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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Monday, January 31, 2011
Godzdogz readers will remember our 'On the Areopagus' series to mark the Year of Paul. Last week the Pontifical Council for Culture announced an initiative along the same lines ... Read more

If Love it is ... Aquinas Lecture 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011
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Quodlibet 33 - The date of St Thomas' feast

Friday, January 28, 2011
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Saints this Month - 28th January: St Thomas Aquinas

Thursday, January 27, 2011
As we celebrate the feast of St Thomas Aquinas, the great Dominican Doctor of the Church, it seems appropriate to reflect on his teaching, in which in particular we recognise his sanctity. First of all, we can marvel at the sheer quantity of writings he left: suffice it to say they occupy several shelves in the library here at Blackfriars! The amount of works St Thomas wrote, and the range of them, gives us a sense of his passion for exploring what we can know about God and for passing on his insights and discoveries to others. Perhaps unsurprisingly, among the many questions he considers is, in effect, what is the point of all this talking about God? Why do we need doctrine? How is knowing things about God useful? Read more

In the News.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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The Aquinas Lecture 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Up-coming Events

Monday, January 24, 2011
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Saints this Month - January 25th, The Conversion of Saint Paul

Monday, January 24, 2011
Do you ever wish that God would make a striking and stunning intervention in your life? I know that in my darkest moments I have wished God would make his presence known to me in a flash of lightning or a Monty Pythonesque foot-stomp. It is understandable that we could desire such an event. We think that such a solid and tangible episode will convince us beyond doubt that there is a God and our faith will be secure. Likewise maybe we study theology hoping that we will strengthen our belief through an intellectual foundation based on reason and argument or alternatively perhaps we practice spiritual exercises in the hope that we will enter a mystical ecstasy that will confirm us in our union with God. Whilst all of these things are not bad in themselves they are lacking something essential: the Holy Spirit! Read more

Litany of Loreto - Holy Virgin of Virgins

Saturday, January 22, 2011
Foretold in the scriptures and attested to by the Apostles, Fathers, and subsequent Council’s of the Church, the Catholic tradition always witnesses to an indissoluble link between Mary’s Virginity and the Incarnation of the Word. It is perhaps one of the most wondrous mysteries of our faith that Our Lady was a virgin ante partum, in partu, and post partum (before, during, and after) the birth of Our Lord. In that familiar passage from Isaiah 7:14 we read, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” In the Gospel of St. Luke (1:34-35) we see how this momentous occurrence came to pass when we read of Mary’s encounter with the Angel Gabriel; “Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” But what of this link, why is it important and what can we take from this?

There are a number of approaches to this question. Not least is the fact that the birth of Our Saviour should come from one who, immaculately conceived, was guided from birth by the Holy Spirit to remain as a ‘pure and spotless vessel’ for the birth of Our Lord. For Mary, as the Mother of God, this relationship was truly unique and the depths of this mystery are quite profound to dwell on. But aside from the importance of our venerating Mary for her role, can the example of her virginity really help us today; all of us that is, no matter what our situation as married, single, celibate, widowed, and so forth? I think, without question that it can, because Our Lady’s virginity was not simply a physical matter but a matter of the heart which disposed her most suitably for her role in God’s plan. Mary’s physical virginity (virginitas carnis) is a symbol of her virginity of heart (virginitas cordis); she is the true exemplar of our faith. Our Lady is the faithful disciple, who without any defilement, falsehood, or pride submitted gladly to God’s will and fulfilled her role with steadfastness, humility and compassion. What better example could we have of faithfulness of heart, of true and thankful submission to God’s will, than her? Likewise, we all have our unique part to play in God’s plan and our disposition to be open, faithful, and pure of heart, is essential if we are to flourish as God’s children. If we nurse pride and allow vice to take its hold upon us then we lose our virginitas cordis, so let us instead take our example from her and thus be led to Christ. Ad Iesum per Mariam.
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Litany of Loreto - Holy Mother of God

Thursday, January 20, 2011
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