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.
Read more.

Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 4 Wisdom

Monday, May 18, 2009

 Read more

Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 1 Apostles

Thursday, May 14, 2009
 Read more

The Year of Paul - Ministries, Charisms, Fruits of the Spirit

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
 Read more

On the Areopagus - 13 The Basis of our Hope

Monday, February 23, 2009
One of the factors a lot of people speak about as characteristic of many in society today, especially young people, is a pervading sense of hopelessness, a sense that there isn’t much to look forward to and often, sadly, not much to live for. The sense of purpose and of deep inner value is often hard to find. Pessimism and cynicism seem to prevail in many areas of the media. Yet the Christian is called to a life that is extraordinarily different from these things. The First Letter of Peter exhorts the Christian to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 1:15). Christians have received the gift of hope that comes from that most trustworthy and unfailing source - God our Father, revealed through Jesus Christ. Saint Paul in his letter to the Ephesians states firmly that before they came to know Christ they were “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). Believing in Christ means coming into possession of a great hope.

What is this hope based on? Pious sentiment? Mad daydreams? Self delusion? No. St Paul is clear in his letter to the Thessalonians. He exhorts them not to grieve over the dead as do those without hope: “we believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again, and so believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep with him” (1 Thess 4:14). It is a hope based on the knowledge of the immense love which God has for us and which he revealed in the death of his only-begotten Son on the Cross. The tortured figure of Christ on the Cross, arms outstretched before the world, as it were to gather us all to himself, reveals the depths of his love and of how far God will go in his effort to save each human being. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Pope Benedict explains in his letter on hope, Spe Salvi, that “the dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently; the one who has hope has been granted the gift of a new life.”

This firm hope in the promise of the resurrection occupies a large part of Paul’s thinking. For him the second coming is a glorious occasion. Not only will the bodies of human beings be transformed but all creation will be renewed: “the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). Therefore we are children of the light, the light of the knowledge that Christ has revealed to us in his life, death and resurrection. We have put on faith and love as a breastplate and the hope of salvation as a helmet. All Christians are called to be beacons of hope in a world too often darkened by fear, pessimism and hopelessness. Whatever our place in life, whatever our difficulties or sufferings, each of us is of incalculable value to God. For he has spoken to us through his Son and therefore we are comforted by our sure hope in Christ’s saving power and by the firm knowledge that “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

 Read more

On the Areopagus - 12 Neither Jew nor Greek ... a multicultural world

Sunday, February 22, 2009
 Read more

On the Areopagus - 7 The Economic Situation

Friday, February 13, 2009
 Read more

On the Areopagus - 1 A New Series

Saturday, January 31, 2009
 Read more

January 25 - Saul to Paul

Thursday, January 29, 2009
 Read more

A - Z of Paul: Zeal

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
St. Paul mostly uses the concept of zeal or eagerness in a negative way perhaps because he associates it with the zeal for persecuting Christians that he had before his conversion. Paul thinks of zeal as the attitude of a man who is focused on attaining righteousness through the law. He writes in Philippians 3:6, describing how pious he was before his conversion, that “as to zeal, [I was] a persecutor of the church”. Paul was a man whose zeal for the Lord was so great that he could not bear to see what he then thought of as the blasphemy of Christians who dared to claim that this man Jesus was divine. This zeal led him to persecute Christians and to oversee the execution of the first martyr for Christ, St. Stephen: “And Saul approved of their killing him” (Acts 8:1).

The Greek word that is translated 'zeal' can have several meanings including striving and jealously. From this we can infer that when Paul writes of pressing on towards the prize (Phil 3) he is describing the kind of zeal that should characterise a Christian. In the place of zeal for the ritual purity of the law should be a zeal for Christ and his gospel, and who could be a better example of this than Paul who evangelised an astonishingly large area of the Roman Empire with great fervour. The Christian regards as rubbish everything that he cared about in the world before he came to Christ and is willing to suffer the loss of all things in order to have Christ and to preach the good news to all. For Paul the focus of one’s desires is what characterises the Christian. The Christian man or woman does not have their mind set on earthly things but contemplates the heavenly glory that awaits those who suffer for the sake of the gospel. In Philippians Paul makes clear that our zeal is not to be for earthly things like power, wealth and prestige but instead we are to place our trust in the Spirit of Christ Jesus who overcame the world and the death that was the wages of sin.
 Read more

A-Z of Paul: Yes

Sunday, September 21, 2008
 Read more
Follow us
Great Dominicans

Great Dominicans

News

News

Consecrated Life

Consecrated Life

Recent posts


Tags


Liturgical index


All tags & authors


Archive

Upcoming events

View the full calendar