Godzdogz

Godzdogz

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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Characters of Advent - Zechariah

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Zechariah, do not be afraid, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son and you shall name him John. He will be your joy and delight and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord; he must drink no wine, no strong drink; even from his mother's womb he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and he will bring back many of the Israelites to the Lord their God (Luke 1:13-16). Read more

Saints in Advent - St John of the Cross

Monday, December 14, 2009
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Third Sunday of Advent - Rejoice

Sunday, December 13, 2009
Last year I attended a non-religious crematorium service of a relative who had died. After a rather depressing eulogy, we left the building with a recording of 'Always look on the bright side of life' piping away in the background. Sometimes it can be difficult to find words of comfort, and this song is an ironic reminder of how ridiculous it could sound if we tried too hard. Still, we have to be careful not to fall into the trap of believing there are never any words that can be used to console people.

Today is Gaudete Sunday, a day in which we are exhorted to rejoice, and it is a reminder that words are not always cheap and superficial. Words can cut deep into us. John the Baptist called the multitudes who came to be baptized 'a brood of vipers' – hardly words that are consoling, but these words sunk deep into his listeners. They were shaken out of their complacency and they woke up to something that deep down they already knew – their relationship with other people is important. It is important that people should share, that they shouldn't exploit each other or make false accusations. Such rules are essential for a community to flourish. But this isn't all there is to John's message. It is only a preparation for something far greater.

In Philippians, we are told to rejoice in the Lord always. Rejoicing is not optional or dependent on our mood. It's essential to our being; it's the reason why we exist. When we rejoice, it is not something we do on our own - we rejoice as a community. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we become a community that can rejoice in the Lord, a community that is the visible presence of the Lord in the world. As an individual, we might not always feel joyful, but our membership of Christ's body, the Church, is a sign of great joy. In telling us to rejoice in the Lord, Paul is not using empty words; these words have substance, they are embodied in Christ.
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Happy Hanukkah

Sunday, December 13, 2009
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Characters of Advent - Elizabeth

Saturday, December 12, 2009
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COR Jubilee Mass

Friday, December 11, 2009
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Characters of Advent - Isaiah

Friday, December 11, 2009
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Characters of Advent: John the Baptist

Friday, December 11, 2009
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Blackfriars Christmas Fair

Thursday, December 10, 2009

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Prophecy and its Fulfillment

Wednesday, December 09, 2009
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