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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The Year of Paul, 29 June 2008-2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 22 Self-control

Thursday, June 18, 2009
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Ministries, Charisms, Fruits -21-Gentleness

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength - St. Francis de Sales

Gentleness is not often associated with strength. An alternative translation of praotes, the Greek word used by Paul, is meekness. Neither of these translations suggests strength. Far too often the opposite is assumed: to be gentle is to be delicate, weak and even feeble. The concept of gentleness does not seem to fit into the dog-eat-dog world we live in. However, gentleness, properly understood, is far from these negative connotations. To be gentle is to be in control of oneself. It is to have a balanced and tranquil spirit. It is to be even-tempered, and to have hold over the passions. The gentle person is the master of their strength and power. The Latin Vulgate expresses this by using the compound mansuetudo - being accustomed to taming the hand. Gentleness is being appropriately restrained in our actions and words, especially in our interactions with other people. We all recognize how hard it is to practise this virtue. Sartre said “hell is other people” and all too often we might feel that he is right. But because it is difficult we need the Holy Spirit to aid us in being gentle.

Gentleness, however, does not turn us into punching-bags for the world. Whilst we must always be willing to pardon offences; we must also be able fraternally to correct faults gently and with love. Gentleness helps our actions to have a positive effect. To use an old saying, 'you catch more flies with honey than vinegar'. It is a sign of real and true strength to be able to act with restraint and gentleness, and the Holy Spirit allows us to overcome all obstacles to this practice. Like the message to Elijah the Gospel will not be proclaimed by great winds, earthquakes, or fire but by the whistling of gentle air.

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Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 20 Faithfulness

Sunday, June 14, 2009
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Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 19 Goodness

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 18 Kindness

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

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Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 17 Patience

Saturday, June 06, 2009
Listed among the fruits of the Holy Spirit by St Paul in the letter to the Galatians is patience. Reflecting on what it means to be patient, I think that it is not often much in evidence today. We live a world that has been taught the value of the instantaneous. Information is now delivered from one part of the globe to another within seconds, travel gets ever faster as do, more and more. the types of food we eat. I heard a comedian once joke that the protest slogan of today’s generation would be: “What do we want? We don’t know! When do we want it? Now!”. Instant gratification without too much analysis can be all too tempting. Read more

Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 16 Peace

Wednesday, June 03, 2009
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Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 15 Joy

Monday, June 01, 2009

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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
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