Image Courtesy of Zachary Lichter
By Zachary Lichter
The hosts of Godsplaining, a half-hour podcast, spoke at this month’s CUA on Tap on Thursday, September 14. The podcast is hosted by five Dominican friars: Fathers Patrick Briscoe, Joseph-Anthony Kress, Gregory Pine, Bonaventure Chapman, and Jacob-Bertrand Jancyzk. Every Thursday, they discuss any and all Catholic topics. These topics range from their perspectives on studying contemplation to St. Thomas Aquinas to fraternity. Their podcasts are available on various platforms, including Spotify, PodBean, and Apple and video footage of each episode can be found on YouTube.
The night began with sophomore philosophy/pre-law major Gabriel Aliaga welcoming Father Aquinas Guilbeau, the CUA University Chaplain, to lead everyone in prayer. Father Aquinas welcomed everyone to CUA on Tap and introduced the friars and their podcasts. According to Father Aquinas, the Dominican friars started recording in 2019 and have special guests join them. Previous guests have included Bishop Robert Barron, Sister Bethany Madonna, Father Mike Schmitz, Sister Miriam James Heidland, and many other Catholic speakers. The five friars guide followers of the faith during the seasons of Advent and Lent. They post Q&A sessions every Tuesday night, which are also live-streamed. Godsplaining as a group also has held retreats in New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Father Patrick stated that this was their first live episode. They started the podcast by discussing how faith inspired their lives in college. Father Patrick asked Father Jacob-Bertand for advice about how to maintain one’s faith in college. He responded by talking about how his chaplain told him that people should get to know our Lord by spending time with Him through going to Mass. Father Gregory said he didn’t get a lot of sleep in college because he always worried about what he needed to do the next day. But he did think about his faith even if he couldn’t sleep. He found college more enjoyable if a person ate and slept well. Father Bonaventure talked about how he was originally not Catholic but went to Vigil Mass every Saturday and prayed the Rosary once a week with a group of Catholics. On Sunday, he would go to a Presbyterian Church. But he said he enjoyed the Catholic faith, which led to him converting to Catholicism.
Father Joseph-Anthony said that college is the last time people are around each other at the same age. He finished off by saying that people in college should recognize the privilege of living in an environment that grows their faith. As people prepare to graduate, they should invest in those friendships, helping each other get through the next phase of life with respect to the faith. Father Patrick’s advice was to find a good mentor. He talked about how his mentor, a Dominican friar, would take attendance from muscle memory and offer him wisdom.
They then shifted to the topic of their episode, and Father Patrick asked: “What difference does Holy Communion make? What are the five ways that the Eucharist transforms my life?” Father Bonaventure said that adoration was crucial; so much so that he found a 24-hour adoration chapel near where he was working at Barnes & Noble. After work, he would go to adoration from 11:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. There, he saw that the Eucharistic presence was important because it is unique to the Catholic faith.
He then compared the Eucharist to artwork, saying, “You’re not judging the work. The work is judging you.”
When putting yourself before the Eucharist, he said, “You’re not judging Christ. Christ is judging you.”
He then finished and said that He judges you because He loves you and asks us to change our lives.
Father Jacob-Bertrand talked about the seven sacraments and divine grace. There is a certain kind of grace that goes into the Eucharist, and its primary effect is unity. When someone receives the Eucharist, they want to be unified with the Church and their brothers and sisters. The takeaway is the desire to belong, affirm, and be with those who know me or be known. The Eucharist makes us feel known to Jesus by uniting us to His Body.
Father Bonaventure then talked about Catholicism being a universal language. Even if you don’t know the language, you can still go to Mass anywhere and receive the same Lord. It’s the only thing you will be uniting yourself to anywhere worldwide. To answer the question, Father Joseph-Anthony said that the Liturgy has been a big part of his life since high school. There are a lot of different approaches to Mass, and one of the secular approaches is a rise in the practice of magic, which has always been a critique of the Mass. Father Anthony specified to not call the mass a ‘Hocus Pocus or Hokey Pokey mock Mass’. He added that the sacraments are a celebration of the Christian mysteries. The sacraments tell you the result; we receive a revelation when we receive Jesus Christ. The priest is not a manipulator, and the Mass is not entertainment- it’s worship.
Father Joseph-Anthony emphasized that the Eucharist is the Body of Christ. Christ, who sacrificed his life on the cross to be with us in heaven. He places himself on the tongue to be physically with you and nourish you.
Senior politics and Spanish major Anthony Arreaga-Cacao commented on the podcast recording.
“I’ve listened to Godsplaining before and I’ve always enjoyed just in general how short and concise and to the point they are,” Arreaga-Cacao said. “I also really liked just their banter amongst themselves. I always thought it was very funny just to hear them joke amongst themselves. This one in particular I enjoyed their unique perspective on the Eucharist and just how like you can see how they have so much love and passion for God in the Eucharist. And it was really just infectious, I feel like you could really feel it out through the room. Everyone was smiling and listening.”
Sophomore philosophy/pre-law major Gabriel Aliaga spoke about his thoughts as well on Thursday’s episode.
“I enjoyed it!” Aliaga said. “A lot of good information on how to love the Lord, especially in the Eucharist. That was the main talk about how the Eucharist transforms us. It was very fruitful, and the questions were very good. I can tell that people were really listening and wanted to learn more.