Saturday, February 27, 2021

Sunday Sermon, February 21st - Our Lenten Fast and Our Lord's Temptations in the Desert (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

[Pre-sermon Note regarding the Lenten Fast as well as Prayer and Almsgiving. Fasting opens the soul to true prayer. Fasting also brings Catholics into solidarity with the poor.]

The temptation of our Lord in the desert presents us with a violent entrance into the Lenten Season. Our Lord is crushed under his forty days fast in the wilderness, and so the devil comes to tempt him. However, perfect man and perfect God, he fully resists all temptation and completely overcomes evil. 

In Christ we have been tempted, and in Christ we have already won the victory!

Sunday Sermon, February 14th -- The Message of Our Lady of Lourdes (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Sunday Sermon)

 Last Thursday, February 11th, was the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. As Jesus heals the leper in today's Gospel, we consider the message of Our Lady of Lourdes which has been the source of so many thousands of miraculous healings.

The essential message of Lourdes is penance and prayer (especially the Rosary) for the conversion of sinners.  The 18 apparitions from February 11th to July 16th, 1858 center around the Rosary and penance.  St Bernadette is a saint most dear and inspiring.

High School Youth Group, February 14th -- Dogma of the Trinity, Session 13 -- Introduction and History (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

 We begin the second portion of High School Youth Group for 2020-2021, the Dogma of the Trinity. We review the early development of the dogma and the heresies which forced the early Church to clarify our belief in God.

High School Youth Group, February 7th, Catholic Response to Atheism -- Session 12, Review

 We conclude the first portion of High School Youth Group for 2020-2021. Review of the Catholic Response to Atheism.

Sunday Sermon, February 6th -- Physical Health, Mental Health, Spiritual Health, and COVID (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

 When we place physical health first, not only do we lose mental and spiritual health, we even lose physical health.  In the past year, the American people have experienced roughly a 25% decline in mental health, with one in four teens contemplating suicide. However, devout people who attend Mass at least once a week have not only not declined but have even improved in mental health generally. Furthermore, devout traditional Catholic parishes have flourished in the midst of the crisis.

Adult Faith Formation, February 16th -- Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton, Session 6 -- Chapters 7, 8, and 9 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

 Note, Session 5 was cancelled due to extreme cold temperatures. Session 6 covers the material from session 5 as well as the final chapter and review.

GK Chesterton shows that any true reform or revolution requires a fixed ideal and objective truth. Furthermore, Christian Orthodoxy provides this ideal and truth which can reform the world. Chesterton's apologetic or proof or Christianity is that it alone makes man truly joyful!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Adult Formation, February 2nd -- Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton, Session 4 - Chapters 5 and 6 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

 We discuss Chesterton's classic Orthodoxy.  Chapters 5 and 6: The Flag of the World and The Paradoxes of Christianity.

Chesterton points out that we all owe a loyalty to the world which is best characterized as a sort of patriotism. We must hate the world enough to want to reform it, but love it enough to believe it is worth reforming.

In chapter 6, Chesterton presents the paradoxes of Christianity -- this one religion is criticized on every side and from every angle. At one too pompous and too humble, too obsessed with sex and too repressive of sex, too rich and too poor, too womanly and too much a woman's religion, too pacifist and too violent, etc.  And suddenly, it occurred to Chesterton that the Church is either miraculously wrong or miraculously right, either straight from heaven or straight from hell.  Either way, Christianity is nothing like any other religion.   And, as it turns out, the extremes of Christianity happen to fit perfectly the extremes of real life - like a lock to a key, Christianity is the religion of the Creator.

Adult Faith Formation, January 27th - Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton, Session 3 - Chapters 3 and 4 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

 We discuss chapters 3 and 4 of Chesterton's classic Orthodoxy: The Suicide of Thought and The Ethics of Elfland.  

In these chapters, Chesterton speaks first of the crisis of thought which is prevalent also in our day - not so much to reject what has come before, but to pretend like the genius of previous ages never existed. If a man does not love the Medieval Theologians, he should at least hate them - but modern man commits the suicide of thought by pretending there were no theologians in the middle ages, and that no one until our modern day has anything to contribute to philosophy, theology, or reason.

In The Ethics of Elfland, Chesterton puts forward his own apologetic for morality. This is a most compelling chapter -- Why should we be good? Because the world is beautiful, and being good is a way of expressing our gratitude to the Creator.

Sunday Sermon, January 31st -- St Thomas Aquinas, Model of Purity and Eucharistic Devotion (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Sunday Sermon)

 St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) is without question the greatest theologian in the history of the Church as well as the brightest intellect in human history (excepting only Our Lord, his Mother, and St Joseph). He is called the Angelic Doctor both for his superior intellectual insight and for his perfect purity. And the crowning jewel of his theological teaching is his doctrine on the Holy Eucharist.

In this sermon, we consider this great Dominican Priest as a model of what St Paul praises in the second reading from the First Letter to the Corinthians, "An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord." St Thomas loved God with an undivided heart, and was favored with the highest graces.  He is a spiritual father to us all, and especially to Corpus Christi Parish - because he wrote the Liturgical Office for the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Sunday Sermon, January 24th -- Jonah, Foreshadowing Prophet of Jesus Christ (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

 An overview of the book of Jonah in the historical context of the history of salvation.  Also, the many ways in which Jonah foreshadows our Lord both in his resurrection and also in the preaching of the Gospel of Salvation to the Gentiles.

High School Youth Group, January 24th -- Catholic Response to Atheism, Session 11, Why Be Catholic? (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

 We consider the philosophical arguments which show Christianity to be the most reasonable religion, and Catholicism to be the most reasonable and original version of Christianity.

Adult Faith Formation, January 19th -- Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton, Session 2, Chapters 1 and 2

 We discuss the first two chapters of GK Chesterton's apologetical classic "Orthodoxy."   In Defense of Everything Else, and The Maniac -- in which Chesterton lays out the scope of his work, and begins his survey of what is wrong with modern thought.

High School Youth Group, January 17th, Catholic Response to Atheism, Session 10, Can Atheists Go To Heaven? (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

 We discuss whether non Catholics, non Christians, and even atheists can go to heaven.  Salvation only comes through our Lord Jesus Christ, but he alone knows the heart of each person -- perhaps there is some hope of salvation even for those who have not come outwardly to full communion with the Catholic Church