Tuesday, May 24, 2016

There is no Obedience in the Trinity

This past Sunday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. We consider the incomprehensible Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity – three Persons in one God and one God in three Persons. Each wholly and entirely God, and yet not three Gods, but one God, one divine nature, one divine essence.

Reflecting upon the unity of the three divine Persons, we will quickly see that there is no obedience within the Trinity. The Son is not obedient to the Father, neither is the Holy Spirit obedient to the Father and the Son, but these three are bound in a perfect mutual enjoyment and love – “And the more love is one, the more it is love.” (St John of the Cross, Romances on “In the Beginning was the Word”)

St. Gregory of Nazianzus has proposed this dogma for our belief: “Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight, which I want to take with me as a companion, and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures: I mean the profession of faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I entrust it to you today. By it I am soon going to plunge you into water and raise you up from it. I give it to you as the companion and patron of your whole life. I give you but one divinity and power, existing one in three, and containing the three in a distinct way. Divinity without disparity of substance or nature, without superior degree that raises up or inferior degree that casts down. . . the infinite co-naturality of three infinites. Each person considered in himself is entirely God. . . the three considered together. . . I have not even begun to think of unity when the Trinity bathes me in its splendour. I have not even begun to think of the Trinity when unity grasps me. . .” (Oratio 40,41; CCC 256)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity and the "War-Song of Faith": The Athanasian Creed

"The Father is God, The Son is God, The Holy Spirit is God;
God is the Father, God is the Son, God is the Holy Spirit;
The Father is not the Son, The Son is not the Father,
The Father is not the Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit is not the Father,
The Son is not the Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit is not the Son
It is a psalm or hymn of praise, of confession, and of profound, self-prostrating homage, parallel to the canticles of the elect in the Apocalypse. It appeals to the imagination quite as much as to the intellect. It is the war-song of faith […] For myself, I have ever felt it as the most simple and sublime, the most devotional formulary to which Christianity has given birth.

So did Blessed John Henry Newman describe the Athanasian Creed which, in the Roman Church, holds a special place on Trinity Sunday. This Creed of St. Athanasius, once recited by the priests of the Latin Church on each Sunday (or, more recently, at least on Trinity Sunday), while being one of the most forceful, succinct and beautiful expressions of our faith in the Trinity and in the Incarnation, has sadly fallen from the consciousness of nearly all the lay faithful and even of the vast majority of the clergy in the years since Vatican II. In these post-Conciliar times, do we not need a “war-song of faith” to call the faithful to the standard of Christ?

In honor of the Most Holy Trinity, we reproduce the Athanasian Creed below, together with a simply commentary on the text.

O Most Holy Trinity! Undivided Unity! Holy God, Mighty God, God Immortal be adored!

Daily Sermons, May 16-21 (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Daily Sermons, May 16-21.
Octave of Pentecost, The Divine Holy Spirit.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Thursday Adult Formation, May 19 -- The Divine Comedy: Introduction to the Purgatorio (part 1 of 5, Father Ryan Erlenbush)

Part 1 of 5, Dante's Divine Comedy: The Purgatorio

Pope Francis has named the Divine Comedy as the official book of the Year of Mercy. We now begin the second part of the Comedy, the Purgatorio.

Handouts are below:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Gift of Tongues is not Inarticulate Mumbling

Pentecost Sunday - May 15, 2016

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost: and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. (Acts 2:4)

On the feast of Pentecost, a most wondrous miracle occurred whereby the Apostles were moved by the Holy Spirit to speak in languages previously unknown to them. This gift is called “Glossolalia” or “Speaking in tongues”, and contributed to the conversion of 3,000 in a single day.

“Speaking in tongues” or “the gift of tongues” is one of the most misunderstood charisms of the Spirit. In the modern day (sadly, even within the Catholic Church), the term has been hijacked by some to be used in a manner wholly unknown to the Apostles, the Scriptures, and the Church. A careful study of this gift in the Bible and in the Early Church reveals that the “gift of tongues” is not the mumbling common in Charismatic Prayer groups, but is rather the miracle whereby one speaks new human languages for the praise of God and the conversion of pagans.

Sunday Sermon, May 15 -- Pentecost: The Gift of Tongues Means Speaking New Languages (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Pentecost Sunday - The Gift of Tongues Means Speaking New Languages

The gift of tongues is the wondrous miracle whereby the Apostles spoke many new languages on the feast of Pentecost. This miracles was prevalent in the early Church, but has since mostly disappeared. We consider that this gift was given for the spread of the Gospel in the earliest days of the faith, but is no longer needed since there are men and women of every language who speak the praises of God.

"Prayer of the Spirit" means prayer that is filled with love. Love of God and love of neighbor.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sunday Sermon, May 5 -- The Dogma of the Ascension (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Sermon for the Solemnity of the Ascension (transferred from Thursday in Montana, USA) -- The Dogma of the Ascension of the Lord.

1. What the dogma of the Ascension entails: Jesus has not left his humanity, nor has he abandoned us; he has removed his visible, tangible presence (natural species) from us, even as he remains present in the Eucharist to the end of time.

2. What the Ascension means for us: Our Lord inspires our faith in what is not seen, lifts us our hope to the things of heaven, and makes our love to be truly spiritual and celestial.