Jan 31, 2015

Daily Sermons, January 27-31

Daily Homilies for January 27 to 31. St Angela Marici and Catholic Schools, St Thomas Aquinas, Daily Mass, Preparing for Lent, St John Bosco.

Jan 27, 2015

Sunday Sermon, January 25 - Sermons on the Mass (2 of 5), The entrance, the readings, the homily

The second of five sermons on the Holy Mass, given between Christmas and Lent at Corpus Christi, Great Falls, MT.

The Entrance procession:
Here we see the forward movement of the Liturgy. We move from the world, to the altar, toward God, toward heaven. Here, and also at the Gloria, it is most clear that the priest simply must someday return to facing ad orientem or "with the people", that is, in the same direction as the people.
It is absurd, truly banal, for the priest to process forward towards God and heaven, and then turn his back on this forward movement, turn his back on God, and instead direct himself back toward the world, toward the people.
The priest isn't in heaven yet, he isn't God. He is really just a man, and he needs God, and he needs to look with the people toward God.
Especially in the Gloria - we are not helping our poor priests when we look at them and say "We praise You, we bless You, we adore You, we glorify You, we give You thanks for Your great glory ... You alone are the Holy One, You alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High". This is crazy - the priest simply must face toward God when he is at Mass, together with the people, he is there to worship God, not to be worshiped. [perhaps this explains why so many priests in the 80s moved the tabernacle to the side or the back, but put their chair in the front and center]

The readings:
The Mass isn't Bible study. We are here to worship, and the readings are an act of worship. In any language - Latin, English, Spanish, Vietnamese - the readings are directed toward God as worship. Bible study is great, but the Mass is worship.
The readings have a sacramental significance. They indicate our longing for the Messiah, both his first coming and his return in glory. The Gospel commemorates his coming into our hearts, as well as the mission of the Church to bring Christ to the whole world.

The homily:
While the homily is often based in part on the readings, it is not solely directed to the readings. Rather, the homily is meant to educate the faithful in the truths of the faith and, as part of the Mass, to direct all to the worship of God. The homily is not Bible study, it is preparation for communion.
The homily doesn't have to be on the readings, the Church also asks the priest to preach upon the texts of the Mass.

Listen online [here]!

Jan 24, 2015

Daily Sermons, January 19 through 24

Daily Mass Homilies for January 19 - 24. Sts Peter and Paul, St Sebastian, St Agnes, Abortion, St Vincent, St Timothy and St Francis de Sales.

January 20th - Adult Ed Series (1 of 4) - The Sacraments in General

This is a lecture given at Corpus Christ, Great Falls, MT, on the sacraments of the Church. This is part 1 of 4, on the Sacraments in General.

Audio of presentation and rough outline of lecture notes follows below.

Jan 18, 2015

Sunday Sermon, January 18 - Reverence at Mass, Series on the Mass Part I

Sunday Sermon - January 18. Part 1 of the Sermon Series on the Mass.

The Mass is of infinite value and is the solution to all the problems of the world. Reverence at Mass allows us to receive God's graces. This is why we celebrate Mass in a church and with consecrated objects. Mass in the early Church was also reverent, and wasn't a "meal".

Part 1 - Introduction, the Value of the Mass and Reverence at the Mass
Part 2 - The Readings, the Homily
Part 3 - The offertory, your sacrifice and mine
Part 4 - The Eucharistic prayer
Part 5 - Communion and Thanksgiving after Mass

Listen online [here]!

Jan 17, 2015

Daily Homilies, January 16 and 17

Daily Homilies, January 16 and 17.
Overview of the Liturgical Year, Feast of St Anthony of Egypt.

Jan 14, 2015

Sunday Sermon, January 11th - The Baptism of the Lord, Why We Need Baptism

Jesus did not need to be baptized, but we needed him to give us this sacrament for our salvation.
Before baptism, the heavens are closed to us, we are under the dominion of Satan, and we are true enemies of God. Baptism opens heaven to us, and makes us to be Temples of the Holy Spirit and true sons of God.

Listen online [here]!

Sunday Sermon, January 4th - Epiphany and the Meaning of the Gifts of the Magi

The three Magi brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These gifts teach us who this Child is: The King of kings, the true God, and the Victim who will die for our redemption.

We offer our gold of pure love, our frankincense of holy prayer, and our myrrh of self denial and mortification.

Listen online [here]!

Holy Day Sermon, January 1st - The Miraculous Virgin Birth of Jesus

The Church teaches that Mary was a virgin in the very act of giving birth - that is, she gave birth without any pain or suffering or physical harm of any sort. This dogma teaches us that the Father generated the Son without any suffering but only joy, without any division but only unity, without any defilement but in pure light.

Listen online [here]!

Jan 1, 2015

The Revelation of the Birt of Jesus, given to St Bridget


When I was at the manger of the Lord in Bethlehem, I saw a Virgin, pregnant and most very beautiful, clothed in a white mantle and a finely woven tunic through which from without I could clearly discern her virginal flesh. Her womb was full and much swollen, for she was now ready to give birth.

With her there was a very dignified old man; and with them they had both an ox and an ass. When they had entered the cave, and after the ox and the ass had been tied to the manger, the old man went outside and brought to the Virgin a lighted candle and fixed it in the wall and went outside in order not to be personally present at the birth.

And so the Virgin then took the shoes from her feet, put off the white mantle that covered her, removed the veil from her head, and laid these things beside her, remaining in only her tunic, with her most beautiful hair - as if of gold - spread out upon her shoulder blades.
She then drew out two small cloths of linen and two of wool, very clean and finely woven, which she carried with her to wrap the infant that was to be born, and two other small linens to cover and bind his head; and she laid these cloths beside her that she might use them in due time.

And when all these things had thus been prepared, then the Virgin knelt with great reverence, putting herself at prayer; and she kept her back toward the manger and her face lifted to heaven toward the east.
And so, with raised hands and with her eyes intent on heaven, she was as if suspended in an ecstasy of contemplation, inebriated with divine sweetness.

And while she was thus in prayer, I saw the One lying in her womb then move; and then and there, in a moment and in the twinkling of an eye, she gave birth to a Son, from whom there went out such great and ineffable light and splendor that the sun could not be compared to it.
Nor did that candle that the old man had put in place give light at all because that divine splendor totally annihilated the material splendor of the candle.

And so sudden and momentary was that manner of giving birth that I was unable to notice or discern how or in what member she was giving birth.
But yet, at once, I saw that glorious infant lying on the earth, naked and glowing in the greatest of neatness. His flesh was most clean of all filth and uncleanness.

I saw also the afterbirth [i.e. the placenta], lying wrapped very neatly beside him. And then I heard the wonderfully sweet and most pleasant songs of the angels. And the Virgin's womb, which before the birth had been very swollen, at once retracted; and her body then looked wonderfully beautiful and delicate.

When therefore the Virgin felt that she had now given birth, at once, having bowed her head and joined her hands, with great dignity and reverence she adored the boy and said to him: “Welcome, my God, my Lord, and my Son!”

And then the boy, crying and, as it were, trembling from the cold and the hardness of the pavement where he lay, rolled a little and extended his limbs, seeking to find refreshment and his Mother's favor.
Then his Mother took him in her hands and pressed him to her breast, and with cheek and breast she warmed him with great joy and tender maternal compassion.

Then, sitting on the earth, she put her Son in her lap and deftly caught his umbilical cord with her fingers. At once it was cut off, and from it no liquid or blood went out.
And at once she began to wrap him carefully, first in the linen cloths and then in the woolen, binding his little body, legs, and arms with a ribbon that had been sewn into four parts of the outer wollen cloth.
And afterward she wrapped and tied on the boy's head those two small linen cloths that she had prepared for this purpose.

When these things therefore were accomplished, the old man entered; and prostrating on the earth, he adored him on bended knee and wept for joy.

Not even at the birth was that Virgin changed in color or by infirmity. Nor was there in her any such failure of bodily strength as usually happens in other women giving birth, except that her swollen womb retracted to the prior state in which it had been before she conceived the boy.

Then, however, she arose, holding the boy in her arms; and together both of them, namely, she and Joseph, put him in the manger, and on bended knee they continued to adore him with gladness and immense joy.


Afterwards again in the same place, the Virgin Mary appeared to me and said:

“My daughter, it is a long time ago that I promised you that I would show to you here in Bethlehem the manner of my childbearing. Know for very certain that I was in such a state and gave birth in such a manner as you have now seen: on bended knee, praying alone in the stable.

“For I gave birth to him with such great exultation and joy of soul that I felt no discomfort when he went out of my body, and no pain. But at once I wrapped him in the small clean cloths that I had prepared long before.

“When Joseph saw these things, he marveled with great gladness and the joy from the fact that I had thus, without help, given birth.

“But because the great multitude of people in Bethlehem were busy about the census, they were therefore so attentive to it that the wonders of God could not be published among them.

“And therefore know for a truth that however much human beings, following their human perception, try to assert that my Son was born in the common manner, it is nevertheless more true and beyond any doubt that he was born just as I elsewhere told you and just as you now have seen.”

Daily Homilies: December 29 and 30, and January 2 and 3

Daily Sermons for the week of December 29 - January 3.

St Thomas Becket, Remaining in the Christmas Season, Sts Basil and Gregory, The Holy Name of Jesus.