By a Father whose son committed suicide…
Filed under Church
Tagged as Christianity, Church, Death, Faith, Homily, Hope, Life, Priesthood, Suicide
This is why atheism must be fought, marginalized, and eradicated, and those who espouse it must be corrected, educated, and saved. Atheism kills people, from the millions of people killed by an atheist regime, to the single suicide. The Enemy rejoices when we are ruined, and he deceives us into thinking that we are not made and loved by God, that we are gods ourselves,that we are just bags of meat that have no purpose, that our destiny is formed by our wills alone without Divine Providence, that we are destined to die alone in a cruel world where one must be at their cruelest to survive, that there is no right or wrong… may God have mercy on this man’s soul, and I pray for Fr. Kimel. No father should have to bury his son.
We all know John Donne’s famous poem. I am, indeed, diminished by this Father’s loss.
… fought, marginalized, and eradicated, and those who espouse it must be corrected, educated, and saved
What do you propose in the way of logistics for the camps. Steam trains and cattle wagons?
Well, for one… Good catechism. I am appalled at how the well-meaning catechists only result in confused catechumens. This is from first-hand experience as someone who attended catechism class in preparation for confirmation at the Los Angeles Cathedral itself. Good catechism goes a long way.
Father, you and your fellow priests are our shepherds. I have faith in you that you won’t let us down. That’s why we call you “Father” instead of “Mister”. So we need people like priests and theologians who have been instructed in at least -some- part of the 2,000-year history of the Church thought.
How are we supposed to face people who demand that we justify our belief in Jesus Christ, when all we have is equivalent to toy pistols? I know that we are not saved by what we know, but by Jesus Christ; yet ignorance is not a virtue, right? I feel that my generation is drifting away and falling into things that end up with the same result as Fr. Kimel’s son, whether in body or in spirit.
I am reading the theologian Frank Sheed’s “Theology and Sanity”, published by Ignatius Press, and he quotes a document of the Second Vatican Council concerning the laity: “The Church’s salvific work is to be done not by the hierarchy but by the whole Church… The laity are called in a special way to make the Church present and operative in those places where only through them can she become the salt of the earth.” He states later on that the Sacrament of Confirmation gives every Christian the right and duty to take part in saving the world, in helping every member of the human race to receive what Christ died and rose again to win for the human race. But right and duty do not supply the equipment needed for the work, and little has been done through the ages to equip the laity, and little is being done now.
Atheism is strongest in universities and in the media. I don’t think we’ll win by playing with them at their own game with their own rules. So we have to look at how we are different and how we benefit from that difference; what comes immediately to mind is the Mass. Indeed, the Mass is the center of the faith because it hinges on the three important things: the Passion, the Death, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the center of the Mass is the Eucharist, in which our God is really present. You can’t have anything better than having God with you. Another thing is prayer. The atheist scoffs at our prayers, but I believe in its efficacy in one form or another. It is not -our- will be done, but God’s Will be done, and somehow prayer grants strength to the person who allows God’s Will to be done no matter how hard and difficult; in praying I acknowledge that I need God’s help.
I don’t know what else, father. This limited mind has to squeeze out how and what, (and unfortunately, we don’t have large amounts of time we can devote to every individual theological and philosophical problem that comes our way.) And I’m just one man writing like his head is on fire, but while I hope that something will come up, there’s a feeling of restlessness at the fact that I myself have not come up with something. And so I contribute what little I can when I can. (Even though I may appear foolish anyway.)
@Ioannes says: – You sir are an idiot! You cannot ‘fight, marginalize and eradicate’ atheism or the a people who hold to it. Just saying this exposes you as an anti-Christ just as Hitler was and the same fate that befell him may befall you if you do not repent. You and your words disgust me.
Condolences to Father Aidan (Alvin) Kimel and his family. May his prayer be received and confirmed in Heaven through the prayers of Blessed Julian of Norwich.
“those who espouse it must be corrected, educated, and saved”
Atheism is a sin. The Atheist is a sinner. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Please learn how to read.
Wow, I am always amazed by the comments on the blogs! No doubt things are said, we would never say to someones face! (And btw, I grew-up in an British Irish -and Anglo-Irish- culture of manners, and I believe it should still exist!) I would agree that our brother “Ioannes” (John), is often wrong on some things, but his heart & desire I think are in the right place. Indeed we must hate “atheism”, but only GOD alone In Christ, by the Spirit can fight it! And we must remember that GOD Himself as sovereign allows, but controls evil itself! “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matt. 6: 13)
What’s up Matthew? Your senior around here, lighten up mate! Btw, if ya want to argue, lets agrue over the biblical fact that Christ alone is the “one” Mediator! (1 Tim. 2:5) Now, that a biblical and theological argument!
Are we not children of God? Why are we here? If we see a person going off to a way that is self-destructive, for example, going off a cliff, aren’t we supposed to care about them? It makes me very, very, very uncomfortable when we presume too much of God’s mercy, when God has given us the ability to work for Him. When I ask “Lord, what do you want of me?” maybe I should ask “How can I love you better?” What better way to love God than by loving the atheist? Is it not an act of mercy that we correct those who err?
But, reading Fr. Robert, yes. I agree, to an extent; there are some people who you can argue with until you’re blue in the face for the rest of your natural life, and it would not have an effect on them. For those people, we entrust them in God’s mercy, for even Hell is a place of God’s mercy; those souls who hate God so much that His very Presence offends them- what place is farthest from God than Hell? God is Love. He loved us so much that He sent to us His only begotten Son to be offered up for our sins. How can I love God better?
Ioannes: No “argument” from me on what you have just said! But, like you, I will always argue doctrinally for what is quite obvious to me in the sense of biblical “apologetics”. Note, I am something a biblical presuppositonalist! (i.e. Van Til, John Frame) Btw, the basic knowledge for Christology is always the measure of an adequate ecclesiology and doctrine of the sacraments. Which is centred in Christ as Prophet, Priest & King. And here too is one of the most ecumenical efforts in theology, for all the Redeemed of the Lord!
Btw, the older Anglican theolog’s called the Sacraments, the ‘Federal Rite’s’ from the Lord. God’s compact and covenant with Christ, and the Lord’s People! And here is both what God gives to us In Christ, the sacramental reality (real presence), and what we give back to God, in our “bodily sacrifice”, (Rom. 12: 1).
And also the “Funeral Homily” or message, is where we must engage again the doctrine of the “Judgment” of God! Since I perhaps do more funeral messages than I want to as a hospital chaplain, this is one of the places that we must engage and challenge the living, as we lay the “body” of those “asleep in Jesus”, in both the “Judgment” of God to eternal life and death! (But always the latter known only to God!)
Note, the grand words of St. Paul here… 2 Cor. 2:14-17! Indeed our lives as Christians count!
Father, your relatives must have been lace! Mine weren’t. They were Protestants from the North and anything but lace. Sen Webb has a book on our people called Born Fighting. This country did not expand over a continent by people dressed like the guy on the oatmeal box! Unfortunately most of the male relatives only got religion when they got older. I think most families have someone that chose their own departure. Father Robert, you must have handled such funerals in the past. How do you deal with such circumstance with the families in question? I think you seem most suited or qualified to discuss proper etiquette and civility in such circumstance, the most experienced.
@edmond: The priest/presbyter, pastor, minister, etc. simply cannot judge, even at the death and loss of the man or woman in and at suicide. We have learned I think today that we simply are all broken, sinful beings, and we must leave all of ourselves before and in the hands of a just but great and gracious God In Christ. But yet, we always must use the whole of Holy Scripture, in all that we say and do, but again always ‘In Christ’!
Btw, my family is hardly “lace”, my father (RIP) a Spit pilot in the RAF in WW II, and my great uncles, uncles, and some aunts too (all RIP); were all in the British military, a few aunts were nurses, in World War II. And both my grandfathers were in the trenches in World War I. And then I too spent over ten years in the RMC’s – Royal Marine Commando’s (a mustang, enlisted to officer). Combat many times.
As to “etiquette and civility”, in this great mystery of death, at one’s own hand, we can again but look to God, who with the gift of His own Son’s death, and cry out: Lord have mercy! We can really say nothing else at such a time of depth and mystery. And yes, I have had to face such family’s and people in suffering. And of course, I think of King David and his son Absalom! “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would to God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Sam. 18:33) I am really here always pressed into the great mystery and mercy of God! We have no other place to go, but to God and grace.
I will Pray for this young man’s family as well as unite my Prayers with theirs–for God’s Merciful Love upon Aaron’s Soul! “Mercy is God’s greatest attribute” of which even the Holy Angels are in perpetual and profound Awe!
This speaks to me of the ‘rara avis’ – the singular relationship between the Soul and Her Creator/God. The Soul comes from God, abides in God and returns to God. ‘The Spirit is Life, the flesh is of no avail’. It is assumed that Aaron was Baptized (his father being a Priest), born into a loving family, nurtured and sustained in Faith. Yet he lived as his father said: “in profound interior pain”? A great Mystery–the ‘workings within the Soul’; the workings of Light and Darkness–the battle of Good and Evil. One wonders, what tipped the scales for him? When and why did the LIGHT go out for him? Still, God brings GOOD out of every Evil…and this is the ‘Glorious Hope’ of his father’s Prayer: “…I will not be saved without my Aaron. My love for him is too great. God will make it so”. And so…The Mystery is palpable in the father’s love–an Image of Our Father in Heaven’s Love for each and every Soul – God’s Love for each Soul is Infinitely MORE than a father’s earthly love.
There is, of course, the matter of ‘Purgation’: I once read that in the ‘case of suicide’ the Soul after death feels the identical pain that her suicide caused her loved ones to suffer on earth – or as Fr. Kimel puts it: “We who have been left behind must now suffer the repercussions of Aaron’s decision…”. That is to say then that the son will not be at Peace–until his loved Ones are in Peace. A Peace that embraces forgiveness–of all concerned…a ‘letting go’ and commending the Soul to the ‘Mercy and Love of God’! After all, the two greatest commandments: Love of God and Love of Neighbor. So it is then as Jesus has said: “you are not far from the Kingdom of Heaven”!!
Perhaps the great quote of Blaise Pascal is helpful here:
“Jesus will be in agony until the end of the world; we must not sleep during all that time”. And yet as P.T. Forsyth said there is a great difference between “running errands for the culture” verses, “the folly of the cross”! Here of course “folly” would be closer to the depth and mystery of the cross, itself.
Indeed! Jesus Christ will be on the Cross until the End of Time, when the entire Universe will be renewed by Jesus Christ’s return. Jesus Christ healed, but He did not cure, because the was not the point of His coming. Even the blind man who could see again died someday. So did Lazarus. Jesus Christ was not some glorified social worker who attended to everyone’s small problems. Jesus Christ was “God who became Man, so that Man can become God” to quote St. Athanasius. This promise, that if we follow Him and be faithful to Him, we would gain eternal life and partake of God’s divinity, gives me courage to appreciate and live the life He gave me, and be ready if I should die at any time it pleases God, because when I live and die is up to Him, who is Master of Life, and His Will be done, not mine.
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