Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph Robert Finn has reminded the faithful that their salvation is at stake in the battle for holiness. Decrying the “casual manner” in which many Christians live within the “culture of death,” he urged Catholics to “stand up fearlessly against the agents of death.”
Writing in his October 29 column for the Catholic Key, Bishop Finn began by recounting his recent celebration of a Traditional Latin High Mass, saying it highlights our participation with the Communion of Saints and its elements give us a “striking image of the Heavenly Jerusalem” which is our “ultimate home.”
“The ultimate goal of everything we do is to get ourselves to heaven and bring with us as many as we can,” he continued, focusing his remarks on the “Church militant,” the Church on earth.
The Church militant’s purpose, the bishop explained, is to “‘fight’ against the enemies of Christ's justice and truth and light and life.” This fight requires our attentions in a “peaceable but serious manner.”
Lamenting the “casual manner” of some Christians, he said St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians reminds us that we are 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.”
“What is at stake in this battle is our immortal soul, our salvation,” Bishop Finn insisted. “My responsibility as bishop is with the eternal destiny of those entrusted to my care. 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.”
“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?” he asked.
Bishop Finn noted that priests and ministers in Canada had been brought before government tribunals for preaching and teaching in support of marriage, being 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,” he warned.
“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,” Bishop Finn insisted.
“What about you?” he asked.
Noting that Christ told the apostles they would be hated by the world, just as He was, the bishop said Christians must never resort to violence but “we must stand up fearlessly against the agents of death, the enemies of human life.”
People can come under Satan’s spell, the bishop warned, describing such people as “willing agents of death, numbed and poisoned in this culture of death.”
“What about you?” he asked again.
He concluded his column with an exhortation, saying “let us call upon the Saints to inspire us, befriend us, and pray for us,” and adding counsel to pray for those in Purgatory.
“And let us resolve to be warriors of the Church militant; warriors with our eyes fixed on heaven,” Bishop Finn closed. “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!”