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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Pope Benedict in London - Day 1

Saturday, September 18, 2010
The Holy Father arrived in London on Thursday night and was greeted by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. He then travelled to the Apostolic Nunciature in Wimbledon. Read more

Pope Benedict in Glasgow

Friday, September 17, 2010
The Holy Father celebrated Mass in Bellahouston Park with 70,000 people in attendance. In his homily he once again addressed the "dictatorship of relativism" and called for a new evangelisation of culture. He held up the example of St. Ninian, who was "unafraid to be a lone voice" and again stressed the Christian heritage of Scotland, mentioning the three medieval universities founded by Popes.
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The Pope in Scotland: a view from the ground

Friday, September 17, 2010
After months of preparation, the day of the Pope’s visit to Scotland finally arrived, and things kicked off early in Edinburgh at St Albert’s University Chaplaincy, based in the Dominican Priory on George Square. Some students joined the friars at Lauds to prepare themselves spiritually for the long day ahead, and by 9:30 the chaplaincy common room was heaving with students and parishioners hoping to see the Pope. After a blessing from the Prior, Fr Tim Calvert, one group headed off down to Prince’s Street to see the St Ninian’s Day parade, which followed the route the Holy Father was later to take as he drove through the centre of Edinburgh in the Popemobile, and led the crowd gathered to see the Pope in celebration of St Ninian, Scotland’s first saint, on whose feast day Pope Benedict arrived in the country.

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A - Z of the Mass: Vestments

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Clothing is important. It covers our nakedness, keeps us warm and protects us from the elements. But clothing also indicates the role of a person, his or her dignity and status in a community; clothing has a practical as well as a symbolic function. Both these aspects are found in the Christian tradition. St Augustine said that clothing alleviates the shame and nakedness of fallen humanity and St Paul likens baptism and the conferral of baptismal grace and our Christian dignity to being clothed in Christ (see Galatians 3:27). St John in the Apocalypse speaks of those who have conquered sin and death as clothed in white robes (see Apoc 3:5, 7:9).
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The Pope's First Day in Britain

Thursday, September 16, 2010
The Holy Father has touched down in Scotland to begin his historic four-day State visit. He was greeted on arrival by the Duke of Edinburgh and an honour guard from the Royal Regiment of Scotland. He then travelled through Edinburgh to Her Majesty's official residence, Holyrood House, to be welcomed by the Queen to her realm. In his opening speech the Pope offered the "hand of friendship" to the whole of the UK. He reminded the country that it had been built on Christian values and commented that the name Holyrood refers to the Cross. The Holy Father called on the people of Britain to resist the "more aggressive forms of secularism". Read more

A-Z of the Mass: Unity

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
'Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it' (1 Cor 12:27).

On the road to Damascus the Risen Christ declared to Saul that in persecuting the Church he was persecuting his Lord (Acts 9:4-5). Paul's later writings, particularly his first letter to the Corinthians, show Paul developing and exploring the implications of this revelation. The Church is one body, its different members bound together through and in Christ. This unity is achieved through faith and the sacraments. These two 'supernatural agencies' move forward hand in hand for the sacraments at once signify the grace which is the inheritance of faith, and cause and contain that same faith. Sacraments are perfect signs of God's action which bring about the very things that they signify.

The Eucharist is the perfect sacrament of the Lord's passion in as much as it contains the very Christ who himself suffered. When we consume this Christ, when we sacramentally receive his body and blood, we are signifying our unity with Christ and each other, and actually bringing about this same unity by binding ourselves to the sacrifice of the cross. The Church, according to St. Augustine, is one because it has one sacrifice. This one sacrifice is the sacrifice of Christ handed over bodily to the Church. Lumen Gentium described this gift as the 'source and summit of the Christian life'. Whilst Eucharistic communion is not the whole of our communion with God, and does not do all the work of our spiritual life, it is a definite communion with the Christ who shed his blood for us, and a foretaste of the communion we will share with him in heaven.

The Eucharist is, then, the sacrament of unity. Unfortunately the schisms and reformations that have torn the body of Christ over the centuries have cloaked this fundamental character of the sacrament. The painful reality is that despite the ecumenical work of recent decades, when we come to the altar the various Christian denominations must go their separate ways. Whilst the sacrifice of the cross belongs to the whole world, its sacramental re-presentation cannot be separated from the Church, the mystical body of Christ, that offers this sacrifice. It is indeed a tragedy that not all Christians are in communion with one another, but the solution is to redouble our efforts to found our faith on truth, to found our faith on Christ. To paper over cracks superficially and pretend there is no problem is easier in the short term, but ultimately it will be counterproductive.
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A-Z of the Mass: Transubstantiation

Monday, September 13, 2010
In its decree on the Eucharist, the Council of Trent says that the change (conversio) of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, a change that has always been accepted by the faith of the Church, is 'appropiately and properly called transubstantiation'. This change is brought about by the words of Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit. To the question 'what is it?' of the consecrated bread or the consecrated wine, St John Chrysostom and St Ambrose, for example, who are both quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, will already have replied 'it is the Body of Christ, it is the Blood of Christ'. For John Chrysostom, the words of Christ spoken by the priest 'transform the things offered' and Ambrose says that 'by the blessing, nature itself is changed'.
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Film Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Sunday, September 12, 2010
It might seem strange that I would want to review Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. This hipster homage to 8-bit gaming might not seem the obvious subject matter for a Godzdogz post However I think that in some respects the film has an interesting message that contains some Christian symbolism (though not necessarily intended). Read more

Spode Music Week 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010
The 57th annual Spode Music Week took place from 14th to 21th August and was again a great success. Spode Music Week was founded by the Dominican Conrad Pepler OP in 1954 and used to take place at Spode House, the Dominican conference centre next to the old Hawkesyard Priory in Staffordshire. Although Spode House closed in 1986, the music week has continued to flourish and for the last few years it has taken place at the Beechwood Sacred Heart School in Tunbridge Wells.
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A-Z of the Mass: Stipend

Friday, September 10, 2010
One frequent caricature painted by those hostile to the Church is to suggest that the whole 'operation' is a money-making scheme by the clergy. They will often hold up the example of Mass stipends. A Mass stipendsis an offering given to a priest by an individual or a group so that he may say Mass for the donor's intention. Today this offering is usually money. It is an ancient practice going back to the early Church when people would give the priest bread and wine, some of which was used during the Eucharist. What remained was used for the support of the clergy and the poor.
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