults often feels scary. The process of getting to that state of honesty can feel a bit like dragging myself to the doctor’s office. In light of this, I have found it helpful to think of an examination of my conscience as being analogous to exploring my physical health with a first-rate medical doctor. In my experience, a good medical doctor is someone whose competency and empathy make me willing to tell that doctor anything I need to about my health, even things I might normally feel embarrassed about, because I believe that doctor is sincere and capable of giving me the right kind of care. Correspondingly, it can be helpful to think of examining one’s conscience as working with an outstanding doctor – the best doctor in existence.  Read more

Self-idolatry and the dangers of 'I'm Catholic, but . . . '

Wednesday, March 02, 2016
Everybody knows that Jesus was a nice guy who wanted to do away with laws, rules and regulations so that we could live freely without interference, never having to do anything we didn’t feel like doing. Everybody knows that . . . unless they have read the Gospels. Read more

The English Martyrs

Monday, May 04, 2015
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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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