Friday, September 25, 2020

Adult Faith Formation, September 24th, Flannery O'Connor, Session 2 - Revelation, and Why Do the Heathen Rage?

In this course, we are reading and discussing some of Fr Ryan's favorite stories from Flannery O'Connor.

This week, we consider "Revelation" and "Why do the Heathen Rage?" -- we prepare also for next week's stories, "Temple of the Holy Ghost" and "The Enduring Chill"

Monday, September 21, 2020

Sunday Sermon, September 20th -- Choosing Heaven, With God's Mercy (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Sunday Sermon)

 We hear the parable of the vineyard workers - those that worked only one hour receive the same full day's wage as those who worked since dawn.  This parable, in the literal sense, speaks of the conversion of the gentiles who are incorporated into the covenant originally given to the Jewish people. The New Covenant given in Christ offers salvation even to all the nations.

This parable also gives us hope that it is never to late to become a saint. We realize that, by God's grace, every sin and vice can be overcome - we must prefer heaven to the vanities of the world!

Adult Faith Formation, September 17th, Flannery O'Connor, Session 1 -- Introduction and Biographical Notes (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

 In this series, which will go through October and possibly into November, we will read and discuss some of Father Ryan's favorite Flannery O'Connor short stories.  

Course objectives: To appreciate Flannery O’Connor as a Catholic and as a grotesque writer of the American South. To recognize her unique contribution to Catholic thought in the United States. Finally, to learn to enjoy the writings of this exquisite and strange young woman.

Sunday Sermon, September 13th -- Forgive, That You May Receive Every Virtue and Grace (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

 "Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight."  Sirach 27:30

Having preached in early July about the virtue of meekness by which we overcome anger, today we look at forgiveness and setting aside anger as a means of opening ourselves to every grace and virtue.

If you desire any particular virtue or grace, forgive those who have offended you and love your enemies, and God will show you great mercy and will forgive you your faults and grant you every grace needed to grow in holiness.

Sometimes, when there are deep wounds and hurts, forgiveness can be particularly difficult. Often, even when we want to forgive, we find that emotionally we are not yet able to let go of the pain we have suffered.  There is a meditation upon Christ Crucified which can help open our hearts to forgive.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Sunday Sermon, September 6th -- The Priests and Bishops Have Largely Failed to Be True Watchmen (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel." 

St Gregory the Great: "Note that a man whom the Lord sends forth as a preacher is called a watchman. A watchman always stands on a height so that he can see from afar what is coming. Anyone appointed to be a watchman for the people must stand on a height for all his life to help them by his foresight."

The priests and bishops (and the Pope himself) are called to warn the sinner to turn from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. Yet, in the fifty some years since Vatican II, so few priests and bishops have preached the hard truths and called out the most prevalent and deadly sins of society. So few sermons have mentioned issues like contraception, the importance of the Sunday obligation, confession before communion after serious sin, etc. 

And, after so many years of "anything goes," suddenly many of these same bishops and priests now demand absolute obedience and strict enforcement of rules related to COVID. It causes so much scandal to the faithful that the pastors who showed such little concern for the salvation of souls now are demanding so much for the health of the body.  By all means, we must be obedient to the bishops and governors related to public health - but we also recognize that things are very out of balance. 

We are called to pray for our priests and to pray for our bishops, and to pray for our Pope. Prayer and fasting is needed, and to be obedient while also working for true reform. Jesus Christ is our High Priest, he is our Good Shepherd and our Watchman who lives forever on high to intercede for us.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Sunday Sermon, August 30th -- St Bartholomew, A True Israelite Without Guile (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Sunday Sermon)

 "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me."

Monday (August 24th) was the feast of St Bartholomew, who followed the Lord to the point of enduring the most horrific death of all the Apostles - being flayed alive.

We discuss the history of St Bartholomew, who is actually Nathaniel from St John's Gospel. The Lord praised him as "A true Israelite, in whom there is not guile." Guile means a certain two-facedness. The be without guile is for his yes to mean yes and his no to mean no. St Bartholomew, once strengthened by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and having preached the Gospel as far as India, would be yes for Christ to the end, even enduring a most violent death.

Sunday Sermon, August 23rd - The Story of St Leo's Defense of Christ, True God and True Man (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

 From the years 449 to 451, there was great debate in the Church over who Christ really is - is he truly God and Man, or only Divine? Pope St Leo the Great defended the true doctrine that Jesus is God and Man, two natures in a single divine person. 

The Letter of Pope St Leo was received by the Church as the Catholic Bishops declared, "Peter has spoken through Leo!"

The miraculous history of the Council of Chalcedon and the famous Tome of Leo.