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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Examination of Conscience & the Divine Physician

Friday, March 16, 2018

Given that Lent is a time for greater focus on repentance, examining our consciences with renewed honesty is essential to obtaining that goal. I don’t know about you, but allowing myself to be more open about my own faults often feels scary. The process of getting to that state of honesty can feel a bit like dragging myself to the doctor’s office. In light of this, I have found it helpful to think of an examination of my conscience as being analogous to exploring my physical health with a first-rate medical doctor. In my experience, a good medical doctor is someone whose competency and empathy make me willing to tell that doctor anything I need to about my health, even things I might normally feel embarrassed about, because I believe that doctor is sincere and capable of giving me the right kind of care. Correspondingly, it can be helpful to think of examining one’s conscience as working with an outstanding doctor – the best doctor in existence.  Read more

Praying with Caryll Houselander in Lent

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Caryll Houselander was born in Bath on the Feast of St Michael the Archangel, 1901. Entering the Church at 7 years old, (hence calling herself ‘a rocking horse catholic’ in distinction to a ‘cradle catholic’), she became a writer, a poet, a mystic and a counsellor to many, particularly children, at the height of the blitz.  Read more

Praying with Blessed Henry Suso in Lent

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I know of few people who have loved Christ so much as to take a blade to their heart and inscribe the Holy Name of Jesus in their blood upon their breast. Blessed Henry Suso is one of them.  Read more

Praying with Humility in Lent

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Lent is a joyful time about living life to the full.  Read more

Memento nostri Domine

Sunday, December 24, 2017

‘Remember us, O Lord, in thy goodwill to thy people, visit us with thy salvation, that we may see the good of thy chosen, the joy of thy nation, that thou mayest be praised with thine inheritance. Give glory to the Lord for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.’ Read more

Ad te levavi

Saturday, December 02, 2017
One of the least heard parts of the liturgy is probably the chant of the Proper of the Mass. These are the parts of the Mass which change with the season or the feast and consist in the Collect, Prayer Over the Offerings, and the Post Communion Prayer, and also three scriptural texts; the Introit, Offertory and Communion. These texts are often replaced by hymns, but you may hear them said by the priest at the beginning of the Mass or, in the case of the Communion Antiphon, just before or after the faithful have received Holy Communion. However, you almost certainly won’t have heard them sung to the proper chants appointed by the Church for use in the liturgy.  Read more

Psalm 143

Friday, March 31, 2017

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Penitential Psalms - Psalm 6

Monday, January 16, 2017

The homilies we hear at Mass rarely touch on the psalms. I don’t think this is because there is not enough to say about them, but rather because there is too much. Once you become immersed in the poetry and rich imagery of the psalms, you would easily fill the time allocated for the homily . . . and then some. But perhaps this is not the only reason? Perhaps it’s because our thoughts on the psalms are as intensely personal as those of the psalmist and we feel we’d be over-sharing, or making the homily or reflection too much about us. Perhaps also it’s because the way a particular psalm affects us varies so much with our mood and relationship with God that it seems hard to say something general about the psalm without being reductionist or just doing exegesis. Read more

Laudato Si: Ecological Conversion

Saturday, November 14, 2015

This post builds on many of the themes highlighted by Br Luke in his post on ‘Education’ and looks through Dominican eyes at how ‘the rich heritage of Christian spirituality, the fruit of twenty centuries of personal and communal experience, has a precious contribution to make to the renewal of humanity’ (LS 216). What I take to be the Pope’s key point in this section of his encyclical is that such an ‘ecological conversion’ has to be a conversion of the entire person. It cannot be just an idea or a concept that we hold, it has to be a complete way of living. Read more

Laudato Si': Rest

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Do you have enough hours in your day? If not, you must be a busy person. So do you have time to pray? Mother Teresa said, ‘If you’re too busy to pray, you’re too busy.' Read more

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