Christ the King—25 October AD 2020
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Text - English
Mass Text - Latin
Preface of Christ the King
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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!”