Jun 21, 2017

Sunday Sermon, June 18 -- Reverent is not enough, we must be traditional

Lex orandi, lex credendi. The law of prayer is the law of belief. This means that how we pray will inform what we believe -- if we want to believe as all Catholics have believed through all the ages, we must also pray as Catholics have always prayed. This holds especially true in the Sacred Liturgy: It is impossible to have a radical change in the form of liturgical worship without risking the integrity of the faith.

It is astonishing to realize that the Mass was basically the same from the end of the early persecutions when we were first permitted to have public worship until the time of the Second Vatican Council (roughly, for 1,600 years from 360 to 1960). However, the common way that Mass is celebrated since Vatican II bears little resemblance to the form of worship which was common to all the saints and indeed all Catholics for all time.

The Second Vatican Council did not intend this extreme change in the form of worship. Indeed, Popes St John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis have all been guiding the Church to realize that there should be continuity between how the Mass was celebrated before and after Vatican II. When we attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (aka Traditional Latin Mass) and then attend the Novus Ordo Mass of Vatican II, we should be struck not by how different but rather by how similar they are.  We should be able to pray in basically the same way in the New Mass as we do whenever we attend the Traditional Mass.

If we want to have the same faith of the saints of all the ages, we need to pray in the same way as the saints of all ages have prayed - and this holds most especially for the Holy Mass. Which is to say: It's not good enough to be reverent and conservative, we must be traditional when participating in the Mass of Vatican II.


Listen online [here]!






Jun 7, 2017

Pentecost Sunday Sermon, June 4 -- No Salvation without the Holy Spirit, No Salvation outside the Catholic Church

The Holy Spirit is the true soul of the Catholic Church. Even as the soul gives life to the human body and makes it to be one body made up of many parts, so also Holy Spirit vivifies and unites the Mystical Body of Christ which is the Holy Catholic Church.

Even as it would be greatly disordered for the human soul to work outside of the body or be separated from the body, so also the Holy Spirit chooses to work in the world inside the Mystical Body and only in union with the Church.  This is called "co-extensivity" -- where the Church, there the Holy Spirit; where the Spirit, there the Catholic Church.

St Joan of Arc said it well: "About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they are just one thing: and we shouldn't complicate the matter." Whoever receives the Pope and the Bishops as messengers of Christ, receives Jesus. Whoever rejects the Pope and the Bishops, that is, whoever rejects the Catholic Church, rejects Jesus and not only Jesus but also the Heavenly Father.

However, this does not mean that only Catholics are saved - but that if any non-Catholic is saved, they are saved by virtue of the presence of the Catholic Church in the world.

More than anything, this should inspire us to be missionaries! To preach the Gospel and to preach the message of salvation given through the Church and her sacraments! We have a duty to bring all people into full communion with the Catholic Church, so that they might be happy in this life and find salvation in life everlasting.


Listen online [here]!






Jun 3, 2017

Sunday Sermon, May 28 -- The Miracle of the Sun and the Message of Fatima

We conclude our three part series on the message of Our Lady Queen of the Rosary of Fatima.

Appearing first on 13 May 1917, our Lady promised she would return each month until 13 October. on 13 July, Our Lady promised a great miracle in October which would confirm the truth of the apparitions and of the message.

13 October 1917, in the presence of over 70,000 people, some of whom were more than 20 miles away, the sun "danced" in the sky and then crashed toward the earth in a manner that made all believe the world was about to end. The children of Fatima continued to pray, and the sun returned to his place in the heavens.

During this great miracle, the children saw St Joseph, holding the Child Jesus, bless the world three times for peace (together with the Child). They also saw our Lady and our Lord appearing in various manners.

This miracle is to convince us of the message. What is the message of Fatima?
The first message is the children: Lucia, Jacinta, Francisco -- which is to say, a life of prayer and penance for the conversion of sinners and for peace in the world.
Then also, the daily Rosary, the scapular, the First Saturday devotion. And also, devotion to St Joseph.

We say with St Francisco -- Mary, we will give you all the Rosaries you want! Just give us salvation and peace!


Listen online [here]!





May 27, 2017

Sunday Sermon, May 21 -- The Three Secrets of Our Lady of Fatima

When our Lady for the third time appeared to the three children of Fatima, 13 July 1917, she gave them three secrets, which also contain the essential message of Fatima.

The first was the vision of hell, the second the horrors of World War II, and the third was a mysterious apocalyptic image which detailed persecutions of the Pope.

The third secret was at least partially fulfilled in the assassination attempt on Pope St John Paul II, which occurred on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, 13 May 1981. Our Lady miraculously saved the Pope on that day.


Below, find the text of the three secrets.

Listen online [here]!





--------------------------------------------------------------------------

First Secret of Fatima
Sr Lucia: “As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands once more, as She had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight that caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me.) The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals.
“That vision lasted only a moment, thanks to our Good Mother of Heaven, Who, at the first apparition, had promised to bring us to Heaven. Without that, I think we would have died of terror and fear.
“Terrified and as if to plead for succor, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and sadly: You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.

Second Secret of Fatima
Mary: “If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and the Holy Father.
“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.”””



Third Secret of Fatima -- JP II makes public in June 2000.
‘At the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword; it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice:
“Penance, Penance, Penance!” ‘
‘And we saw in an immense light that is God… a Bishop dressed in white. We had the impression it was the Holy Father. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big cross; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins, and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks.’
‘Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels, each with a crystal aspersorium in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.’

Conclusion
“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

Sunday Sermon, May 14 -- The Three Children of Fatima

13 May 2017 was the 100th Anniversary of our Lady's first apparition to the three children of Fatima in Portugal. Appearing from May to October, generally on the 13th of the month, our Lady asked that the Rosary be prayed daily and that people be devoted to her Immaculate Heart.

Pope Francis canonized two of the three children on 13 May 2017 -- Sts Francisco and Jacinta Marto! Lucia (the eldest of the three) did not die until 2005, and thus her canonization process is far behind her two cousins who died in 1918 and 1919.

We discuss the history of the apparitions (beginning with the vision of the Angel of Peace) and the lives of our new saints, Francisco and Jacinta.

NOTE: This is the first of three sermons on the apparitions of our Lady, Queen of the Rosary of Fatima.

Listen online [here]!



Sunday Sermon, May 7 -- Discerning a vocation to the priesthood or religious life

In the new Mass, the Fourth Sunday of Easter is also Good Shepherd Sunday. The Church throughout the world also celebrates this Sunday as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

We consider how to discern a call to the priesthood or religious life -- not only for those young people who are still in the time and age of discernment, but also for parents, relatives and friends who may be able to assist in discernment of a vocation.

The keys to discernment are a life of prayer and a pure motive to love God in and above all things. Essentially, once our motives are purified, God will reveal our vocation to us through giving us joy at the thought of living that vocation. And the priesthood and religious life are the happiest vocations on earth.


Listen online [here]!



May 4, 2017

Sunday Sermon, April 30 -- Receiving the Eucharist Well, and Not Distributing the Chalice

The apparition on the road to Emmaus teaches us about the Holy Eucharist -- the bread which our Lord "took, blessed, broke, and gave" is none other than his gift of self in Holy Communion.

We take an opportunity to consider receiving communion well, with greater love and devotion. It is also good to note that Jesus only distributes communion under the one species of the Host -- whereas, on Holy Thursday, he gave communion under both kinds (the Host and the Chalice) as he was distributing to his apostles whom he had just ordained as priests; here, when distributing communion to the lay faithful (Cleopas and the other), our Lord only gives communion under the species of his Body. The whole Jesus is present in the Host and in the Chalice: Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, and the fullness of grace is received under Host alone. Indeed, the Church teaches that there is nothing "less" in receiving only the Host, nor is there any "more grace" in receiving the Chalice.

Although not all of the following norms are specified in the sermon, it is good to make note of certain guidelines under which the Chalice is permitted to be distributed. First and foremost, we recognize that the general norms of the Church do not permit the distribution of the Chalice except in the most unusual circumstances (e.g. when people make First Communion, Religious Profession, to the couple who gets married). In the United States, wider permission was given (by a special indult from the Vatican and only with the dispensation of the local bishop and the wise discernment of the pastor) for communion to be distributed under both kinds -- but the following norms must be observed.


From "Redemptionis Sacramentum", Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship from 2004 (paragraphs 100-107):

"[Distribution of the Chalice] is to be completely excluded where even a small danger exists of the sacred species being profaned."

"The chalice should not be ministered to lay members of Christ’s faithful where there is such a large number of communicants that it is difficult to gauge the amount of wine for the Eucharist and there is a danger that more than a reasonable quantity of the Blood of Christ remain to be consumed at the end of the celebration."

"[The Chalice is not to be distributed] where a notable part of the people continues to prefer not to approach the chalice for various reasons, so that the sign of unity would in some sense be negated."

"In accordance with what is laid down by the canons, 'one who throws away the consecrated species or takes them away or keeps them for a sacrilegious purpose, incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; a cleric, moreover, may be punished by another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state'. To be regarded as pertaining to this case is any action that is voluntarily and gravely disrespectful of the sacred species. Anyone, therefore, who acts contrary to these norms, for example casting the sacred species into the sacrarium or in an unworthy place or on the ground, incurs the penalties laid down."

Additionally, the USCCB states that where there would regularly be more lay people serving as extraordinary ministers of holy communion than three are priests and deacons serving as ordinary ministers, it may be fitting to not distribute the Chalice so as to avoid the appearance that it is ordinary or normal for lay minsters to distribute communion.  (cf. Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Communion under Both Kinds)


What does this mean? That if there is any danger that the Chalice might be spilt, communion should be given only under the Host. If there is a large number of people at the Mass so that it is difficult to estimate very exactly how much wine to use, communion should be given only under the Host. If say 20% of the people don't want to receive from the Chalice, communion should be given only under the Host. If there are not a number of priests and deacons so that they would generally outnumber the lay extraordinary ministers, communion should probably be given only under the Host.

Finally, the care of the Precious Blood is such a serious matter, that those who have poured the remaining Blood down the drain or into the ground are subject to an excommunication which even the Bishop cannot lift -- and this abuse is something which many of us know from experience to have been shockingly common in certain places and times over the past 50 years.



Listen online [here]!







May 1, 2017

Sunday Sermon April 23 -- Divine Mercy Sunday, The Indulgence and the Promise

There are two things to be aware of: 1) The Church offers a plenary indulgence on this day. 2) Jesus promised special graces on this day. The indulgence and the promise are similar, but not identical.
1) The plenary indulgence: This requires confession (up to 20 days before or after), communion (a couple days before or after), prayers for the Pope (Our Father, Hail Mary), no attachment to any sin, and the specific "work" is the mercy devotions. The devotions are those held in common in the church, or before the tabernacle to pray an Our Father and the Creed and "Jesus, I trust in you". Those who are unable to travel to church can say the Our Father, Creed, and invocation of mercy even at home before an image of the Divine Mercy (but they still must confess and receive communion).
2) The promise of Jesus: That any who confess (up to two weeks before) and receive communion on Divine Mercy Sunday itself (Our Lord does not say that the Saturday evening Mass counts) trusting in his mercy, will have not only their sins but even all the punishment of purgatory will be completely washed away. This is the perfect renewal of the graces of baptism -- and it does not require complete detachment from all sin, but only that we trust in his mercy!

A comparison between Jesus' appearance to Thomas the Apostle and his gift of Divine Mercy Sunday.


Listen online [here]!








Apr 24, 2017

Easter Sunday Sermon, April 16 -- The Paschal Candle and Easter Meditation

The meaning of the Paschal Candle: The candle represents Jesus, first in his passion (the Cross is marked on the candle), and in his burial (the five grains of incense recall the perfumed oil used to anoint his five wounds). The unlit candle represents Christ Crucified, who by his death is Lord of all time (hence the numbers of the year, and the "alpha" and "omega"). When the candle is lit, this represents Jesus' resurrection! His light illumines our hearts by the ministry of his priests, and we all then give light to the whole world.


Easter is longer than Lent, and is a season of many graces! We can be open to these by practicing daily mental prayer, meditation on the mysteries of salvation -- hopefully, for at least 10 minutes a day.



Listen online [here]!




Holy Thursday and Good Friday Sermons -- April 13 and 14

Holy Thursday, April 13 -- Jesus Presence in the Eucharist, the Priesthood, and Charity
Listen online [here]!




Good Friday, April 14 -- Consoling the Jesus on the Cross
Listen online [here]!





Palm Sunday Sermon, April 9 -- An Act of Contrition

Making a perfect act of contrition, in consideration of the love of Jesus for me made manifest on the Cross.


Listen online [here]!





Daily Sermons, April 4 to 22

Sermons from daily Masses for the final weeks of Lent and Easter week.



Apr 21, 2017

Divine Mercy Sunday, Parish Schedule

A few notes about Divine Mercy Sunday!
There are two things to be aware of: 1) The Church offers a plenary indulgence on this day. 2) Jesus promised special graces on this day.  The indulgence and the promise are similar, but not identical.


1) The plenary indulgence: This requires confession (up to 20 days before or after), communion (a couple days before or after), prayers for the Pope (Our Father, Hail Mary), no attachment to any sin, and the specific "work" is the mercy devotions. The devotions are those held in common in the church, or before the tabernacle to pray an Our Father and the Creed and "Jesus, I trust in you".

2) The promise of Jesus: That any who confess (up to two weeks before) and receive communion on Divine Mercy Sunday itself (Our Lord does not say that the Saturday evening Mass counts) trusting in his mercy, will have not only their sins but even all the punishment of purgatory will be completely washed away. This is the perfect renewal of the graces of baptism -- and it does not require complete detachment from all sin, but only that we trust in his mercy!


Divine Mercy Sunday Schedule


9 AM  - Solemn Mass with incense
11:30 AM - Low Mass, no incense

1 to 3 PM  - Confessions (only Father Ryan available)

3 to 4 PM - Solemn Adoration and Divine Mercy Devotions


[Also, we have our Adoration Breakfast in the parish gathering area all morning!]

Daily Mass Schedule Till the Summer

At least until the summer months, we will retain the Mass schedule for daily Masses as we had during Lent. Namely, Masses will be at 7 AM on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The main reason for this is the large number of people who are now able to attend daily Masses -- often 50 people, or more!



Daily Mass Schedule
Corpus Christi Parish, Great Falls, MT


Tuesday
4:30 PM Confessions
5:30 PM Mass followed by Perpetual Help Devotions and Rosary


Wednesday - Friday
7 AM Mass
4:30 PM Confessions
5:30 PM Rosary


Saturday
9 AM Mass followed by Rosary
4:30 PM Confessions
5:30 PM Vigil Mass


Sunday
9 AM Mass
11:30 AM Mass


*Note: Wednesday and Saturday mornings are the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)

Apr 2, 2017

Parish Schedule for the Final Two Weeks of Lent

Tuesday, April 4
4:30 PM, Confession
5:30 PM, Mass
6 PM, Devotions


Wednesday, April 5
7 AM, Mass
No 4:30 PM Confessions
No 5:30 PM Devotions


Thursday, April 6 (Chrism Mass in Billings)
No 7 AM Mass
No 4:30 PM Confessions
No 5:30 PM Devotions or Confessions


Friday, April 7
No 7 AM Mass
4:30 PM, Confessions
5:30 PM, Mass
6 PM, Station of the Cross followed by devotions


Saturday, April 8
9 AM, Mass
10 AM to Noon, Confessions
4:30 PM, Confessions
5:30 PM, Vigil Mass


Sunday, April 9
9 AM, Mass
11:30 AM, Mass


Tuesday, April 11
4:30 PM, Confessions
5:30 PM, Mass


Wednesday, April 12
7 AM, Mass
No 4:30 PM Confessions (Penance service on military base)


Holy Thursday, April 13
4:30 PM, Confessions
5:30 PM, Mass of the Lord's Supper
7 to 9 PM, Confessions with multiple priests available
7 PM to Midnight, Adoration


Good Friday, April 14
4:30 PM, Confessions
5:30 PM, Commemoration of our Lord's Passion
7 PM, Stations of the Cross


Holy Saturday, April 15
10 AM to Noon,  Confessions with five priests available
Noon, Rosary
12:30 PM, Decorate Church for Easter
10 PM to 12:30 AM, Easter Vigil


Easter Sunday, April 16
9 AM, Mass
11:30 AM, Mass

Sunday Sermon, April 2 -- The Raising of Lazarus and Confession

[pre-sermon note on why we veil the cross and other images during the final two weeks of Lent (passiontide)]


Lent is a time of preparation for the renewal of our baptism at Easter. We renew our baptism by confession, especially in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday. Consider this week's Gospel in relation to the sacrament of Confession.

"Master, the one whom you love is ill." When we prepare for confession, we recognize that Jesus loves us so much! and that we truly are ill and in need of healing.

"And Jesus wept." When we confess we must be truly sorry for our sins.

"Show me where you laid him." We then confess our serious sins according to name and number, and our venial sins we confess as is most helpful to us.

"Untie the burial bands." Even after being forgiven, the stench of sin is around us. However, penance helps to free us from the bonds of sin!


Listen online [here]!




Mar 26, 2017

Sunday Sermon, March 26 -- St Joseph and Joseph the Patriarch

We consider the many ways in which Joseph the Patriarch of the Old Testament foreshadows St Joseph of the New Testament.

They share the same name, and have fathers of the same name. St Joseph is also loved by God and given many graces, especially being forgiven original sin while in the womb and preserved from every actual sin (this is foreshadowed in the cloak given Joseph in the Old Testament). The Patriarch was pure in his relations with Potiphar's wife, and St Joseph was most pure in maintaining perpetual virginity. The Patriarch was made "master of [Pharaoh's] household, and ruler of all his possessions," even as St Joseph was head of the Holy Family. The Patriarch provided grain for the world, St Joseph stored up the true Bread of Life.

Finally, the Patriarch was at first not recognized by his brothers in their need, so also it is only in these last days that the Church has come to call upon St Joseph and recognize him in her public devotions as the Universal Patron!


Listen online [here]!




Mar 25, 2017

Daily Sermons, March 21-25

Sermons from Daily Masses, March 21-25.
Human Customs, Lent, Love, Annunciation.

Mar 22, 2017

Sunday Sermon, March 19 -- Why We Don't Follow the Old Law, and Seder Meals

Christians no longer observe the ceremonial precepts of the Old Law -- we are permitted to eat all types of food, we do not observe ritual purity or washings, we don't even keep Saturday as our Holy Day. While the moral precepts (e.g. "honor thy father and thy mother", "thou shalt not kill", etc) remain, the ceremonies and all the external forms of Old Testament worship pass away.

Outward worship expresses interior faith. Abraham and Moses believed, "the Messiah WILL come", but we believe, "the Messiah HAS come". Thus, the rituals of the Old Law point to the Messiah who had not yet come, but the ceremonies of the New Law point to Jesus who has come and who will come again. Because the Messiah is come, it was necessary that the ceremonies of the Old pass away as they are fulfilled by the New.

Thus, it would be a form of false worship for a Catholic to participate in the ceremonies of the Old Law -- because this would imply that the Messiah has not yet come, and that Jesus is not the Messiah.

From this, it clearly follows that the Catholic cannot participate in the Jewish Seder meal at Passover time. Further, it is also inappropriate for Catholics to perform a "Christian version" of the Seder meal (the US Bishops explicitly forbade this in "God's Mercy Endures Forever" in 1988). 

It is also good to realize that the Last Supper was not a Seder meal, as the Seder didn't even exist at the time of Jesus. What was the Last Supper then? It was the Mass!


Listen online [here]!








Mar 19, 2017

Daily Sermons, March 14-18

Homilies from daily Masses, March 14 to 18.
The Law, Zebedee's Sons, The Rich Man, St Patrick, Total Consecration.


Mar 15, 2017

Schedule for the Easter Triduum and Easter Sunday (April 13-16)

Holy Thursday, April 13
4:30 – 5:30 PM  Confessions
5:30 PM  Mass of the Lord’s Supper
7 – 9 PM  Confessions
Adoration in the “garden” until midnight


Good Friday, April 14
4:30 – 5:30 PM  Confessions
5:30 PM  Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion
Stations of the Cross following


Holy Saturday, April 15
10 AM – Noon  Confessions
Noon  Marian Devotions
Decorating the church following devotions
10 PM  Easter Vigil Mass (will go till around 12:30 AM)
          * Please note: Bishop Warfel has stated that the Vigil is not to begin until at least one hour after sunset. This means that the very earliest that the Vigil can begin in Great Falls is 9:15 PM.


Easter Sunday, April 16
9 AM   Mass

11:30 AM  Mass

Mass and Devotions During Lent

Tuesdays
4:30 – 5:30 PM  Confessions
5:30 PM  Mass
6:15 – 7 PM Adoration and Evening Devotions
          Rosary, Marian Devotions


Wednesdays and Thursdays
7 AM  Mass  (Traditional Latin Mass on Wednesdays)
4:30 – 5:30 PM Confessions
5:30 – 6:15 PM  Adoration and Evening Devotions
          Rosary, Marian Devotions
6:15 – 7 PM  Confessions


Fridays
7 AM  Mass
4:30 – 5:30 PM  Confessions
5:30 PM  Stations of the Cross
6 PM  Solemn Adoration and Sacred Heart Devotions
6:30 PM  Soup Supper
6:30 – 7 PM  Confessions


Saturdays
9 AM  Traditional Latin Mass
10 AM – Noon   Confessions
4:30 – 5:30 PM  Confessions
5:30 PM  Weekend Mass


Sundays
9 AM  Mass
11:30 AM  Mass

Sunday Sermon, March 12 -- The Christian must suffer to come to Easter glory

Christ was transfigured before Peter, James, and John to strengthen them with the hope of the Resurrection so that they would not despair at the Passion. The Transfiguration is a lesson to teach the Apostles that "the Christ must suffer and so enter into his glory."

Likewise, the Church gives us this Gospel on the Second Sunday of Lent to strengthen us with the hope of Easter so that we might persevere in accomplishing our Lenten discipline. We also learn that each Christian must suffer (through voluntary penance) in order to enter into the glory of the Risen Lord.

Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus - It is striking to note that these are the only other two men in Sacred Scripture who fasted for forty days. If we want to have a joy-filled and holy Easter, it is necessary that we enter into these forty days of penance and fasting with the Lord.


Listen online [here]!




Daily Sermons, March 8-11

Daily Sermons from March 8 to 11.
Moses and Elijah, St Frances of Rome, the 40 martyrs, Total Consecration.


Sunday Sermon, March 5 -- The Three Ages of the Interior Life and Mortification

[pre-sermon note on almsgiving during Lent: Remember that the poor live a much harder Lent than we do, and they live it all year long. Our Lent should provide some savings which is given to the poor. When you are really craving whatever you sacrificed this Lent, consider making a small donation for alms as a way of connecting fasting and almsgiving]


There are three ages of the spiritual life: The beginners, the proficients, and the perfect; or the purgative way, the illuminative way, and the unitive way.

The beginners are attached to sin and to the world, and though they have truly begun to follow God and do desire to be holy, they still have a worldly outlook and worldly goals.
The proficients have broken their attachment to the world and strive to avoid sin. Their focus is on God and his glory, and they seek heaven; but they approach the spiritual life from an human perspective and with human judgments (looking for human success in the spiritual life). They have entered into the life of infused contemplation in prayer.
The perfect have broken all attachment to the world and to sin. They live in constant union with God and have a totally supernatural world-view. These are the great saints. They still commit some venial sins, but they are very humble and follow God unreservedly.

One of the main reasons why people remain as beginners their whole life is a failure to practice bodily mortification. It is true that interior penance is more important than physical or bodily mortification (like fasting), but if we can't practice external penance we will never be able to practice interior penance. If I can't give up meat, I'll never be able to give up pride!

Lenten penance and bodily mortification (especially fasting and abstinence) is a great means of attaining spiritual growth!


Listen online [here]!





Mar 8, 2017

Tuesday, March 7 -- Father Raymond Nyquist, Funeral Sermon

Sermon from the Funeral Mass for Father Raymond Nyquist.

Father Nyquist had three loves: The Eucharist, the poor, and the family.


Listen online [here]!




Sunday Sermon, February 26 -- Judging Actions, Avoiding Scandal

[pre-sermon note on fasting and abstinence during Lent. The Church only requires that those from 18 to 60 years old fast (one regular meal and two small snacks) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and those from 14 years and older abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, the Fridays of Lent, and every Friday throughout the year (excepting Solemnities). The US Bishops received permission so that another penance can substitute for abstaining from meat on Fridays outside of Lent. Father Ryan recommends that we do more than this, considering possibly abstaining from meat on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and even abstaining from eggs and dairy in addition if that is possible.]


"Therefore, do not make any judgments before the appointed time, until the Lord comes." (1 Cor 4:5)

Many today say, "Who am I to judge?", but what St Paul is really saying is that we should respond to people caring only how Jesus will judge us and not worrying about whether people will love us or hate us. In this very Letter to the Corinthians, St Paul excommunicates a man for public adultery! And the Church follows this by refusing to admit to Holy Communion all those who publicly and obstinately persist in manifest grave sin (example, pro-abort politicians or those Catholics married outside the Church).

But the Church isn't judging a person when we don't give communion to those living in public grave sin. The Church is only judging the objective situation, and protecting us all from being scandalized. For this same reason, we should not attend invalid marriages, for example.


Listen online [here]!







Sunday Sermon, February 19 -- On loving the enemies of the Church and of good morals

[pre-homily note on attending daily Mass during Lent. Please note: I mistakenly said that only Lent has proper Masses for each of the weekdays, that is no longer the case as there are now proper Masses for the weekdays of Advent as well. Traditionally (prior to Vatican II), Lent was unique in this respect. Even still, the weekdays of Lent are of an higher rank than the Advent weekdays and "trump" most saints' feast days -- thus, the essential point remains the same, namely, that the daily Masses of Lent have a unique character and importance in the Liturgical Year.]


"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

It is truly divine to be able to love our enemies -- Jesus proves his divinity by his love for his enemies.

To love means to sacrifice. If we love our enemies, then we will be sacrificing for them -- prayer and fasting.


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Daily Sermons, February 21 to March 4

Daily Sermons from February 21 to March 4.

These are a few weeks of daily Mass sermons all posted together.

Feb 20, 2017

Feb 15, 2017

Sunday Sermon, February 12 -- Invalid Marriages and Holy Communion

Despite the confusion in the world (and even among members of the Church hierarchy), marriage is indissoluble and those who are divorced and remarried (without an annulment) are guilty of living in public adultery. These are the words of our merciful Lord Jesus: "Whoever divorces his wife - unless the marriage is unlawful - causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matthew 5:32)

It was the pharisees who believed in divorce and remarriage, it was Jesus who condemned it as adultery. There are some in the Church (even some cardinals who should know better) who are modern day pharisees in this regard.

The Church has always taught and continues to teach that we must accompany all people, including the divorced and remarried. But this "accompaniment" cannot include giving communion to those living in public adultery. The priest (or even a lay person) is mandated by Canon Law to refuse communion to those who are married outside the Church.

What is required for those married outside the Church to receive communion? Simple answer, they must separate.
Those who have a wholly unusual and grave reason why they cannot separate (perhaps related to having young children at home, for example) may continue to live together as "brother and sister" with separate bed rooms etc. However, although this would allow them to receive absolution in the confessional, they still would not be permitted to receive communion publicly - as this would cause scandal.

Pope Francis has not changed this at all. Amoris Laetia has changed nothing at all regarding Canon Law in general, or Canon 915 in particular -- those who claim otherwise are the "blind leading the blind" straight into the pit.

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From the Code of Canon Law, Can 915: "Can.  915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion."

From Familiaris Consortio, 84 (Pope St John Paul II): "The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried.  […] Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they 'take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.'"

From Sacramentum Caritatis, 29 (Pope Benedict XVI): "Finally, where the nullity of the marriage bond is not declared and objective circumstances make it impossible to cease cohabitation, the Church encourages these members of the faithful to commit themselves to living their relationship in fidelity to the demands of God's law, as friends, as brother and sister; in this way they will be able to return to the table of the Eucharist, taking care to observe the Church's established and approved practice in this regard. This path, if it is to be possible and fruitful, must be supported by pastors and by adequate ecclesial initiatives, nor can it ever involve the blessing of these relations, lest confusion arise among the faithful concerning the value of marriage."



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Daily Sermons, February 7 to 11

Sermons from daily Masses, February 7 to 11.
Blessed Pius IX, St John of Matha, St Apollonia, St Scholastica, Lourdes.

Feb 5, 2017

Sermons on the Mass from February 2015

Sermons on the Mass given at Corpus Christi, Great Falls, MT -- From February 2015.

Sermon 1: On reverence at Mass. Reverence for humility, humility for love. This is why we have all the "rules" about how and where Mass is celebrated -- for the sake of greater love. This is why we offer the Mass in the Church on an altar, and with many acts of reverence.

Sermon 2: On the entrance procession - the Mass has a forward movement, and an upward movement. This is why the priest ought to celebrate facing in the same direction as the people, toward God; rather than, as is usually done, where the priest turns his back to God and faces backwards toward the people. Also, the Liturgy of the Word as an act of worship, not Bible study.

Sermon 3: The offertory. The people have a sacrifice to offer at Mass as well - no one is a passive spectator! During the offertory, when the priest offers the bread and wine to God, the people join him in offering themselves, their joys and fears, all their desires and prayers! The priest offers Mass for a particular intention, you should do the same! Offer your participation in Mass for whatever needs you have!

Sermon 4: The Eucharistic Prayer. The high-point of the whole Mass. The words of consecration, which make the bread and wine to become the Eucharist, are the Mass. These words make the Mass a sacrifice, since the Body and Blood are consecrated separately, even as they were separated on the altar of the Cross. The elevation couldn't possibly be long enough, since the priest is holding up God himself for us to worship and love him!

Sermon 5: The Communion Rite. How to receive the Eucharist in a way that will be most fruitful to the soul.
1) We must be in the state of grace to receive Communion.
2) An interior spirit of kneeling and adoration when we come to Communion.
3) Making a thanksgiving prayer after Mass - staying after Mass to pray for around ten minutes.


Sunday Sermon, February 5 -- Sermons on the Mass, part 2 of 2

Sunday Sermon, February 5 -- Sermons on the Mass, part 2 of 2.

The "Liturgy of the Eucharist" or "Mass of the Faithful".
Also, consideration of music at Mass and why the Church insists that the people should know the ordinary of the Mass in Latin (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Angus Dei, as well as the Creed).
Finally, on receiving Communion well, and recognizing Jesus as our true companion and intimate friend.


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Daily Sermons -- January 31 to February 4

Sermons from daily Masses, January 31 to February 4.
St John Bosco, St Ignatius, Presentation, St Blase, First Saturdays.


Feb 1, 2017

Sunday Sermon, January 29 -- Sermons on the Mass, The Liturgy of the Word (1 of 2)

Sermons on the Mass, Part 1 of 2: The Liturgy of the Word.

The excellence of the Mass -- the solution to all the world's problems and the need for reverence at Mass.

Music at Mass -- why an entrance hymn is the tyranny of a music leader over the congregation. Why the "introit" or "entrance chant" sung to gregorian tones is the first option and most preferable.

The entrance procession and "ad orientem" worship.
The Liturgy of the Word as worship -- the readings aren't Bible study.


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Jan 28, 2017

Daily Sermons, January 24-28

Daily sermons, January 24-28.
St Francis de Sales, St Paul, Sts Timothy and Titus, St Angela Merici, St Thomas Aquinas.

Sunday Sermon, January 22 -- Division in the Church and our Response

"I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you." (1 Corinthians 1:10)

We live in a divided world, a divided nation, and a divided Church. Cardinal against cardinal, bishop against bishop, priest against priest, and the laity are terribly confused.
Two types of division: 1) When individuals are opposed or teaching opposing doctrines. 2) When an individual or a group is opposed to Jesus or teaching a doctrine contrary to the Gospel of Jesus.

We know, not just in theory but in reality even here in our own Diocese, that there is awful division. And, further, that even many priests have created a false unity by joining together to reject the teaching of the Church and of Jesus himself. Consider how many priests spoke in favor of contraception, or refused to speak against it; and many other issues.

But, we cannot say "My parish is the only CATHOLIC parish in the (city/diocese/world) or my priest is the only CATHOLIC priest in the (city/diocese/world)." It is true that many priests teach falsehood and gravely mislead people, but that doesn't mean they are not Catholic, although they may be terribly wrong.

What should we do? 1) Know your faith! Learn your Catechism!
And 2) Do penance! Prayer: Rosary, scapular, first Saturdays; fasting: abstaining on Fridays, other mortification; Almsgiving: caring for the homeless, visiting the sick.

2017 is a year of many graces -- the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.


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Jan 25, 2017

Daily Sermons, December 27 to January 21

Sermons from daily Masses, December 27 to January 21. Throughout much of this time, Father Ryan was away from the parish (on retreat and on diocesan meetings).
St John, the Holy Innocents, the Holy Family, the Holy Name, Epiphany, St Sebastian, St Agnes.


Jan 9, 2017

Sunday Sermon, January 9 -- This will be no ordinary year, 2017 and the end times

Transferred feast of Epiphany, January 9.

The wise men saw the star and recognized the sign of the coming of the Lord, even though most men were unaware of the most significant moment in history. On Epiphany, the Church looks ahead to the coming year and proclaims the dates of all the movable feasts (Ash Wednesday, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, etc).  We look forward to consider what God has in store for us this year - and we recognize that 2017 is no ordinary year.

Consider:
1) 2017 is the 100th Anniversary of Fatima.
2) Before writing the St Michael Prayer exactly 33 years to the day (October 13, 1884) prior to the "miracle of the sun" in Fatima, Pope Leo XIII heard our Lord say that Satan would be given 100 years to persecute the Church and wreak havoc on the world. And the Vatican has said that the past 100 years of violence and persecution fulfill the suffering predicted at Fatima.
3) 2017 is the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Revolt - an horrific event which is being celebrated even by many Catholic bishops.
4) We have completed the Year of Mercy. Jesus revealed to St Faustina that, after the day of mercy would come the day of judgment.
5) There is unprecedented division in the Church. Priest against priest. Bishop against bishop. And cardinal against cardinal.
6) Unprecedented liturgical abuse. Would the saints even recognize the Mass as it is celebrated in most churches throughout the world today?
7) Sr Lucia (one of the Fatima Visionaries) wrote to then Monsignor (now Cardinal) Caffarra that the last great battle would be on issues related to marriage and the family. Cardinal Caffarra was a trusted adviser to St John Paul the Great, and to Pope Benedict XVI. But, under the current pontificate, Caffarra is persecuted and rejected -- and the Catholic approach to divorce and remarriage as well as a whole host of other issues related to marriage and the family is being thrown by the wayside for radical liberalism.


What do we do?
1) Practice regular confession
2) Pray the Rosary every day
3) Wear the brown scapular
4) Practice the First Saturday Devotions


2017 will be no ordinary year. This is a moment of grace, if only we would be open to receiving it.



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New Year's Sermon - Mary Mother of God - Mary is the most divine creature in her virginal motherhood

January 1st - Mary Mother of God

God became man so that man might become like God. This is the mystery of Christmas, the mystery of grace. And in no creature after our Lord's sacred humanity do we see the divinity more clearly reflected than in the Virgin Mary.

Mary, as a virgin mother, is the most divine of all creatures. Her giving birth to Jesus without any pain or suffering or rupture or violence is a manifestation of the manner in which God the Father begot the Son from all eternity. Only two persons may be said to have begotten God -- The Father, and Mary.

Jesus is God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God; and on Christmas, he is God from Mary, truly proceeding from her as light through glass in a miraculous birth.



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