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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New Online Biblical Resource

Wednesday, December 09, 2009
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Characters of Advent - Mary: Ave gratia plena!

Monday, December 07, 2009
Annunciation Read more

Second Sunday of Advent - Make His Paths Straight

Sunday, December 06, 2009
Readings: Baruch 5:1-9, Philippians 1:3-6, 8-11, Luke 3:1-6

In Advent we are called to enter a period of joyful expectation and preparation and the readings for this second Sunday really reflect this. In different ways they radiate a sense of joy, hope and praise. It is true but sad that our world can often seem a hard, dark and lonely place. At different points on our journey the painful truth of just how vulnerable, weak and limited human beings are is brought home to us. While very often we like to think of ourselves as powerful and strong, circumstances will often shatter this illusion and bring us down to earth with a bang. Bereavement, suffering, selfishness, arrogant pride too often mark our human experience. The current recession has been yet another painful reminder of this when we see that those who greedily chased after wealth and power without any regard for the greater good, and seemed like the gods of a new age of human progress, have now been exposed as sadly misguided and not so almighty after all. Global warming also reminds us that we are not masters of all we survey.

Advent is a time to accept this reality of our weakness, our vulnerability and our sinfulness. For we are waiting for the moment when the eternal, creating Word who has clothed himself in our frail human flesh will join us to himself forever. It is by his grace we are transformed into an extraordinary new identity as children of God. The new reality of our vocation is to allow ourselves to be filled with the perfect, healing love of God and to radiate that love to a world that is too often darkened, cynical and hopeless. Baruch, in our first reading, speaking from exile in Babylon, entreats his people not to despair and be sorrowful but to "put on the beauty of the glory of God for ever, wrap the cloak of the integrity of God around you" (Bar 5:1-2). For God has remembered them and is going to transform them. St Paul speaks of our human vocation not in terms of power or wealth or sinfulness but as reaching "the perfect goodness which Jesus Christ produces in us for the glory and praise of God" (Phil 1:11).

But we have our part to play through the life giving, transforming grace of Christ. We must allow ourselves to be completely vulnerable before our loving God, to acknowledge where we have gone wrong in our lives and need forgiveness, and to begin, with God's grace, to put things right and be healed by the transforming power of Christ. As the Baptist cries out to each of us in today's gospel reading: "prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight" (Luke 3:4). Walking together as Christians this Advent, let us try to give our inner house a thorough cleaning and so make it a fit dwelling for the Lord who will come at Christmas.

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Saints in Advent - St Ambrose, a saint for our age

Sunday, December 06, 2009
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The Comings of Christ

Friday, December 04, 2009
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The Advent Calendar

Thursday, December 03, 2009
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The Advent Wreath

Wednesday, December 02, 2009
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Saints in Advent - St Francis Xavier

Wednesday, December 02, 2009
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The History of Advent

Tuesday, December 01, 2009
adventus Read more

Institution of Acolytes

Tuesday, December 01, 2009
On Monday 30th November, the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, three of our brothers, fr Graham Hunt OP, fr Mark Davoren OP and fr Gregory Pearson OP were instituted as acolytes by the Prior Provincial, fr John Farrell OP, during the Conventual Mass. Read more
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