Sunday, April 23, 2017

Easter Sunday Sermon, April 16 -- The Paschal Candle and Easter Meditation (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

The meaning of the Paschal Candle: The candle represents Jesus, first in his passion (the Cross is marked on the candle), and in his burial (the five grains of incense recall the perfumed oil used to anoint his five wounds). The unlit candle represents Christ Crucified, who by his death is Lord of all time (hence the numbers of the year, and the "alpha" and "omega"). When the candle is lit, this represents Jesus' resurrection! His light illumines our hearts by the ministry of his priests, and we all then give light to the whole world.

Easter is longer than Lent, and is a season of many graces! We can be open to these by practicing daily mental prayer, meditation on the mysteries of salvation -- hopefully, for at least 10 minutes a day.

Holy Thursday and Good Friday Sermons (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Jesus' presence and consoling Jesus on the Cross.

Palm Sunday Sermon, April 9 -- The Act of Contrition (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Making a perfect act of contrition, in consideration of the love of Jesus for me made manifest on the Cross.

Daily Sermons, April 4-22 (Corpus Christi Parish, Father Ryan Erlenbush)

Sermons from daily Masses for the final weeks of Lent and Easter week.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday Sermon, April 2 -- The Raising of Lazarus and Confession (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

[pre-sermon note on why we veil the cross and other images during the final two weeks of Lent (passiontide)]

Lent is a time of preparation for the renewal of our baptism at Easter. We renew our baptism by confession, especially in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday. Consider this week's Gospel in relation to the sacrament of Confession.

"Master, the one whom you love is ill." When we prepare for confession, we recognize that Jesus loves us so much! and that we truly are ill and in need of healing.

"And Jesus wept." When we confess we must be truly sorry for our sins.

"Show me where you laid him." We then confess our serious sins according to name and number, and our venial sins we confess as is most helpful to us.

"Untie the burial bands." Even after being forgiven, the stench of sin is around us. However, penance helps to free us from the bonds of sin!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Daily Sermons, March 30 - April 1 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Daily Sermons.

Scripture, Stations, Passiontide.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Sermon, March 26 -- St Joseph and Joseph the Patriarch (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

We consider the many ways in which Joseph the Patriarch of the Old Testament foreshadows St Joseph of the New Testament.

They share the same name, and have fathers of the same name. St Joseph is also loved by God and given many graces, especially being forgiven original sin while in the womb and preserved from every actual sin (this is foreshadowed in the cloak given Joseph in the Old Testament). The Patriarch was pure in his relations with Potiphar's wife, and St Joseph was most pure in maintaining perpetual virginity. The Patriarch was made "master of [Pharaoh's] household, and ruler of all his possessions," even as St Joseph was head of the Holy Family. The Patriarch provided grain for the world, St Joseph stored up the true Bread of Life.

Finally, the Patriarch was at first not recognized by his brothers in their need, so also it is only in these last days that the Church has come to call upon St Joseph and recognize him in her public devotions as the Universal Patron!

Listen online [here]!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Daily Sermons, March 22-25 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Sermons from Daily Masses, March 21-25.
Human Customs, Lent, Love, Annunciation.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sunday Sermon, March 19 -- Why We Don't Follow the Old Law, and Seder Meals (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Christians no longer observe the ceremonial precepts of the Old Law -- we are permitted to eat all types of food, we do not observe ritual purity or washings, we don't even keep Saturday as our Holy Day. While the moral precepts (e.g. "honor thy father and thy mother", "thou shalt not kill", etc) remain, the ceremonies and all the external forms of Old Testament worship pass away.

Outward worship expresses interior faith. Abraham and Moses believed, "the Messiah WILL come", but we believe, "the Messiah HAS come". Thus, the rituals of the Old Law point to the Messiah who had not yet come, but the ceremonies of the New Law point to Jesus who has come and who will come again. Because the Messiah is come, it was necessary that the ceremonies of the Old pass away as they are fulfilled by the New.

Thus, it would be a form of false worship for a Catholic to participate in the ceremonies of the Old Law -- because this would imply that the Messiah has not yet come, and that Jesus is not the Messiah.

From this, it clearly follows that the Catholic cannot participate in the Jewish Seder meal at Passover time. Further, it is also inappropriate for Catholics to perform a "Christian version" of the Seder meal (the US Bishops explicitly forbade this in "God's Mercy Endures Forever" in 1988). 

It is also good to realize that the Last Supper was not a Seder meal, as the Seder didn't even exist at the time of Jesus. What was the Last Supper then? It was the Mass!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Daily Sermons, March 14-18 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Homilies from daily Masses, March 14 to 18.
The Law, Zebedee's Sons, The Rich Man, St Patrick, Total Consecration.

Tuesday, March 14 -- Jesus helps us fulfill the Law
Listen online [here]!

Wednesday, March 15 -- The Family of Zebedee's Sons
Listen online [here]!

Thursday, March 16 -- Lazarus and the Rich Man
Listen online [here]!

Friday, March 17 -- St Patrick, Exorcist
Listen online [here]!

Saturday, March 18 -- Jaboc, Esau, and the Total Consecration
Listen online [here]!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sunday Sermon, March 12 -- The Christian must suffer to come to Easter glory (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Christ was transfigured before Peter, James, and John to strengthen them with the hope of the Resurrection so that they would not despair at the Passion. The Transfiguration is a lesson to teach the Apostles that "the Christ must suffer and so enter into his glory."

Likewise, the Church gives us this Gospel on the Second Sunday of Lent to strengthen us with the hope of Easter so that we might persevere in accomplishing our Lenten discipline. We also learn that each Christian must suffer (through voluntary penance) in order to enter into the glory of the Risen Lord.

Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus - It is striking to note that these are the only other two men in Sacred Scripture who fasted for forty days. If we want to have a joy-filled and holy Easter, it is necessary that we enter into these forty days of penance and fasting with the Lord.

Daily Sermons, March 8 to 11 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Daily Sermons from March 8 to 11.
Moses and Elijah, St Frances of Rome, the 40 martyrs, Total Consecration.

Sunday Sermon, March 5 -- The Three Ages of the Interior Life and Mortification (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

[pre-sermon note on almsgiving during Lent: Remember that the poor live a much harder Lent than we do, and they live it all year long. Our Lent should provide some savings which is given to the poor. When you are really craving whatever you sacrificed this Lent, consider making a small donation for alms as a way of connecting fasting and almsgiving]

There are three ages of the spiritual life: The beginners, the proficients, and the perfect; or the purgative way, the illuminative way, and the unitive way.

The beginners are attached to sin and to the world, and though they have truly begun to follow God and do desire to be holy, they still have a worldly outlook and worldly goals.
The proficients have broken their attachment to the world and strive to avoid sin. Their focus is on God and his glory, and they seek heaven; but they approach the spiritual life from an human perspective and with human judgments (looking for human success in the spiritual life). They have entered into the life of infused contemplation in prayer.
The perfect have broken all attachment to the world and to sin. They live in constant union with God and have a totally supernatural world-view. These are the great saints. They still commit some venial sins, but they are very humble and follow God unreservedly.

One of the main reasons why people remain as beginners their whole life is a failure to practice bodily mortification. It is true that interior penance is more important than physical or bodily mortification (like fasting), but if we can't practice external penance we will never be able to practice interior penance. If I can't give up meat, I'll never be able to give up pride!

Lenten penance and bodily mortification (especially fasting and abstinence) is a great means of attaining spiritual growth!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Funeral Homily for Father Raymond Nyquist (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

Sermon from the Funeral Mass for Father Raymond Nyquist.

Father Nyquist had three loves: The Eucharist, the poor, and the family.

Sunday Sermon, February 26 -- Judging Actions, Avoiding Scandal (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

[pre-sermon note on fasting and abstinence during Lent. The Church only requires that those from 18 to 60 years old fast (one regular meal and two small snacks) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and those from 14 years and older abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, the Fridays of Lent, and every Friday throughout the year (excepting Solemnities). The US Bishops received permission so that another penance can substitute for abstaining from meat on Fridays outside of Lent. Father Ryan recommends that we do more than this, considering possibly abstaining from meat on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and even abstaining from eggs and dairy in addition if that is possible.]

"Therefore, do not make any judgments before the appointed time, until the Lord comes." (1 Cor 4:5)

Many today say, "Who am I to judge?", but what St Paul is really saying is that we should respond to people caring only how Jesus will judge us and not worrying about whether people will love us or hate us. In this very Letter to the Corinthians, St Paul excommunicates a man for public adultery! And the Church follows this by refusing to admit to Holy Communion all those who publicly and obstinately persist in manifest grave sin (example, pro-abort politicians or those Catholics married outside the Church).

But the Church isn't judging a person when we don't give communion to those living in public grave sin. The Church is only judging the objective situation, and protecting us all from being scandalized. For this same reason, we should not attend invalid marriages, for example.

Sunday Sermon, February 19 -- Loving those who attack the faith (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

[pre-homily note on attending daily Mass during Lent. Please note: I mistakenly said that only Lent has proper Masses for each of the weekdays, that is no longer the case as there are now proper Masses for the weekdays of Advent as well. Traditionally (prior to Vatican II), Lent was unique in this respect. Even still, the weekdays of Lent are of an higher rank than the Advent weekdays and "trump" most saints' feast days -- thus, the essential point remains the same, namely, that the daily Masses of Lent have a unique character and importance in the Liturgical Year.]

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

It is truly divine to be able to love our enemies -- Jesus proves his divinity by his love for his enemies.

To love means to sacrifice. If we love our enemies, then we will be sacrificing for them -- prayer and fasting.

Daily Sermons from February 21 to March 4 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

Daily Sermons from February 21 to March 4.

These are a few weeks of daily Mass sermons all posted together.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Daily Sermons, Februry 14-17 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Daily Sermons, February 14-17.
St Valentine, Lent, the Flood, the Servites.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sunday Sermon, February 12 -- Invalid Marriages and Holy Communion (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Despite the confusion in the world (and even among members of the Church hierarchy), marriage is indissoluble and those who are divorced and remarried (without an annulment) are guilty of living in public adultery. These are the words of our merciful Lord Jesus: "Whoever divorces his wife - unless the marriage is unlawful - causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matthew 5:32)

It was the pharisees who believed in divorce and remarriage, it was Jesus who condemned it as adultery. There are some in the Church (even some cardinals who should know better) who are modern day pharisees in this regard.

The Church has always taught and continues to teach that we must accompany all people, including the divorced and remarried. But this "accompaniment" cannot include giving communion to those living in public adultery. The priest (or even a lay person) is mandated by Canon Law to refuse communion to those who are married outside the Church.

What is required for those married outside the Church to receive communion? Simple answer, they must separate.
Those who have a wholly unusual and grave reason why they cannot separate (perhaps related to having young children at home, for example) may continue to live together as "brother and sister" with separate bed rooms etc. However, although this would allow them to receive absolution in the confessional, they still would not be permitted to receive communion publicly - as this would cause scandal.

Pope Francis has not changed this at all. Amoris Laetia has changed nothing at all regarding Canon Law in general, or Canon 915 in particular -- those who claim otherwise are the "blind leading the blind" straight into the pit.


From the Code of Canon Law, Can 915: "Can.  915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion."

From Familiaris Consortio, 84 (Pope St John Paul II): "The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried.  […] Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they 'take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.'"

From Sacramentum Caritatis, 29 (Pope Benedict XVI): "Finally, where the nullity of the marriage bond is not declared and objective circumstances make it impossible to cease cohabitation, the Church encourages these members of the faithful to commit themselves to living their relationship in fidelity to the demands of God's law, as friends, as brother and sister; in this way they will be able to return to the table of the Eucharist, taking care to observe the Church's established and approved practice in this regard. This path, if it is to be possible and fruitful, must be supported by pastors and by adequate ecclesial initiatives, nor can it ever involve the blessing of these relations, lest confusion arise among the faithful concerning the value of marriage."

Daily Sermons, February 7 - 11 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Sermons from daily Masses, February 7 to 11.
Blessed Pius IX, St John of Matha, St Apollonia, St Scholastica, Lourdes.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday Sermon, February 5 -- Sermons on the Mass, part 2 of 2 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

Sunday Sermon, February 5 -- Sermons on the Mass, part 2 of 2.

The "Liturgy of the Eucharist" or "Mass of the Faithful".
Also, consideration of music at Mass and why the Church insists that the people should know the ordinary of the Mass in Latin (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Angus Dei, as well as the Creed).
Finally, on receiving Communion well, and recognizing Jesus as our true companion and intimate friend.

Daily Sermons, January 31 to February 4

Sermons from daily Masses, January 31 to February 4.
St John Bosco, St Ignatius, Presentation, St Blase, First Saturdays.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sunday Sermon, January 29 -- Sermons on the Mass, part 1 of 2; the Liturgy of the Word (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

Sermons on the Mass, Part 1 of 2: The Liturgy of the Word.

The excellence of the Mass -- the solution to all the world's problems and the need for reverence at Mass.

Music at Mass -- why an entrance hymn is the tyranny of a music leader over the congregation. Why the "introit" or "entrance chant" sung to gregorian tones is the first option and most preferable.

The entrance procession and "ad orientem" worship.
The Liturgy of the Word as worship -- the readings aren't Bible study.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Daily Sermons, January 24-28 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Daily sermons, January 24-28.
St Francis de Sales, St Paul, Sts Timothy and Titus, St Angela Merici, St Thomas Aquinas.

Sunday Sermon, January 22 -- Division in the Church and Our Response (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

"I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you." (1 Corinthians 1:10)

We live in a divided world, a divided nation, and a divided Church. Cardinal against cardinal, bishop against bishop, priest against priest, and the laity are terribly confused.
Two types of division: 1) When individuals are opposed or teaching opposing doctrines. 2) When an individual or a group is opposed to Jesus or teaching a doctrine contrary to the Gospel of Jesus.

We know, not just in theory but in reality even here in our own Diocese, that there is awful division. And, further, that even many priests have created a false unity by joining together to reject the teaching of the Church and of Jesus himself. Consider how many priests spoke in favor of contraception, or refused to speak against it; and many other issues.

But, we cannot say "My parish is the only CATHOLIC parish in the (city/diocese/world) or my priest is the only CATHOLIC priest in the (city/diocese/world)." It is true that many priests teach falsehood and gravely mislead people, but that doesn't mean they are not Catholic, although they may be terribly wrong.

What should we do? 1) Know your faith! Learn your Catechism!
And 2) Do penance! Prayer: Rosary, scapular, first Saturdays; fasting: abstaining on Fridays, other mortification; Almsgiving: caring for the homeless, visiting the sick.

2017 is a year of many graces -- the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Daily Sermons, December 27 to January 21

Sermons from daily Masses, December 27 to January 21. Throughout much of this time, Father Ryan was away from the parish (on retreat and on diocesan meetings).
St John, the Holy Innocents, the Holy Family, the Holy Name, Epiphany, St Sebastian, St Agnes.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday Sermon, January 9 -- This will be no ordinary year. 2017 and the end times (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Transferred feast of Epiphany, January 9.

The wise men saw the star and recognized the sign of the coming of the Lord, even though most men were unaware of the most significant moment in history. On Epiphany, the Church looks ahead to the coming year and proclaims the dates of all the movable feasts (Ash Wednesday, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, etc).  We look forward to consider what God has in store for us this year - and we recognize that 2017 is no ordinary year.

1) 2017 is the 100th Anniversary of Fatima.
2) Before writing the St Michael Prayer exactly 33 years to the day (October 13, 1884) prior to the "miracle of the sun" in Fatima, Pope Leo XIII heard our Lord say that Satan would be given 100 years to persecute the Church and wreak havoc on the world. And the Vatican has said that the past 100 years of violence and persecution fulfill the suffering predicted at Fatima.
3) 2017 is the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Revolt - an horrific event which is being celebrated even by many Catholic bishops.
4) We have completed the Year of Mercy. Jesus revealed to St Faustina that, after the day of mercy would come the day of judgment.
5) There is unprecedented division in the Church. Priest against priest. Bishop against bishop. And cardinal against cardinal.
6) Unprecedented liturgical abuse. Would the saints even recognize the Mass as it is celebrated in most churches throughout the world today?
7) Sr Lucia (one of the Fatima Visionaries) wrote to then Monsignor (now Cardinal) Caffarra that the last great battle would be on issues related to marriage and the family. Cardinal Caffarra was a trusted adviser to St John Paul the Great, and to Pope Benedict XVI. But, under the current pontificate, Caffarra is persecuted and rejected -- and the Catholic approach to divorce and remarriage as well as a whole host of other issues related to marriage and the family is being thrown by the wayside for radical liberalism.

What do we do?
1) Practice regular confession
2) Pray the Rosary every day
3) Wear the brown scapular
4) Practice the First Saturday Devotions

2017 will be no ordinary year. This is a moment of grace, if only we would be open to receiving it.

New Year's Sermon -- Mary Mother of God -- Mary is the most divine creature in her virginal motherhood (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

January 1st - Mary Mother of God

God became man so that man might become like God. This is the mystery of Christmas, the mystery of grace. And in no creature after our Lord's sacred humanity do we see the divinity more clearly reflected than in the Virgin Mary.

Mary, as a virgin mother, is the most divine of all creatures. Her giving birth to Jesus without any pain or suffering or rupture or violence is a manifestation of the manner in which God the Father begot the Son from all eternity. Only two persons may be said to have begotten God -- The Father, and Mary.

Jesus is God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God; and on Christmas, he is God from Mary, truly proceeding from her as light through glass in a miraculous birth.