Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sunday Sermon, July 15 -- Anointing of the Sick (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

A sermon about the nature of the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction): Who can give it, who can receive it, what the sacrament is for.

This sacrament is the completion of confession to take away the wounds of sin, and therefore can only be given by a priest or bishop.  Further the sacrament is only for those who are serious ill and have begun to be in a real danger of death - yet, we should not wait till the last moments of life before calling the priest.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Sunday Sermon, July 8 -- The Life and Ministry of St Paul (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

St Paul's personality and spirit come to life in his Second Letter to the Corinthians. We will consider the life and ministry of the "Apostle to the Gentiles" as well as the meaning of the "thorn in the flesh" and how St Paul inspires us today.

Born in Tarsus, Saul or Paul (he had both Hebrew and Roman names) was educated in the Law and was among the Pharisees. After persecuting the Christian Church, he was converted when our Lord appeared to him on his way to Damascus. St Paul engaged in three great missionary journeys prior to his first arrest and imprisonment. Having been released, he continued in his preaching and ministry until his second arrest which ended with his martyrdom on 29 June AD 67.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Sunday Sermon, July 1 -- The Raising of Jairus' Daughter (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Sunday Sermon)

A preliminary note about the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and how the Sunday Gospel teaches us that Our Lord approves of the use of sacramentals, and that he himself wore a scapular.

Our Lord chose Peter and James and John to witness the resurrection of Jairus' daughter. Peter represents the magisterial authority of the Church and also the sacramental life. James represents the missionary spirit of the Church and the witness of the martyrs. John represents virginal purity and contemplation.

"He said that she should be given something to eat."  Jesus' teaches us about the reception of holy communion - that we must be raised to spiritual life (through baptism and through confession) so as to benefit from the reception of the Eucharist as our spiritual food.

Sunday Sermon, June 24 -- In Defense of Marriage (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist

St John the Baptist is a martyr for marriage - Jesus' public ministry begins in the context of the defense of marriage. Sr Lucia of Fatima tells us that Our Lady revealed that the last battle would be over marriage and the family.

Marriage can only refer to that particular union which is of itself ordered toward children and family. This is why same-sex unions can never be "marriage". As Catholics, we can admit that there may be great commitment, sacrifice, and even love between a same-sex "couple", but that friendship will never be a marriage.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Sunday Sermon, June 17 -- St Barnabas and the Early Church (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Born in Cyprus, a Jew of the tribe of Levi, Joseph, having converted to Christianity shortly after Pentecost, sold all that he had and donated his vast riches to the Apostles. On this account, and because of his skill in preaching, the Apostles named him "Barnabas" (meaning, "son of consolation" or "son of exhortation") and ranked him among there number.

St Barnabas is one of the most important saints in the history of the Church: He brought St Paul into the Christian community, he was the first "Apostle to the Gentiles", he shows us the power of mercy and was a man without any prejudices.  After serving as the first Bishop of Milan, he was martyred in Cyprus and laid to rest with a copy of the Gospel according to St Matthew which he had made with his own hand.



Sunday, June 17, 2018

Adult Formation, June 12 -- Q&A on Marriage (Series on Marriage, part 6 of 6 -- Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

A final session on the theology of marriage in Scripture and in the Church. Q&A format, with concluding reflection on the most controversial matter in the Church today - Why those in an irregular "marriage" (example, divorced and remarried) must be refused communion if they present themselves.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sunday Sermon, June 8 -- Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

We begin with a consideration of the "brothers and sisters" of  Jesus who are mentioned in this Sunday's Gospel. The word "brother" can mean "cousin" and is often used this way in both the Old and New Testaments. Furthermore, we know that names of some of these "brothers" (James, Joses, Jude, Simon), and we also know their parents' names -- Cleophas (or Alphaeus) and Mary (not the Blessed Virgin, but another woman named Mary who was a close friend of the Virgin Mary). Thus, it is clear, that these are not children of Mary the Mother of God, nor even children of St Joseph by some previous marriage.


We consider the sin of "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" as the unforgivable sin.  The Fathers of the Church debated a great deal about what this sin was, and St Augustine considers that it is the sin of despair leading to final impenitence, death in the state of mortal sin. This is certainly part of the answer.

St Thomas Aquinas goes further and specifies that "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" is when sin is committed out of malice, or hatred of God, rather than out of weakness or ignorance. Such sins are particularly damaging to the spiritual life as being contrary to love.

Finally, we propose that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (the Heart of Love) is a primary means whereby we might avoid falling into blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.