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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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

Praying with Caryll Houselander in Lent

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Caryll Houselander was born in Bath on the Feast of St Michael the Archangel, 1901. Entering the Church at 7 years old, (hence calling herself ‘a rocking horse catholic’ in distinction to a ‘cradle catholic’), she became a writer, a poet, a mystic and a counsellor to many, particularly children, at the height of the blitz.  Read more

Praying with Almsgiving in Lent

Thursday, March 08, 2018
Here at Blackfriars, the other student brothers and I have chosen to blog about some of the ways our prayer can be aided during Lent. Given that almsgiving is one of the classic three pillars of Lenten observance, the other two being prayer and fasting, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on the full meaning of almsgiving. Generally, it has been traditional to think of almsgiving primarily as the giving of material goods to the needy as an act of Christian charity. However, Saint Thomas Aquinas, one of the most influential minds on our Catholic tradition, conceives of almsgiving as something broader, pertaining to a wide range of ways our fellow human beings can be needy.  Read more

Doctors of the Church: St Athanasius

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

God became a what we are in order to make us what he is’ – St Athanasius in The Incarnation of the Word Read more

Br Joseph's Solemn Vows

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Please pray for our brother, Joseph Bailham, OP, who made Solemn Profession last Friday here in Oxford. He made profession directly to the Master of the Order who was here on visitation. Pray for him, that God who has begun this good work may bring it to perfection; and please continue to pray for those in formation, and for vocations to our province. Read more

Praying with Savonarola in Lent

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

People are often quite surprised to discover that when Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati became a Dominican tertiary he took the name Girolamo Savonarola. On the face of it, their personalities and character are quite different, and while Bl Pier Giorgio could certainly be boisterous, he certainly does not seem to have the kind of temperament that one would associate with Savonarola. Read more

Doctors of the Church: St Jerome

Monday, February 26, 2018
The next of our western doctors of the Church in this series is the formidable character of St Jerome. It is to him we can give thanks for the Vulgate, the Latin translation of Holy Scripture, which continues to serve all these centuries later as the authoritative Latin Bible. It is this translation for which he is most well known. He produced also not only further translations of other works, such as the ‘Chronicon Eusebii Caesariensis’, but he also contributed to biblical scholarship through his commentaries on Holy Scripture. He was truly a man immersed in the world of the Bible. Furthermore he was known to engage in debate with heretics and schismatics, such as the Luciferians, and those who doubted the perpetual virginity of Our Lady.  Read more

Praying with Blessed Henry Suso in Lent

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I know of few people who have loved Christ so much as to take a blade to their heart and inscribe the Holy Name of Jesus in their blood upon their breast. Blessed Henry Suso is one of them.  Read more

Praying with Humility in Lent

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Lent is a joyful time about living life to the full.  Read more

Doctors of the Church: Augustine

Monday, February 12, 2018
Given that we here at Blackfriars chose to blog during this academic term on Doctors of the Church, writing a post on Saint Augustine, one of Christian theology’s most important voices, was a must! Saint Augustine lived a life of profound searching, both of his own soul and of truth in general as his immense body of theological work reveals, especially his seminal Confessions.  Read more
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