Godzdogz

Featured series

On this page you will find previous post series.


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Advent Art


We very often hear that Advent is about waiting. It is a time when we are told to watch and be ready for the Lord at his coming. This Advent we would like to look for the Lord by looking at that art which down the years has expressed the longing, for his coming in the flesh and his coming in glory. We shall look at depictions of those who have waited, at depictions of the Lord as he has already come and as, so far as we can imagine, he is to come. Perhaps we shall catch even a glimpse of him, and conceive in our hearts the joy of Simeon: “My eyes have seen your salvation!”


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Remembering...


Dominicans have always made a special point of praying for the dead, and commemorating their own deceased: on a daily basis we read out the names of those whose anniversaries fall that day, and recite customary prayers for their peaceful repose. This tradition is particularly felt to be in keeping with the Order's mission to work for the salvation of souls and to administer the balm of God's mercy. For those who are still alive, that can mean preaching and hearing confessions, but for the dead we have only our prayers to offer, especially in the celebration of Mass. This November, we remember some deceased members of our Order, so that the good work they carried out in life may continue to take effect instructing and inspiring us; and so that you may join us in praying for their happy repose.


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Doctors of the Church


The Church has traditionally recognised eight Doctors of the Church: Saints Gregory, Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome of the West, and Saints John Chrysostom, Basil the Great, Gregory Nazianzen, and Athanasius of the East. These are men in whom are fulfilled the words of Scripture: “If the great Lord is willing, he will be filled with the spirit of understanding; he will pour forth words of wisdom and give thanks to the Lord in prayer…Nations will declare his wisdom, and the congregation will proclaim his praise.” (Sirach 39:6, 10).


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The Psalms


The Psalms, according to St Ambrose, have a unique spiritual value among the books of Scripture: “History instructs us, the law teaches us, prophecy foretells, correction punishes, morality persuades; but the book of psalms goes further than all these. It is medicine for our spiritual health. Whoever reads it will find in it a medicine to cure the wounds caused by his own particular passions. Whoever studies it deeply will find it a kind of gymnasium open for all souls to use, where the different psalms are like different exercises set out before him. In that gymnasium, in that stadium of virtue, he can choose the exercises that will train him best to win the victor’s crown.”

In ancient times it was very common to preach on the Psalms; St Augustine considered this task more important than the writing of his famed Confessions. Nowadays, we hear considerably less about them, although we still hear a lot of them in the Mass and the Office. Brothers in this series reflect on the more or less hidden significances of these great poems, songs of Israel, now songs of the Church.


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Interesting Churches


In a new series, the Student Brothers will write about ‘Interesting Churches’. In the Church we encounter God himself as present in the Holy Eucharist, but we also are included in the community that God chose as His tool to lead humanity into eternal beatitude – and this idea is represented and expressed in the physical churches Christianity has built over the last 2000 years. A church might be interesting because of its place in history, its architecture or interior, or because of a special significance it has to a particular brother.


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Laudato Si'


In June 2015, Pope Francis published his much-anticipated encyclical on the Care for our Common Home, Laudato Si’. This challenging encyclical letter grapples with the seemingly intractable matters of environmental concern and human ecology. What is the purpose of our life in the world? What kind of world do we want to live in? What kind of world do we want our children and grandchildren to live in? What are our responsibilities to God, to one another, and to His creation?

In this series, the student brothers will consider Pope Francis’ confrontation of ecological issues. What emerges from Francis’ document and prayerful reflection is that the answer to all these questions is found in Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour. The fundamental Christological basis of what Francis has to say is, all too frequently, missed by the secular commentators. We hope that our reflections will bring out spiritual dimension of this rich encyclical as well as discussing some of the practical challenges they present.


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Gospel Joy


“The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.” With these stirring words, Pope Francis begins his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel, and so we likewise begin our new series exploring the themes and challenges which the Holy Father presents to the Church on the “proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world”. We will consider how we, as a Church, communicate the most powerful, inspiring two-thousand-year-old story of Jesus Christ, in the modern age.  How do we preach God’s love to a world that appears so unreceptive, to an audience seemingly deaf to our words? These are fundamental questions for us Dominican Students, belonging to an order whose principal task is to preach, but they are also of the utmost importance for all Christians.


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Popular Piety 


The Godzdogz team dedicates a series to the exploration of popular piety. From bona mors to blessings, we hope to share with you an appreciation of some of the gems of the Church’s rich spiritual panorama, and so to rejoice in the gift of our Catholic diversity.


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Councils of Faith 

“But if even we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than the one which we have preached to you, let him be anathema!” (Galatians 1:8).

From the very start, the Church has been concerned to preserve intact the deposit of faith handed on from the Apostles to succeeding generations. At the same time, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, reflection on the content of faith has brought about deepened insights into the mysteries of our salvation, and particularly of our Saviour, Jesus the God-man. It has been the work of Councils down the ages to carry out this twofold mission, of preserving and deepening the deposit of faith with the full safeguard of authority pledged to the universal Church in communion with the Pope.

To mark the Year of Faith (2012-2013), brothers have written something to introduce us to the work and significance of these Councils in the life of the Church.


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Consecrated Life

By baptism, every Christian is called to holiness. Those who have been consecrated to God through vows of obedience, poverty and chastity follow this calling in a radical way, imitating the way Jesus lived in this world. In this Year for Consecrated Life, the Dominican student brothers on Godzdogz share their perspective on the consecrated life – how it remains as relevant as ever as a way of Christian discipleship, a way of loving God and our neighbour.


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Pope Benedict XVI's Visit to the UK

In September 2010 Pope Benedict XVI visited the United Kingdom: the first visit of a Pope to this island in over twenty years. This historic occasion saw the beatification of (now Saint) John Henry Newman, a major address at Westminster Hall and meetings with the Prime Minister and the Queen, and several leading religious figures. It was a graced moment for Catholics throughout the country.

Brothers mark some of the key moments and themes of the visit:


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Biblical Beasts


During the 'long vacation' Godzdogz will be offering a series of reflections on animals mentioned in the Bible. Sometimes they appear just as themselves, and why not? 'God saw all he had made and behold it was very good' (Genesis 1:31). The variety of animals is, of course, a symbol for God’s infinite richness and his love for us as shown in the abundance of creation.


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Friars' Passions 


Religious life provides plenty to keep you busy. In the Studentate the obvious demands of academic work are combined with pastoral commitments, priory duties, and of course the regular common life in the liturgy and in community. Nevertheless, maintaining hobbies is incredibly important, as a way of resting well and keeping balance, as well as for the opportunities to evangelise they might provide. Here the student brothers give an account of some of their hobbies or interests, in a series on ‘Friars’ Passions’:


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A-Z of St Paul


To mark the Church’s Jubilee Year of St Paul, the student brothers reflect on various themes in the writings and life of the Apostle, putting together an ‘A to Z’ guide. Pope Benedict XVI opened the jubilee year by saying “Christ needs apostles ready to sacrifice themselves. He needs witnesses and martyrs like St. Paul”. This series is an aid to responding generously to that invitation, so that we can finally say together with the Apostle “it is no long I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20).



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A Short Commentary on the Creed


The Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, the statement of our faith we profess every Sunday, was adopted at the Council of Constantinople in 381. It is the only ecumenical statement of Christianity, accepted by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, and much of Protestantism, including the Anglican communion. In the following series, the student brothers consider each article of the Creed in turn, explaining behind each the theology, the history, and their deeply personal consequences.

As explained in the first article, the Creed is in essence a lovesong, in praise of the Trinity. Since you cannot love what you do not know, this series helps us enter more deeply into the mystery of our faith, a falling in love with the triune God.



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