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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The Life of Virtue - Eutrapelia

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


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Catholicism in the South Wales Valleys: 1. The Cynon Valley

Monday, September 28, 2009
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The Life of Virtue - Studiosity

Sunday, September 27, 2009
Study is one of the central components of Dominican spirituality. To be studious is to be appropriately eager to study. It is having the desire to apply one’s mind to something; to learn about it, to know it, so that one may understand it. To develop, foster and have the virtue of studiosity is a good thing. It is just as natural and proper for humans to desire knowledge, as it is to desire the pleasures of food and drink. Aristotle observes in his Metaphysics “all human beings have a natural desire for knowledge." Apart from this natural inclination, we are commanded by God to: “Study wisdom, my son, and make my heart joyful, that thou mayest give an answer to him that reproacheth." Ultimately we all desire to know that which is true, that which is Truth itself; and that Truth, which is God, wishes us to know him.

Studiosity is a desire; it therefore belongs to temperance. If we have an appetite for study, like all appetitive movements, it will need to be moderated. We can easily fall into the vice of curiosity, when we allow our pride to drive our yearning for knowledge. When we do this we try to put ourselves above God. We also do this when we separate our study from the due end: God. This does not mean that when learning about the Imperial German Armee-Inspektion or Cornish cheese- production, we have to insert God; but we must remember that what we are learning about is not the be all and end all of everything.

Also if we engage in study in order to sin, we put ourselves against God. We must be careful in what we study. This requires an element of humility. We might not intend to sin but we can easily fall into sin by studying things that might be above our intelligence. This can lead us into error. Likewise our natural curiosity can become superstitious. St. Augustine gives the example of many being excommunicated by their interest in studying demonology and witchcraft.

We must also remember that there is a hierarchy of our studies. At times we have an obligation to certain pursuits but also some areas are more important than others. We cannot let our curiosity take us off track. St. Jerome observed: "we see priests forsaking the gospels and the prophets, reading stage-plays, and singing the love songs of pastoral idylls." This is not to say that we can not have other studious interests, outside our primary focus, but they must be subordinate. Read more

Solemn Profession 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009
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The Life of Virtue - Humility

Thursday, September 24, 2009

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Other Recent Publications from English Dominicans

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

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The Life of Virtue - Modesty

Monday, September 21, 2009
Modesty, like so many of the Christian virtues, has been largely disregarded by Western liberal societies. In the latter half of the twentieth century, modesty in dress was rejected outright by radicals, particularly radical feminists, who saw it simply as a way for men to oppress women and of determining their self-image according to how they dressed. Any criticism of less than modest dress in women was taken to be a cynical attempt by men to make women feel ashamed of their bodies, and thus their identity, something that would in turn make them to be subservient to men.
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Clothing of Novices and Simple Profession 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

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The Life of Virtue - Gentleness

Friday, September 18, 2009

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The Life of Virtue - Clemency

Wednesday, September 16, 2009
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