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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Blogging Colloquium at Oxford Chaplaincy

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
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Praying the Rosary 3 - The Rosary as a Lenten Devotion

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The Christian life may be regarded as a journey of transformation or “conversion” which we are called to travel step by step throughout our life. The annual season of Lent, which is itself a journey towards Easter, reminds us that the Christian journey is never over and done with in this life but requires sustained commitment and constant practice. The Rosary - a prayer which is also based on repetition and constant practice – is a journey in the company of Mary deeper into the mystery of Jesus Christ. The Rosary therefore blends easily into the spiritual journey of the Christian which we live even more intensely during Lent.

The Rosary is usually recited on a chain of fifty beads which are divided into five decades. Each of these decades represents a particular moment or ‘mystery’ in the life of Christ. As our fingers move through the beads of each decade we recite the Hail Mary prayer ten times while meditating upon a particular event in the life of Christ or His Mother. At the beginning of each mystery we pray the Our Father and at the end of each mystery we say 'glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end, Amen'. There are in total four sets of mysteries – joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious - covering all the major events in the life of Christ. The Rosaries which Dominican Friars wear on their habits sometimes have enough beads for all twenty mysteries.

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are the three traditional ascetical practices associated with Lent. During this season we are invited to intensify our life of prayer, that vital activity which sustains and deepens our relation to God. If the Rosary has sometimes been called a “compendium of the Gospel” we might just as easily call it a “compendium of prayer” consisting of praise, petition and contemplation and comprising some of the most important prayers in the Christian tradition. The “sorrowful” mysteries of the Rosary can be considered of particular importance as we journey through Lent towards Holy Week because with these mysteries we contemplate the individual moments of Christ’s Passion – such as His scourging and crowning with thorns, carrying the Cross, and Crucifixion and death – in anticipation of the light of the Resurrection on Easter Day.  Read more

Praying the Rosary 2 - The Rosary and the Dominican Vocation

Monday, February 11, 2008
Recently, the Master of the Order, Fr Carlos Azpiroz Costa, wrote a letter on the Rosary, declaring that this year should be a 'Year of the Rosary' for the Order. In his letter Fr Carlos, suggested that the Order undergo a process of re-discovering the importance of the Rosary in Dominican life, both as a prayer by which we contemplate the mysteries of salvation, and also as a means by which the Gospel may be preached.
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Breaking from the Devil's thraldom

Sunday, February 10, 2008
Christ repelling the devil's temptations Read more

Praying the Rosary I - Devotion to Our Lady

Saturday, February 09, 2008
As Catholics, devotion to Mary has a special place in our lives. In Mary we find the perfect model for the Christian life. At the Annunciation, Mary gave her courageous yes to God despite the fact that it could have meant facing serious questions from others. Mary was there at the Passion of Jesus, gazing upon him as he struggled under the Cross and there before him in his final agony on Calvary. Shortly after we find her at the heart of the disciples in the upper room at Pentecost, praying constantly and waiting.

Mary didn’t have all the answers. Like us she was often unsure what to think. She questioned Gabriel at the Annunciation, 'how can this be?' We are told that she pondered all these events of her life with Jesus in her heart, wondering what they could mean. But through God’s grace , Mary never stopped trusting in his loving mercy. Whatever suffering or joy life brought, Mary knew that God would be faithful in his love. Today Mary reminds us of this. As our Mother she constantly invites us follow Jesus, repeating her words at the wedding feast of Cana - 'do whatever he tells you'.

Devotion to Mary means following her example of a generous openness to God and others, and a faithful trust in his unfailing love. This Lent let us turn to her in prayer and ask her to guide us ever closer to the loving heart of Jesus. 'Mary, Mother of the "yes", you listened to Jesus, and know the tone of his voice and the beating of his heart. Morning star, speak to us of Him, and tell about your journey of following him on the path of faith' (Prayer of Pope Benedict XVI). Read more

Freedom and Slavery - St Josephine Bakhita

Friday, February 08, 2008
Spe salvi Read more

The Commemoration of Deceased Parents

Thursday, February 07, 2008
Today Dominicans commemorate their deceased parents. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the huge debt we owe them. When the parent of a Dominican dies, the brethren share in this sorrow. Recently the mother of one our brothers died and in the week that followed, the rosary was recited daily for the repose of her soul.
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Media Vita

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 06, 2008
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LENT 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008
godzdogz Read more
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