Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday Sermon, December 31 -- Mary's Virginity after Birth and Forever (Sermons on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, Part 3 of 3 -- Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

After giving birth to Jesus, Mary remains a virgin forever.  The "brothers and sisters" of Jesus are really his cousins, born to Cleophas and another Mary. Other passages which speak of "before" and "until" Mary and Joseph came together as husband and wife do not truly indicate that their marriage was a normal marriage, but actually teach us that the marriage was virginal.

Christmas Sermon, 2017 -- Mary's Virginity During Birth (Sermons on Mary's Perpetual Virginity, Part 2 of 3 -- Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

The Birth of Jesus was miraculous, as light passing through glass. Mary's body suffered no pain, rupture, or violence - she endured no labor as she gave birth to Jesus in a most pure and wonderful way.

Sunday Sermon, December 24 -- The Virginity of Mary Before Birth (Sermons on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, Part 1 of 3 -- Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

"How can this be, since I do not know man?" This question of our Lady proves that she was truly a virgin before the conception of Christ - namely, she had made a vow of virginity, giving not only her soul, but even her body entirely to God.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday Sermon, December 17 -- Ember Days, The Changing of the Seasons (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Ember Days are of apostolic origin, having been part of the life of the Roman Catholic Church from the time of the Apostles down to the early 1960s. Every Roman Catholic, for nearly 2,000 years, would have been familiar with the Ember Days devotions.  However, in just the past 50 years, we have almost completely lost the very notion of "Ember Days" - indeed, scarcely anyone even knows what "Ember Days" are. Nevertheless, the official Vatican documents since the Second Vatican Council instruct the local bishops the ensure that the Ember Days are marked by the faithful by appropriate acts of devotion.

In this sermon, we consider the meaning of the Ember Days and some ideas on devotions and penances fitting for the Ember Days.

The Ember Days are the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of:
1) The 3rd Week of Advent (Winter)
2) The 1st Week of Lent (Spring)
3) The week after Pentecost (Summer)
4) The third week of September (Fall)

Learn more about the Ember Days in general [here], and about the Advent Ember Days [here]!

Sunday Sermon, December 10th -- Our Lady of Guadalupe in Historical Context (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

The history of the apparitions of our Lady to St Juan Diego in 1531: December 9th, twice on December 10th, December 12th, and also to Juan Bernadino.

This historical context of the apparitions: The Mexican peoples (Aztecs and others) had a society which was based upon human sacrifice. One in five of their own children were offered in sacrifice to the gods, many of their own people were sacrificed each year, and also many wars were waged simply to gain prisoners for human sacrifice.

When St Juan Diego was 13 years old (1487), there was a four day period in which some 84,000 human beings were sacrificed to the gods. "The gods of the pagans are demons."

What a wondrous miracle! St Juan Diego's life witnessed Mexico move from society of mass human sacrifice to a people almost entirely converted to the Christian Faith!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Sunday Sermon, December 3 -- Daily Mass, More than the Bare Minimum (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

If we only do the very bare minimum of what is required to be a Catholic, we shouldn't be surprised if we don't find ourselves making progress in the spiritual life. If all we do is the very least required to keep ourselves out of hell, then no wonder that we do not become great saints.

A few examples of the bare minimum:
1) Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation
2) Confession once a year
3) Abstaining from meat on every Friday of the year  (or doing another penance on Fridays outside of Lent)

Here are a few ideas of how to do more for Advent, so as to make real progress in holiness:
1) Assist at daily Mass at least once or twice a week
2) Go to confession at least once a month
3) Abstain from meat (or some other penance) on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, at least during Advent

November 29, Adult Ed Course on the Angels, Session 7: The Angels in the Lives of the Saints (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Final session of our course on the angels: The Angels in the Lives of the Saints

Course objectives:
1) To understand the theology of how angels can work in material space and time.
2) To consider in general how the angels have acted in the life of the Church throughout history.
3) To consider specific cases of angelic intervention, especially the exceptional stories.