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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Nos iunge beatis, 'join us to the blessed'

Monday, November 29, 2010
The salvation of souls (other people's, but also our own) has always been considered the goal of the Order of Preachers. As Dominicans, we must always pray that our preaching may bear fruit, and bring people to see and know Christ: it will never be able to do that, though, if we do not ourselves come to share more deeply in his divine life, that grace of which St Dominic was such an ardent preacher.  Read more

Praedicator gratiae, 'preacher of grace'

Saturday, November 27, 2010
The title 'praedicator gratiae' can be taken in three senses all of which are realised in the life of Saint Dominic as we know about it from Jordan of Saxony's book on the foundations of the Order and from the canonisation processes. Read more

Propinasti Gratis "You Freely Poured Forth"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
It has always been difficult to define or categorise Dominican spirituality. It is not rooted on a single type of prayer or spiritual exercise. However, I think it is fair to say that the heart of Dominican spirituality is in what we are called and compelled to do, to preach. We are an order of preachers founded to proclaim the Gospel. Preaching the truth however is not something that we own or create ourselves. We are sharing in the mission of the Incarnate Word and the charismatic grace of preaching is fuelled and powered by the Holy Spirit. Fr. Simon Tugwell OP uses the image of a water pipe to demonstrate this idea to great effect. A water pipe can only give water if it is receiving water from a source. Conversely it can only receive water if it is allowing water to flow from it. Read more

Aquam Sapientiae

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ebur Castitatis - 'Ivory of Chastity'

Thursday, November 18, 2010
At the translation of the relics of St. Dominic, we are told that the air was filled with the odour of sanctity. Indeed, this manifestation of St. Dominic’s holiness was certainly due, in no small part, to that purity of body and soul with which he lived his remarkable life. Chastity, from the Latin root of the adjective castus meaning pure, was a virtue highly prized by St. Dominic, and in his final discourses, he placed considerable stress upon the cultivation of this virtue. It is recorded that he told those brothers present toward his death, of the ‘jealous esteem’ in which he always held the virtue of purity, and admitted to them that he had received the grace of perfect virginity of body and soul. Then, rather unexpectedly, he added that nevertheless he was ‘no stranger to the charm of youth in women’. We can take this final statement as, perhaps, a sign of humility from St. Dominic or even perhaps a show of humour, but it runs much deeper than these surface impressions. Out of this display of candour shines a rare simplicity of being, a simplicity that allowed the grace of purity to take such firm root in his soul. He believed, as we should, that we must strive to be pure as God is pure. Read more

Rosa Patientiae

Sunday, November 14, 2010
Patience is the first characteristic of love (1 Corinthians 13:4) and it is a key marker of sanctity - 'he had the patience of a saint' is a very familiar phrase. Patience is not about being submissive, or being able to wait a long time, but it is the virtue of being able to suffer evil for the sake of what is truly good. So we can see why the rose is such an appropriate symbol of patience. The rose is primarily a symbol of love. Even though a rose has thorns, these don't detract from its beauty. In fact the thorns are necessary for this beauty to flourish. In 2 Corinthians, St Paul speaks of the thorn in his flesh and how the Lord spoke to him: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 'for the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, and calamities.' The meaning of patience is summed up in Fr. Vincent McNabb's short poem, Rosa Patientiae:  Read more

Doctor Veritatis

Tuesday, November 09, 2010
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O lumen Ecclesiæ

Friday, November 05, 2010
St Dominic is frequently depicted with a star around his forehead, because his mother, Blessed Juana de Aza saw this appear during his baptism. This legend is corroborated with this description of the saint by Blessed Cecilia of Rome: “From his forehead and between his eyebrows a radiant light shone forth, which drew everyone to revere and love him”. Hence, the antiphon to St Dominic begins by referring to him as lumen Ecclesiæ, ‘light of the Church’, and this description says something about St Dominic, and his Order. Read more

The Antiphon 'O Lumen'

Thursday, November 04, 2010
Salve Regina Read more
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