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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Deacons homily, Saturday 32nd week year 1

Saturday, November 12, 2011
Mass with anointing of the sick Read more

Institution Narrative

Thursday, November 10, 2011
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Remembering......fr. Richard Dominic Anderson (1910-1981)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011
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Tuesday, November 08, 2011
The Sanctus, which concludes the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, comes directly from the Sacred Scriptures. In addition to the Latin Rite, it appears as The Hymn of Victory in many Eastern liturgies. Read more

Preface Dialogue

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Liturgy of the Eucharist has begun. The gifts of bread and wine have been brought up, prepared and then blessed upon the altar. The people are standing and all is set for the central act of the Mass: the Eucharistic Prayer. It is time for the priest and people to place themselves entirely in the presence of God.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right and just.

This dialogue between priest and people opens the Preface, the first part of the Eucharistic Prayer. It is an invitation to prayer, a call-and-response that invokes God’s presence in our hearts.

The first exchange has already occurred twice before, at the Greeting and at the Gospel, and will return twice afterwards, at the Peace and the Final Blessing. So, this middle occurrence is a dramatic pivot in the Mass, signalling the transition from the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The new translation, ‘And with your spirit’, has been explained in a previous post.

The second exchange is no different from the old translation, which was already a good rendering of the Latin. Note that ‘hearts’ here is rich with significance: it denotes all our cares, our hopes and fears, our thoughts and beliefs. So, for St. Thérèse of Lisieux, prayer is essentially ‘a surge of the heart’. At the altar of God, we offer up all that we are.

In the third exchange the theme of Eucharist – thanksgiving – is now explicitly introduced. We are about to join ourselves to Christ’s sacrifice of thanksgiving, when we receive his Body and Blood. Here we see another improvement in the translation. The response ‘It is right to give Him thanks and praise’ has been replaced with ‘It is right and just’, which is simply a direct translation of Dignum et justum est. This new version has restored the reference to justice. Christ, the Paschal Lamb, executed divine justice when he offered himself as a pure and willing victim for our redemption, ‘while we were yet sinners’ (Rom. 5:8). Instead of condemning us, God’s judgment entails our rescue from sin (Jn. 3:17): thus is God’s justice revealed in His love – and what better reason to give Him thanks?

There is one further advantage to the phrase, ‘It is right and just’. Like a musical counterpoint, which is clear in the Latin and has been restored to our English version, the priest immediately develops the same theme as he continues with the Preface:

It is truly right and just, our duty and salvation,
always and everywhere to give You thanks.’
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Thirty-Second Sunday of the Year: Don't Just Hang Around!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Preparation of the Gifts

Saturday, November 05, 2011
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Quodlibet 35-How Can Anything Exist Apart From an Infinite Being?

Friday, November 04, 2011
The laws of identity and non-contradiction say that a being, at any given moment, is either X or Y, not X and Y (if X and Y are opposites). Now, it is of the very identity of infinity to be limitless; thus, how can anything exist apart from an infinite Being, who "fills" existence up totally by being infinite? The Divine Substance is infinite, so how can there be any other substance than the Divine Substance, consisting in and of those Three blessed Persons? Does the existence of beings other than the infinite Being not contradict the law of identity for the infinite Being? If one Being is of infinite immensity, there can be no other beings... infinite or finite!

Let me start by trying to summarise your position: First, you asked, “how can anything exist apart from an infinite Being?” Secondly, you argued that the laws of logic and the nature of existence suggest that it is not possible for anything else to exist if an infinite being exists. Thirdly, you concluded that such a position was both counter-intuitive and incompatible with the Catholic religion. Clearly, it’s the second point that’s crucial. It’s your application of the laws of logic and your reflection on the nature of existence that lead to the conclusion that if an infinite being exists nothing else can exist. Let’s look at your second point then.  Read more

The Creed

Thursday, November 03, 2011

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William Lane Craig in Oxford

Thursday, November 03, 2011

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