Sunday, July 24, 2016

A look at the USCCB response to Cardinal Sarah on ad orientem

“[Ad orientem worship] is permitted by current liturgical legislation. It is perfectly legitimate in the modern rite. […] And so, dear Fathers, I humbly and fraternally ask you to implement this practice wherever possible.”  (Cardinal Sarah - July 5, 2016)

There has been no little confusion caused by responses of various representatives of the Church to the London talk of Cardinal Sarah in which he encourages all priests to implement ad orientem worship as soon as possible, at least by this Advent. We will take a moment to consider two of the responses, one from Fr. Lombardi (Vatican press office) and another from the USCCB Committee on the Liturgy.

Many bishops of the Church are causing great harm and furthering misunderstandings by very uneducated reactions to Cardinal Sarah.

Sunday Sermon, July 24 -- Mental Prayer and the prayer of petition (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

St Alphonsus teaches that the prayer of petition is simply and absolutely necessary for salvation for those who have the use of reason -- if we want to go to heaven, we must ask; and if we don't ask, we certainly will not be saved.
This follows from our Lord's words: Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.

But, in order that we may persevere in asking, it is also necessary that we daily engage in mental prayer or meditation in which we spend time considering the love of God that has been made manifest in Christ.

This is one of the keys to prayer, and especially to dealing with the struggle of distractions: We don't begin our prayer with all our petitions or all our cares, but rather we begin by meditating upon the mysteries of our faith (for example, the mysteries of the Rosary or the stations of the Cross) and upon the love God has shown us in these mysteries. Then we have the courage to ask God for every good gift, and our own love grows and inspires us to truly seek heaven above all things.

Daily Sermons, July 19-23 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Daily Sermons, week of July 19-23.

Ad Orientem, St Jerome Emiliani, St Lawrence of Brindisi, St Mary Magdalene, and the Readings.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Call for the Silent Canon: Praying the Eucharistic Prayer in a quiet voice

While the recent trumpet sound from Cardinal Sarah has inspired many priests to move towards ad orientem worship, perhaps now would also be a fitting time to discuss another of the liturgical points which had been made so well by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI – namely, the silent Canon in which the priest prays the Eucharistic Prayer in a quiet voice which is not heard by the people.

"In 1978, to the annoyance of many liturgists, I said that in no sense does the whole Canon always have to be said out loud. [...] The Eucharistic Prayer, the high point of the Mass, is in crisis. Since the reform of the liturgy, an attempt has been made to meet the crisis by incessantly inventing new Eucharistic Prayers, and in the process we have sunk farther and farther into banality. Multiplying words is no help – that is all too evident. [...] silence, too, silence especially, might constitute communion before God."  (Spirit of the Liturgy, part 4, chapter 2)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Sermon, July 17 -- St Mary Magdalene's Life of Penance in Southern France (Corpus Christi Parish, Father Ryan Erlenbush)

Sunday Sermon, July 17 -- 16th Week of Ordinary Time
"She has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken from her."

The relics of St Ann were miraculously discovered in Southern France in the late 700s, but how did they get there? St Mary Magdalene, with Sts Martha and Lazarus (and a number of other early Christians) were sent to their death upon an oar-less, sail-less, rudder-less boat, but were miraculously brought safely to Marseilles.

St Mary Magdalene's preaching converted the pagans of the region, then she spent her remain 30 years in a life of penance up in the mountains. She is the witness to Divine Mercy: Receiving mercy, we share mercy; true mercy leads to a life of penance; and divine mercy makes us recognize the value of receiving communion worthily and well.

Daily Sermons, July 12-16 (Corpus Christi Parish, Father Ryan Erlenbush)

Daily Sermons from Corpus Christi Parish, July 12-16.
Sts Louis and Zelie, St Henry, St Kateri, St Bonaventure, the Brown Scapular.

Friday, July 15, 2016

St. Mary Magdalene is the sister of Sts. Martha and Lazarus

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

A certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary.  (Luke 10:38-39)

Although doubted by most modern biblical “scholars” and somewhat obscured by the Novus Ordo Liturgy, there is no reason to doubt that St. Mary Magdalene is St. Mary of Bethany, the sister of Sts. Martha and Lazarus. Furthermore, she is the penitent woman described in Luke 7 who wept at the Lord’s feet and drying then with her hair anointed them with the rich perfume.

The key to recognizing the identity of St. Mary Magdalene as St. Mary of Bethany is to see that the Magdalene is the penitent woman. Knowing her to be the repentant sinner who anointed the Lord, we quickly recognize her as the sister of Sts. Martha and Lazarus.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How to celebrate Mass "ad orientem"

Following Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Cardinal Sarah has repeatedly called for a return to ad orientem worship - in which the priest and the people face together in the same direction toward the front of the church for those parts of the Mass which are addressed directly to God. Most recently, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Divine Liturgy has asked priests to implement ad orientem worship as soon as possible, hopefully at least by the First Sunday of Advent - for this is an act of true renewal and “is something good for the Church and the people of God.”

Many priests will be asking, how exactly does ad orientem work? When would I turn to face the people and when would I face forward “with the people” towards God?

We will give the basic indications, drawn from the GIRM (which is the official book telling the priest how to celebrate Mass) and from the comments of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as well as those of Cardinal Sarah. I will also add certain practical points learned since I transitioned my own parish to ad orientem two years ago.

Daily Sermons, July 5-9 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Daily Sermons at Corpus Christi, July 5 - 9.

St Elizabeth of Portugal, St Maria Goretti, Communion under Both Kinds, Precious Blood, and Liturgy of the Word.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Christ is the Good Samaritan, The mystical interpretation of Sunday's Gospel

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Luke 10:25-37

A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.

The moral of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (which is true history insofar as it relates events common to that time and place) is readily apparent to all – we are not meant to search out reasons why we shouldn’t help someone in need, but rather we out to look for every excuse to reach out and give succor to the desperate.

The Fathers of the Church, together with the great Catholic theologians, go further and read this passage in the mystical sense – recognizing the fall of man, his redemption in Christ, the establishment of the Church, and the prediction of the Second Coming. We rely especially on the Catena Aurea of St Thomas Aquinas and the Great Commentary of Fr. Cornelius a Lapide.

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Subtle Heresy Common to the Distribution of the Precious Blood

We’ve all seen it happen at many a Novus Ordo Parish – After the lay person designated to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion as a so-called “minister of the cup” has finish his “job”, he then takes his purificator and stuffs it totally inside the chalice thereby soaking the puirficator with the Precious Blood that had remained along the sides and base of the cup of the chalice. Many conservative Catholics will be horrified at this, since it is objectively disrespectful to treat the Holy Eucharist in such a manner. However, is soaking a purificator in the Blood of our Savior really so different from wiping the rim of the chalice after a communicant as consumed a sip of the Precious Blood? There is a subtle heresy at work in all of this.

Christ is whole and entire in each part of the Eucharistic Species

We know and believe that our Lord is present whole and entire in each of the Eucharistic species and in each part of each species. This is to say that the whole Jesus is fully and entirely present in the Host and the whole Jesus is fully and entirely present in the Chalice – furthermore, he is fully present in each piece of the Host after it is broken, and he is fully present in each drop of the Blood.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sunday Sermon, June 3 -- St Junipero Serra, Missionary Discipleship (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Sunday Sermon, June 3.

In the sending of the 72, we recognize that to be baptized is to be a missionary. Every disciple of Christ is a missionary, sent to the world to proclaim the good news of the Gospel!

We consider the life of St Junipero Serra, one of the most important founding fathers of our Nation (USA). Although he is almost completely ignored in school history books, St Junipero Serra is the Father of California and the founder of the American West!

Pope Francis opened the Year of Mercy in the United States with the canonization of St Junipero Serra. We learn three things from the saintly Franciscan missionary: Dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary, reliance on God's grace rather than human power, and boldness when defying corrupt secular authorities.

Daily Sermons, June 28 - July 2 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Daily Sermons, June 28 through July 2.
Sts Peter and Paul, Roman Martyrs, Precious Blood, Mary's will.