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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Pentecost - a New and Lasting Covenant in the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, June 11, 2011
At the time of Jesus Pentecost was, and still is for Jews, a feast that celebrated the covenant established between God and the people of Israel through the mediation of Moses on Mount Sinai. It happened 50 days (hence the name) after Passover, which celebrated God’s deliverance of his people, again under the human leadership of Moses, from slavery in Egypt. The Sinai covenant was thus seen as linked to, and even the climax of and reason for the liberation from slavery. Moses went up the mountain and into the dense cloud where he encountered God and then he had come down with the Law (Torah), the material content of the covenant, which had to be carefully kept if the Jews were to receive the blessings of the covenant (Ex 19 ff). Read more

Art of the Redemption 5: The Mosaic of San Clemente

Thursday, May 19, 2011
One of the best-known representations of the Cross as the 'Tree of Life' is the 12th century mosiac in the Basilica of San Clemente, Rome. Where the Cross penetrates the earth a luxuriant tree bursts forth and sends its branches far and wide, covering the entire expanse of the apse. In doing so it reaches and enfolds all categories of people: teachers and preachers, chaplains and farmers, ladies and hunters, nobles and shepherds. All of human life is brought into contact with the life that flows from the Cross (John 12:32). Read more

Art of the Redemption 3:Josef Žáček, Resurrection

Saturday, May 07, 2011
No artistic representation of the resurrection will ever display the depth and vastness of this central mystery of the faith. As it is impossible to reproduce an illusion of the visible reality of the resurrection, many artists have turned towards an abstract portrayal of Jesus’ victory. Some have argued that the freedom found in abstract art allows them to more fully display the message of the resurrection. Read more

Art of Redemption 2: Henri Matisse, The Way of the Cross

Friday, April 29, 2011
Henri Matisse's 'The Way of the Cross' is in the Rosary Chapel, Vence, France. The chapel was solemnly consecrated on 25 June 1951. It belongs to the Dominican sisters who run a home of convalescence in Vence which is in the hills high above the city of Nice. The architect and decorator of the chapel was Henri Matisse. On the day of its consecration a crowd consisting of religious, clergy, and a great number of journalists was waiting impatiently outside the door. Finally, the local bishop opened the doors, and the crowd entered. The ones who entered were amazed by the light flowing in through the stained glass windows in yellow, green, and blue. On the right hand side, a beautiful painting covering the whole wall showed Mary and the Child surrounded by clouds. It was painted with black ink on white tiles, and the colours from the windows added life to the image. At the far end stood the altar in sand stone, and behind this, another stained glass window called “The Tree of Life”. To the left they could admire the choir for the sisters, and on the right, another enormous painting, this one of Saint Dominic. Everything was made by Matisse, not only the paintings and the windows, but also the altar, the choir, and the crucifix. Even the volume and shape of the chapel were designed by the artist, nothing had escaped his hand, and all who entered the place were touched by its beauty. Until they turned and saw the Way of the Cross! Read more

Art of the Redemption 1: Hæc dies

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Sunday - The Relevance of the Resurrection

Sunday, April 24, 2011
Readings: Acts 10:34a. 37-43; Ps 118; Col 3:1-4; Jn 20:1-9  Read more
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