Fr. Leonard Feeney died on this day, in 1978. This is an excerpt of his from The Point, of Jan. 1953 -
There are three kinds of Communists: economic Communists, cultural Communists, and religious Communists. The least dangerous of these three is the economic Communist, the man who has no money. Then comes the cultural Communist, the man who has no values.
And finally, the most dangerous of all, is the religious Communist, the man who has no Faith and who wishes to share that lack of Faith with everybody.
It is this last form of Communism which has given rise to the movement known as Interfaith, which consists of a common-denominator belief that leaves a Jew delighted, a Protestant contented, and a Catholic without an Apostles’ Creed.
We priests were not put in Sacrament to take care of the temporal needs of our flocks. Our assignment is to the spiritual welfare of our people. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: “Christ allowed one of His Apostles to take charge of all the money — the traitorous Apostle — because He wanted to teach prelates readily to entrust the managing of temporal affairs to anyone, but to keep the managing of spiritual things to themselves; though many do the contrary.”
The hungry whom we must feed, and the naked whom we must clothe, are those who hunger for the Bread of Life and thirst for communion with the Blood of Christ. The Blessed Eucharist is a priest’s great gift to man: that Divine Food and Drink which makes him con-corporeal with Jesus and induces the Blessed Virgin Mary to take him as her child. Saint Paul tells us that we could give all our goods to the poor and still not have charity. (I Cor. 13:3) Unless a priest makes the Blessed Eucharist his first and foremost charity, how can he say, or ask anyone else to say, what Saint Paul once shouted: “And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me.” (Gal. 2:20)
Priests should be poor men. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, insisted that all his sons be poor. A poor priest is free to talk all the time about man’s eternal salvation.