ON FIRE! Bp. Finn of Kansas City – MUST READ

His Excellency Most Rev. Robert Finn, Bishop of Kansas City, MO speaks out in his column in the Catholic Key.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Warriors with Our Eyes Fixed on Heaven

Last Saturday I had the privilege of consecrating the restored church of Old St. Patrick. This is the oldest existing Catholic church in Kansas City. It will serve as the Oratory for the Latin Mass community which first began here under Bishop John Sullivan, and for many years has shared the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows.

One of the beauties of the Traditional Latin High Mass that I celebrated is that it highlights a most profound aspect of the Mass, namely our participation with the Communion of Saints. The high altar, multiple candles, incense and Gregorian chant, collectively give us a striking image of the Heavenly Jerusalem which is our ultimate home. Every Mass celebrates this reality, but I must admit that the traditional Mass captured this magnificent expression of the ultimate hope and goal of Christians in a powerful way. We should reflect on this often, because the ultimate goal of everything we do is to get ourselves to heaven and bring with us as many as we can[EXACTLY!   This is the whole point of how we worship, the kind of building we worship in, what we put in it, and what we do in it.  GET.TO.HEAVEN.  If the aforementioned don't help us in this goal, then they fail their purpose.  They can be obstacles.  This has been a theme of several sermons I have posted here and articles I have written.  The present contrast of the older rite and how the newer rite tends to be celebrated, between the older churches and many of the newer, and even the texts themselves, alas, give us a lot to consider.]

The month of November begins with the two great celebrations: All Saints day (November 1) and the Commemoration of All Souls (November 2). These feasts celebrate our communion with the "Church triumphant" in heaven, and the "Church suffering" in purgatory. Today I would like to share a few brief comments about what we have sometimes called the "Church militant," the Church here on earth.  [When was the last time you heard a BISHOP talk about the Church Militant.]

We, the Church on earth, have a very special challenge as participants in the grace and life of Jesus Christ to "fight" against the enemies of Christ’s justice and truth and light and life. We must be attentive to the demands of this daily "battle" in a peaceable but serious manner.  [There are enemies and there is a battle!]

I am sometimes amazed at the casual manner with which Christians, Catholics included, take up our life within what Pope John Paul II rightly called the "culture of death."  [Remember: the Bishop began with presenting the goal of getting to heaven.  Make your own conclusion about where embracing the culture of death will get you!] The Church, by comparison, reminds us that we are engaged – by reason of our Baptism and Confirmation – in a battle, "not with flesh and blood, but with the principalities and powers, with the rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in heaven." (Eph 6:12) [A bishop who preaches about the Devil.  God love him!] Jesus Christ has won the ultimate battle, but we, in the course of our human life must make our choice, determining on whose side we will live and die. Whose side will you choose?!  [YES!]

What is at stake in this battle is our immortal soul, our salvation. My responsibility as bishop is with the eternal destiny of those entrusted to my care[At this point I had to stop and go get more coffee!  This is GREAT STUFF!  It has not been fashionable to speak of the "cura animarum" for a long time, but here it is.] My total energies must be directed to the well being of those who otherwise may come under the spell of a radically flawed and fundamentally distorted moral sense, at odds with what our Mother the Church teaches. There are objective and transcendent truths. There is such a thing as right and wrong. There is a legitimate hierarchy of moral evils, and the direct willful destruction of human life can never be justified; it can never be supported. Do you believe this firm teaching of the Church[This gets better and better.  Yes!  Put it in the form of a direct question!]

Did you know that in Canada priests and Christian ministers have already been brought before tribunals for preaching and teaching in support of marriage[We Catholic bloggers need to give this fellow as big a megaphone as we can.] They are charged with "hate speech" against homosexuality. In light of the tyranny of choice growing each day in our own beloved country, we ought to be ready for similar attacks on religious freedom. [Indeed.  I remember reading Michael O'Brian's Eclipse of the Sun, set in Canada in modern times, and thinking that the hunting down of priests was a bit far fetched.  Then I read in the news about what the Canadian parliment was doing.  I read that same week a newstory about how a legislator in Kentucky was trying to remove from priests the right to keep material from confessions priviledged.  It failed.  But it was tried. ] We must not fail to preach the Gospel. We can not withhold the truth of our faith. That is why I will never be silent about human life. It is why I am proud of so many others – bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity – who are not afraid to speak out about the values that matter most. What about you?!

Our Lord told His apostles that they would be hated by the world, just as He was. Nearly all of them died a martyr’s death. As warriors in the Church militant, we must never resort to violence. But we must stand up fearlessly against the agents of death, the enemies of human life. Human beings are not Satan, but we know too well that they can come under his spell. They can become willing agents of death, numbed and poisoned in this culture of death. What about you?!

As we begin this month of November, the month of the Church, let us call upon the Saints to inspire us, befriend us, and pray for us. Let us offer many prayers and sacrifices for the poor souls who have gone before us. They need our meritorious suffrages to help them reach heaven.

And let us resolve to be warriors of the Church militant; warriors with our eyes fixed on heaven. Let us ask God’s mercy and strength to persevere in our call – individual and collective – to holiness. Mary, Mother of the Church, Pray for us!

 

Enough said.

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33 Responses to ON FIRE! Bp. Finn of Kansas City – MUST READ

  1. Pater, OSB says:

    What an honor it is to have been ordained by Bishop Finn!

  2. jarhead462 says:

    WOW!

    Semper Fi!

  3. Michael says:

    This is what we have been hungering to hear from the leaders of our Church. Every Catholic should read this. God bless Bishop Finn.

    Michael

  4. KK says:

    The voice of the true Heart of America. Deo Gratias!

  5. Dan H says:

    I don’t know about you but I am fired up and I have no shame in stand up for the truth. God Bless Bishop Finn. Well Boys and Girls, let us truly be the Church Militant and help turn this tide of evil we face today.

  6. TNCath says:

    GO BISHOP FINN!!!!

  7. Brian says:

    I teach, in Canada, religion and philosophy, in a Catholic High School.
    I sometimes wonder when the “Human Rights Police” will pay me a visit.
    Recently Bishop Finn reminded teachers in his diocese about the necessity,
    within Catholic education, of the “cura animarum”. In much of Catholic education
    today, the immediate purpose (salvation of souls that is) of the Church is absent.
    Temporal concerns are all that seem to matter.

    Bishop Finn keep it up….

    Thankyou Fr. Z, for posting this

    Brian

  8. Andrew says:

    Ad multos annos! Eis polla eti Despota!

  9. The last trad standing says:

    God Bless Bishop Finn!
    We need rallying calls like this in the battle for the right to life.
    It seems every day that the right to be born is being eroded more and more…in the name of rights.

  10. Jerry Boyd says:

    The battles waged, of necessity, in Canada need to be waged here as well. If the Presidential election here goes as the biased media predicts (and I pray not) there will be an all out assault on the Church’s right, and indeed obligation, to teach. Our already secularized society will move in a blatantly anti-religion direction. It will take many Bishop Finns and many real Catholics to combat the works of the devil and his henchmen. It is hard to believe that in the United States of America Christians may be persecuted as in days of old….but I believe that will happen. It will be important for all of us to remember the Bishop’s admonition that our purpose is not our physical well being here on Earth but to attain the Heavenly Jerusalem. We will indeed need to become warriors in every sense of that term.

  11. Jerry Boyd says:

    Let me add that the assault on Catholicism and the teachings/beliefs of our Church which is brewing in this country is being led by so-called Catholics. Kennedy, Biden, Pelosi, Kulongowski and others. They have all been admonished by their Bishops and all continue to defy the Church and Almighty God. It is sad and ironic that the assault on Catholicism comes not from without but within.

  12. miss book says:

    Wow!Tears of joy on reading this, ‘the tyrany of choice’ yes- name the reality.What a true shepherd Bishop Finn is, thanks be to God.

  13. Kristen says:

    I want to say that I am surprised that my Bishop has remained silent on all of this… but I am not.

    Our Lady, please pray for the Diocese of Erie.

  14. Mitch says:

    How lucky it would be to be a member of the faithful of the diocese of KC! It is so great that at a time when it seems more and more that secular foces in our country are seing Christianity and even Christ as the problem in society that Bishop Finn would speak up like this, and give courage to his flock. Ad multos annos.

  15. Jason says:

    I like the story of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who liked to read military stories, but found that they never satisfied him like the lives of the Saints. The Saints are the true warriors, or as the Holy Father has said, “only from the saints, only from God does true revolution come, the definitive way to change the world.”

  16. Maureen says:

    Dear Lord, please continue to feed our bishops their Wheaties, spinach, and milk. And if you could give the bishops of Rochester and Erie some holy envy of their brethren, that would be awesome too.

    Amen.

  17. Rumold says:

    What a superb bishop! Inhabitants of the diocese of Kansas City are blessed to have such a pastor.
    It would be wonderful to see Bishop Finn fill the upcoming vacancy in New York. He would be a real Catholic voice in the so called capital of the world.

  18. Paul Haley says:

    It is not happenstance that Bishop Finn celebrated the Traditional Mass and then spoke with such clarity and courage as if the Holy Spirit had taken up residence in his human body. [Be careful. Bp. Finn speaks like this consistently. He mostly celebrates the Novus Ordo.] My hope is that other bishops and archbishops, including my own in Colorado, will do the same. God bless Bishop Finn.

  19. Al says:

    Speaking of the Church Militant, Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio talked about it in an article this past summer:

    http://www.toledodiocese.org/content/view/943/169/

    Definitely a term we need to hear more. That, and the Four Last Things.

  20. beautiful…every Catholic should hear this

  21. DebbieInCT says:

    Thank you Bishop Finn, this was just wonderful to read!

    I found the scripture translation interesting – “…with the rulers of this present darkness,
    with the evil spirits in heaven.” (Eph 6:12)

    The KJV verse I’m familiar with (I’m a recent Catholic convert) translates this as “…against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
    against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    Fr. Z – are there evil spirits in heaven?

  22. Derik says:

    thanks to Fr. Z the teachings of Bishop Finn can reach ouside his diocese. What a superb speech to rekindle the zeal for the sanctity of life!

  23. czemike@gmail.com says:

    PLEASE PRAY FOR BISHOP FINN!

    Certainly we are grateful to hear a bishop finally saying this and in such direct and dramatic language, but you can be sure that “those spirits not of the Holy Spirit” have marked him for “special treatment” by all of their minions. Let us pray for him and that he inspires other bishops to make similar statements. And let us pray that Satan’s minions don’t win on Tuesday… an Obama presidency will see the jailing of bishops like his excellency the Bishop of Kansas City.

  24. Mary Jane says:

    This is a great statement. How rarely we are reminded of immortality? How rarely are we reminded that heaven is not a shoo-in? Thanks, Bishop Finn.

  25. Genna says:

    Please may we have Bishop Finn at Westminster, UK?

  26. Rudy B says:

    Amen, Alleuia! Let’s get to work.

  27. czemike@gmail.com says:

    Please may we have Bishop Finn at Westminster, UK?

    No: he’s ours! :-)

    I knew he would be good for our diocese when the NCR started foaming at the mouth when he was named bishop, but I didn’t know he was going to be this good!

    But I’ll pray that you all get a bishop like bishop Finn in Westminster… deal?

  28. Brian says:

    “There are objective and transcendent truths. There is such a thing as right and wrong. There is a legitimate hierarchy of moral evils, and the direct willful destruction of human life can never be justified; it can never be supported. Do you believe this firm teaching of the Church?”

    Isn’t the truth beautiful?

  29. Christabel says:

    Just what did the Holy Father say to the American bishops on his recent visit to bring them out fighting?

    I hope he visits England soon.

  30. Paul Haley says:

    It is not happenstance that Bishop Finn celebrated the Traditional Mass and then spoke with such clarity and courage as if the Holy Spirit had taken up residence in his human body. [Be careful. Bp. Finn speaks like this consistently. He mostly celebrates the Novus Ordo.] My hope is that other bishops and archbishops, including my own in Colorado, will do the same. God bless Bishop Finn.
    Comment by Paul Haley — 30 October 2008 @ 11:00 am

    Fr. Z.,
    My intent was to give a fraternal pat on the back to Bishop Finn and exhort other bishops to do as he did. In no way did I mean to denigrate those who celebrate the new mass for I have always believed the new mass to be valid when celebrated according to the proper matter, form and intention. On the other hand when I was a boy in the late 40′s and early 50′s and serving the traditional mass, it seemed to me to be the most perfect way of honoring Our Lord’s sacrifice, albeit in an unbloody manner.

    I feel the same way today — that both masses are valid but the traditional mass addresses the goals of adoration, petition, thanksgiving and reparation better then the new. But that is strictly my own belief and not one that I would impose on others. Thanks for the fraternal warning; I needed that.

  31. Daniel Ou says:

    Bishop Finn has connections to Opus Dei, I believe.