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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Pentecost Sunday

Sunday, May 31, 2009
Readings: Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 103; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23 Read more

Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 14 Discernment

Saturday, May 30, 2009
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) Read more

Black and White Armies

Saturday, May 30, 2009
After the final round of English premiership games, the sports pages were dominated by picture of tear-soaked, black and white Newcastle United shirts mourning the relegation of the Tyneside giant from England’s elite. Whilst I was generally indifferent to the magpies before joining the Order, it did seem a shame that a club that wears the colours of St. Dominic has fallen so far in such a short time. Read more

Ministries, Charisms and Fruits - 13 Interpretation

Friday, May 29, 2009
Our last post spoke of the gift of tongues as a charismatic gift, which manifested itself in the early Church at the time of St. Paul, and was seen as an important way in which the Holy Spirit worked in the Church. Indeed, there are signs that this gift is still given in the Church today, especially amongst those who are part of the charismatic movements. It is a gift that is often regarded with much suspicion by onlookers. It expresses itself as people speaking a series of words that to our ears seem to make no sense. What possible use could this be? Read more

Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 12 Tongues

Thursday, May 28, 2009
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Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 11 Miracles

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

St Paul’s inclusion of miracle-working among the gifts of the Holy Spirit which he lists in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 12: 10) might seem rather strange: it certainly seems rather less common than those of wisdom, knowledge and faith which he mentions in the same chapter of that letter. Indeed, some people find talk of miracles to be one of the factors which puts them off Christianity: it’s all pious mumbo-jumbo, they say, and anyone who takes modern science seriously just can’t believe in that sort of thing. Read more

Ministries, Charisms, Fruits -10 Serving

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Service is central to the Christian life. We are called to follow our Lord in a life of service to God and our fellow man. The gift of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Romans 12:7 is a specific type of service, which may not be obvious from the English translation. St. Paul uses the Greek work diakonia. This word refers to administration within the Church. In the context of the early Church this would concern the distribution of alms and material aid. As the Church grew, the application of this gift grew and diversified. Today the Roman Curia, the central governing body of the Roman Catholic Church, coordinates and provides the necessary central organization for the correct functioning of the Church and the achievement of its goals. But it is only the tip of an administrative colossus which consists of the curiae of the individual dioceses and orders, the episcopal conferences, parish councils, group coordinators and many more sub-divisions. Of course the original need for administrators - the distribution of aid, material, educational and spiritual - still exists and has grown. The Catholic Church is the oldest and largest provider of aid in the world. Every branch of the Church has need of administration to ensure an effective and successful mission.

Administrators and bureaucrats do not have the best reputation. They are often caricatured as faceless, legalistic bean-counters or at worst scheming, calculating, powers-behind-the-throne. It is a sad fact but all too often these stereotypes are realised in individuals, such as wily cardinals and corrupt parish treasurers. Bureaucrats are necessary for the organisation of a community. They are not however a necessary evil we must tolerate. They should benefit the society that they serve and promote the common good. The Christian administrator does not only serve a human community but the Body of Christ. The Christian administrator, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, must follow Christ’s example of humble and selfless service. The Holy Spirit bestows not only the talent for organising, maintaining and administrating but also a sense of duty to the people of God.

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Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 9 Administration

Monday, May 25, 2009
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Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 8 Healing

Sunday, May 24, 2009
Of all the charismatic gifts that St. Paul describes, the gift of healing is probably the one which might, at first, appear least relevant to our modern world.  Even prophecy seems less obscure, since we can probably think of Christians who seem to have a certain wisdom for discerning what will be the end result of a particular situation.  How many of us can say that we have witnessed someone being healed by another Christian? Well, it depends on what exactly we mean by healing. Read more

A Game of Two Halves ...

Friday, May 22, 2009
W/T to When Saturday Comes: The Half Decent Football Magazine, available at all good newsagents Read more
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