Saturday, June 6, 2020

Adult Ed, June 4th -- Catholic Commentary on the Apocalypse, Session 1, Introduction: St John and the History of the Writing of Revelation (Part 1 of 9)

In this series, through June and July, we are discussing the Book of Revelation.

Outline of Session 1:  Introduction, St John and the history of the writing of Revelation, Revelation as New Testament “prophecy”, why called Revelation or Apocalypse, Revelation as part of the Bible, and debates in the early Church about the book of Revelation.


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Pentecost Sunday Sermon, May 31st -- Desiring God's Will with the Holy Spirit's Aid (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Pentecost is often seen as a healing of the Old Testament event of the confusing of languages at the Tower of Babel, and this is certainly correct.

Another aspect to Pentecost is to recognize that, according to a Jewish Tradition (which seems to be from about the time of Jesus, or perhaps just after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 - but still was influential on the early Christians and Fathers of the Church), the Jewish feast of Pentecost was not merely an agricultural feast but also a commemoration of the giving of the Law (the 10 Commandments) to Moses on Mount Sinai.

In this respect, we see a parallel insofar as the Holy Spirit rights the commandments of God upon our hearts. If we love God, we will fulfill his commandments - and the Law will not be something seen as restrictions placed on us from without, but as fulfilling our true desires.  The key to salvation, and the key to happiness in this life as well is to desire what God desires, to love what he loves - to say always, "Lord, thy will be done."   The Holy Spirit moves our hearts to be united with God's will.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Sunday Sermon, May 24th -- The Theological and Historical Foundations of the Rosary (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

After the Lord's Ascension, St Luke (who wrote Acts of the Apostles) tells us that the Apostles gathered around the Blessed Virgin Mary in prayer as they awaited the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  This image, the Church gathered around Mary, meditating upon the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, is the theological and historical foundation for the Holy Rosary.

The Rosary itself was revealed by Our Lady to St Dominic in the early 1200s, but it is based on much older traditions.  In the early Church, Christians would recite all 150 psalms every day - and this eventually developed into reciting 150 Our Fathers or Hail Mary's daily.  This is where the 15 decades (150 Hail Mary prayers) comes from, and why many of the saints recommend attempting to recite not just 5 decades of the Rosary, but even 15 decades daily.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Sunday Sermon, May 17th -- On Confirmation (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

St Luke tells us in Acts 8 that Philip had baptized the converts of Samaria but that they had not received the Holy Spirit until Peter and John came and prayed over them.  What can this mean?

This was Philip the Deacon (not the Apostle), and the converts did receive the Holy Spirit and his Seven Gifts in Baptism, but they did not receive the full outpouring or perfection of the Gifts until the sacrament of Confirmation was given them by Peter and John.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is to Baptism what growth and maturing are to birth - Confirmation completes Baptism and brings to perfection the graces of Baptism.  Confirmation is not absolutely necessary for salvation, but it is very difficult to make it to heaven without these graces.

Confirmation gives the Christian the sacramental strength to preach the Gospel and to endure persecution for the truth -- in this way, the Christian is united to the work of the Bishop, whose primary duties are to preach the Faith and to be willing to suffer martyrdom for the Gospel.


Monday, May 11, 2020

Sunday Sermon, May 10th -- The Priesthood of the Baptized and of the Ordained (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

"Let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

By virtue of baptism, all the faithful are true priests in Jesus Christ. The baptized Christian offers the spiritual sacrifice of his life - most especially in the Mass, but also throughout his whole life in obedience to the commandments.

The ministerial priesthood of the ordained is different not merely in degree but in kind - it is not a matter of more or less, but the ordained ministry is at the service of the baptismal priesthood.  This is why there is no inequality or unfairness in that Jesus restricted ordination to the priesthood to men.

The three degrees of Holy Orders are bishop, priest and deacon - the deacon assists in the Mass, the priest celebrates the Mass, but the bishop has the power to ordain men as priests to give them the power to celebrate the Mass.


Sunday Sermon, May 3rd -- Meditation in Prayer, and Hearing the Good Shepherd (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

We hear the voice of the Good Shepherd in the official teachings of the Church and in the Revelation God has given through Scripture and Tradition.  Further, we recognize the voice of Christ through regular mental prayer and meditation.

Outline of an holy hour, or period of mental prayer:
1) Recognize the presence of God - looking down on you from heaven, present throughout the world but most especially in your soul. Choose the mystery upon which you will meditate - most especially focusing on the life of Christ.
2) Make your meditation, staying focused on the love that God has revealed through this mystery. Offer acts of love in return.
3) Make a simple resolution for how to grow in holiness today and tomorrow, and thank God for the graces given in this meditation.


Sunday Sermon, April 26 -- Jesus is with us even in our sorrows (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

Pre sermon note on the great grace it is to be living in Montana and in our Diocese where confessions and prayer in the churches continued throughout the time of the lock-down and where public Masses are resuming.  Let us keep the Bishop and all bishops in our prayers.


Jesus appears to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, comforting them in their sorrow. We realize that Jesus always remains with us - no matter how difficult circumstances may be, he always joins us on the way.