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Christ the King—25 October AD 2020
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Christ the King

Mass Text - English
Mass Text - Latin

Preface of Christ the King
Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Pope Pius XI Encyclical Quas primas

“Long live Christ the King!”


    If we look back over the history of the world, we find that people often judged kings by the amount of land they were able to conquer during their reign.  Historians celebrate the Roman emperors for controlling all of the lands around the Mediterranean, or the medieval English kings for ruling both England and much of France.  Charlemagne is the hero who brought together the Holy Roman Empire, uniting France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, and parts of Italy and Poland.  Alexander the Great is always looked upon with admiration, having brought Greece, Egypt, Persia and India under his control before dying at the young age of 33.

    But, if territorial control is any measure of kingship, we can only be reminded of the King of Kings, our Lord Jesus Christ.  Like Alexander, He too died at the age of 33.  But, except for His flight into Egypt as an infant, He had never been out of what we would today call Palestine.  Yet, His conquests have, at one time or another, extended throughout the world.

    After His death, the Apostles established the Kingdom of Christ throughout the known world—East to West, from Spain to India, with Rome, Greece, Turkey, and Northern Africa in between.  The next few generations of Catholics expanded the Kingdom to include France, England, and Ireland in the Northwest, and the Slavic nations like Russia and Ukraine in the East.  Algeria and Ethiopia to the South.  By the 1600s Christendom included missions and settlements from northern Canada to the tip of South America, and others as far east as China and Japan.

    Now, it is wrong to believe that Christendom was, as they say, “one big happy family.”  That just isn't true.  There still were wars, and often enough people sinned against each other—for these kinds of evil are a consequence of original sin, and will probably always be with us.  Yet, in many ways, life under the rule of Christ the King was very different from what we know today.

    There were wars, alright, but most of them were fought on battlefields, and only those who chose to involve themselves were likely to be injured.  The idea of purposely harming the civilian population would have been unthinkable.  And even fierce armies were likely not to fight on Sundays and Holy Days, nor during the holy seasons of Advent and Lent.

    Just like today, one had to be careful not to travel around with too much money in one's pockets—but women and children and the infirm were respected, and could go around with much less fear of being molested than their modern counterparts.  The weary traveler might find a night's lodging on the grounds of a monastery.  And, it was the Church which operated schools to train doctors, and the first hospitals to care for the seriously ill.  And there was no Blue Cross.

    The people of Christendom were very much conscious of the idea of economic crimes—but there were certainly fewer of them an age that viewed swindlers and money lenders in the same light as pick-pockets and perverts.

    Times were harder than today, but there were relatively few influences that might destroy the refuge of the family.  People dressed modestly, neighbor worked with neighbor.  Entertainments were few, but generally wholesome, often carried out in the church or in the public square.

    Now, the thing that ties all of these things together is that the people of Christendom, in spite of their human frailties—and even when they were positively bad—did not lose sight of the fact that they were subjects of Christ the King.  In every cell of their body, they knew that every authority on earth—mother, father, sheriff, count, king, emperor—was ultimately subject to the law and the justice of Christ the King.  These authorities were to be respected because they ruled with the authority of Christ the King—and—these authorities would be accountable for their actions to that same King of Heaven.

    Unfortunately, today there is very little left that can properly be called “Christendom.”  Many of its citizens are still out there, but they have been scattered—they lack leadership and enthusiasm.  The powers of the devil suppress the truth of Christ, denying His authority and even His very existence.  At least in the public media, it is the “kiss of death” for a politician to espouse Christian values, let alone publicly practice the Christian Faith.

    This feast of Christ the King was established in 1925 in an attempt to combat this rotting of Christendom from the inside—to remind everyone that Christ is the essential ruler, lawgiver, and judge, here and now on this earth, as well as in the Kingdom of Heaven.  But, even the Church has been penetrated—among the Modernists this feast is celebrated on the last Sunday of the liturgical year, as though the reign of Christ will only begin at the end of time.  They no longer pray that the “family of nations be subject to the most gentle rule [of Christ]” —they substitute some vague notion of “freedom for all of creation.”  There is no longer any mention of a Catholic nation, or Christian Society—“Christendom” is not even in their prayers.

    Clearly, we have a threefold responsibility in dealing with this revolution which comes so close to toppling the Kingdom of Christ on earth.

    Christ's Kingdom is “not of this world,” but it most certainly needs to be “in this world.”  We must reject every false notion of the Modernists which would reduce Christ's Church to a back-slapping secular society—which denies the Kingdom of Christ here and now.

    As citizens, we must be informed, and use our vote so that the candidates most favorable to the rule of Christ the King are elected.  In some years, we may feel that this is a choice between two or three evils—sometimes we may have to settle for the least evil.  When that is the case, we need to take a much greater interest, with an eye to ensuring that candidates with Christian moral character are on the ballot 2, 4, and 6 years in the future.

    And finally, we must remember that there can be no Christian Kingdom, no Christendom, without Christian subjects.  That means that we, ourselves, even when we lack Christian statesmen and Christian churchmen must live a life that clearly acknowledges that Jesus Christ is our sovereign King.


“Long live Christ the King!”



Dei via est íntegra


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