Godzdogz

Godzdogz

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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Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The mystery of the Incarnation tells a story of impossible contradictions: God becoming man, eternity under the bondages of the time, perfection manifested in a limited creature, etc. That the Son, the second person of the mysterious Trinity of God, becomes man entails a renewal of the image of creation, a new stage in the artistic process in which God holds History. Like a kind of self-portrait, the creature turns now to be the Creator, the painting to be the painter and that is something that requires much more that simple human reason to grasp. Read more

Scorsese's Silence and the example of St Paul Miki and Companions

Monday, February 06, 2017

Today we celebrate the martyrdom of St Paul Miki and Companions, twenty-six among the thousands of Japanese martyrs. Their courage, fidelity, and unrelenting love of Christ even to the point of death are an example to us all. On the Feast of these martyrs, my usual feelings, of concern for what I would do in the same position and admiration for what these martyrs did in fact do, have been made particularly acute by Martin Scorsese's film Silence, and all the conversation it has generated. Read more

Gospel Reading of the Day Reflection

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What is it that Jesus preaches that would turn family, friend and neighbour against his followers? Christians are being taken to civil and religious courts all because of following the name of Jesus, who preached truth, love, freedom, peace and justice. As we approach the end of the Church’s liturgical year, the warnings of Jesus in Luke 21 are as relevant today as they were in the earliest days of Christianity.  Read more

Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete) 'Surprised By Joy'

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Virgin and Child. The Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist, St Dominic, St Peter the Martyr and St. Thomas Aquinas- Fra Angelico c.1387-1455- in the Museo di San Marco dell'Angelico. Florence, Italy. Gaudete Sunday reminds us that true joy mustn’t become something that we take for granted. True joy is transformative, it may be fleeting in time but it continues to hit our hearts deeply. At this time in our Advent journey we come face to face with a dramatic preacher in the wilderness. St. John the Baptist reminds us that we need to be ‘Surprised by Joy’ as we wait again for the Incarnation. In order to be truly surprised therefore at this charismatic signpost, we must be willing to show and reflect upon the areas in which we are lost. Read more

Christ Crucified our Bridge: the spiritual teaching of St Catherine of Siena.

Thursday, January 12, 2012
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Second Week of Advent - Monday: "Friend, your sins are forgiven you."

Monday, December 05, 2011
Readings: Isaiah 35: 1-10; Psalm 85; Luke 5: 17-26

Would you be comfortable waging your salvation on the strength of your faith? Is your faith strong enough to save you? The Gospel presents these questions often. At some point in our lives, we will each have to answer. Hopefully, each of us is ready to respond with an emphatic “Yes!”

However, would we be as zealous, as sure of the strength of our faith, if someone else’s salvation rested on our faith?

The men who lower the paralytic through the roof in the Gospel of Luke recognize the importance of acting on their faith. The crowd is too dense. They cannot get the paralytic to Jesus. If they wait too long, these men may never have a chance to save their friend. Yet, they do not let this obstacle stand in their way. When Jesus sees this man lowered through the roof, he does not cite the paralytic’s faith as he heals him. Rather, Jesus sees the faith of these men who let nothing stand between God and someone in need of God’s healing.

It can be easy for us to put ourselves on the line in a grave situation. Often times, we consider self-sacrifice a way of growing in our faith. If we fail at first, then we acknowledge our failure, repent, and continue in the life of faith. But when we realize that our faith and actions impact the wellbeing of others, we open ourselves up to the reality of our Christian vocations.

Our faith in God is not a gift solely for our benefit. We do not follow Christ isolated from other people on our own private paths. The grace of God must be diffusive, coming from God, through us, to the world. For this reason, the Church exhorts us toward the Sacraments and public witness, not only that we may grow in faith, but that we may also bring the gift of faith to others.

As we continue our Advent meditations, let us contemplate how our faith impacts the lives of others. I do not doubt the awe one experiences when hearing Jesus say, “Your faith has saved you.” But, as a member of the Body of Christ, I think such an experience reaches its zenith when Jesus also says, “Your faith has saved others.”
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