Friday, January 24, 2020

January 23rd, Adult Ed Series on Priestly Celibacy, Session 3, The Theology of Clerical Celibacy (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

In this course on priestly celibacy, we discuss the history and theology of clerical celibacy and show that celibacy is a great gift to the Church which must be preserved.

Session 3-- Theology of Priestly Celibacy
Many people either defend or attack priestly celibacy based solely on practical values (either married priests are too expensive and won't be able to work as much, or married priests would gain many more vocations and help the priests to understand the people better-- etc). However, any substantial discussion of priestly celibacy must be rooted in the theology behind this discipline -- we will show that there are important doctrines related to the discipline of celibacy.

Sunday Sermon, January 19th -- Christ Baptizes Through His Ministers (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

John the Baptist said, "I did no know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit."

This Sunday, we follow up on our sermon from last week on baptism, discussing now the minister of baptism.  John the Baptist certainly knew who Jesus was, he leaped for joy in the womb and recognized Jesus and Messiah and God even from before either was born!

However, following St Augustine, we maintain that was John learned at our Lord's baptism is the He would always retain the ministry of baptism to himself - and likewise for all the sacraments. Whoever baptizes, it is Jesus who baptizes -- and this gives unity to the Church, as well as certainty to the sacraments.  The power of the sacraments does not depend on the holiness of a particular priest, but on the holiness of Jesus who instituted baptism.

This is consoling to us in an age in which many priests and many bishops have failed us, have caused grave scandal, have failed to teach the true faith.  We remain Catholic, because through baptism we are incorporated into Christ.

Friday, January 17, 2020

January 16th, Adult Ed Series on Priestly Celibacy -- Session 2, The History of Clerical Celibacy

In this course on priestly celibacy, we will present the history and theology of the discipline of celibacy. Further, we will put forward the great value of celibacy for the whole Church.

Session 2 - History of Clerical Celibacy
While it is true that celibacy was not required in the first years of the Church, there is every indication that continence was demanded of the Apostles and the priests of the early Church. Which is to say, in places where the faith flourished the most and where the disciplines of the Church were most carefully kept, even when a married man was ordained he would cease from that time from relations with is wife and would even separate from married life.
From the very beginning, Holy Orders has been moving more and more towards clerical celibacy.

January 9th, Adult Ed Series on Priestly Celibacy, Session 1 - Introduction to Priestly Celibacy

In this series, we will discuss the history and theology of the discipline of priestly celibacy. We will defend the tradition of celibacy, and present it as a great gift for the whole Church.

Session 1 - Introduction to Priestly Celibacy and Definitions of Terms
Overview of the current crisis in the Church related to priestly celibacy, and definition of key terms (continence, celibacy, virginity, the Eastern and Western Churches, etc).

Sunday Sermon, January 12th -- To Be Christian Is To Be Baptized (Baptism of the Lord, Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

[pre Sermon note about the Month of January dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. How we can reverence the Holy Name by reciting the Litany of the Holy Name and especially the Divine Praises. Also, we should be very cautious of any movies or TV or music which contains blasphemy. Further, we ourselves should work hard to avoid taking the Lord's Name in vain - to say "Jeez" is a direct blasphemy against the Holy Name of JESus. In fact, this is what the Greek IHS stands for JESus.]

On the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we remember that our Lord did not need to be baptized but we needed him to be baptized so as to sanctify the waters of baptism for our own salvation.

Many Protestants have lost the importance of baptism, and some do not even practice baptism any longer. However, unless someone has been baptized, they really are not a Christian (even if they read the Bible and claim to "believe" in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior). Further, if someone has been baptized, then they are a Christian -- although, one will not be saved unless he lives out his baptismal graces and dies in the state of grace which was given through baptism.

The original Protestant heresy was a rejection of the power of the sacraments to give grace -- even rejecting the belief that the work of baptizing sanctifies the soul of the child/adult who is baptized. But the true and authentic Biblical teaching is the baptism does give salvation -- this is why our Lord told the Apostles to baptize, and also why Peter answered those who asked him "What must we do to be saved?" saying, "Repent, and BE BAPTIZED!"

Sunday Sermon, January 5th -- The Gifts of the Magi (Epiphany Sermon, Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

For the transferred feast of the Epiphany, we consider the Magi and the opening of salvation for the Gentiles. Further, the significance of the three gifts: Gold for a King, Frankincense for God, Myrrh for his burial.

We offer our spiritual gifts to the Christ Child: Gold of a virtuous life, Frankincense of true worship and prayer, and Myrrh of penance.

New Year's Sermon -- Octave of Christmas, Circumcision, Mother of God

January 1st is the Octave Day of Christmas (the 8th Day is the renewal of the original feast). We return to the same mystery of Christ's Birth.  For the Jewish people, the octave is a great feast - and the eighth day after the birth of a son was the day of his circumcision and receiving his name. This is the day in which the Christ Child received his Holy Name of Jesus.

Finally, this is the Feast of our Lady's Motherhood - we rejoice that God has taken a Mother to himself, and has come to us through Mary.