Text - English
Mass Text - Latin
Preface of Christ the King
to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Pope Pius XI
Encyclical Quas primas
Please pray for
Anne Marie Johnson—in a Haitian hospital with pneumonia.
Please pray for
Alfie Evans, 15 Months old ,
another hostage of socialized medicine in Britain.
“I am a King. For
this I was born, and for this I came into the world,
that I should give testimony to the truth.
And everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”
The philosophical scourge of the twentieth and twenty-first
century is modernism—first condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in 1908, it had to
have been around even earlier than that.
The essence of modernism is that, in religious matters, there is no objective
truth. The modernist perceives religion as being noting more than “opinion,” or
“sentiment.” What passes for “truth” among modernists is quite flexible—capable
of being modified through “dialogue” between the modernist “believers.”
It is instructive to consider our Lord’s words in today’s
Gospel: “I came into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth.”
Notice that He says “truth,” and not sentiment or opinion. Human beings have
trouble discovering objective truth for themselves—think about how many
centuries we have spent to develop the natural sciences, which are still
imperfect. But God knows all things exactly as they are—all of His knowledge is
objective truth. It is this truth—about God Himself and
about the behavior He expects of us—to which our Lord gives testimony. We can
know God and morality through natural reason, but we know them with absolute
assurance when we know them through divine revelation.
The preface of today’s Mass, given to us in 1925 by Pope
suggests that Christ gives us more than objective truth. It speaks of the
Kingdom of Christ as:
eternal and universal, a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and
grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.
Whoever wrote this preface understood that scholastic
philosophy recognizes truth as being “transcendental”—that is to say that truth,
unity, beauty, existence and goodness are all aspects of the same thing.
We can say, for example that “existence is true” to the degree that what we have
in our mind exists in the real world—to the degree that it does not exist in the
real world, we say that it is “fictional” or “false.” There must be “unity” in
truth, for an idea and its contradiction cannot both be true. We say that
something is “good” in so far as it truly represents what God intended to
create—a person is “good” insofar as he lives the life truly intended for him by
his Creator. Men and women are beautiful insofar as they are possessed of
health in mind and body, and have the physical, intellectual, and emotional
characteristics necessary to carry out their true roles as men and women. A
work of art is beautiful insofar as it truly depicts its subject.
Given this concept of “transcendentals” it becomes clear
that the Kingdom of Christ must be “eternal and universal,” for objective truth
cannot change with time or location. The kingdom must be one of “truth and
life,” for life is God’s most noble creation—life in its higher forms (angels
and men) gives testimony to God’s truth and goodness especially when that life
is endowed with “holiness and grace.” And if “holiness and grace” show forth
the existence of God’s spiritual truth and goodness, then “justice, love, and
peace” show forth the existence of God’s truth and goodness in the material
What could be better than living in an eternal and
universal kingdom of truth, life, holiness, grace, justice, love, and peace?
The answer, of course, is that nothing could be greater!
And, this is why we are asked to renew the Consecration of
the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the end of this Mass of Christ
the King. The Sacred Heart is a tangible symbol of God’s love for His people.
That love is the only thing that can soften the hearts of those who have
rejected Jesus Christ and keep His Kingdom from reigning universally and
eternally. In the Consecration we will ask God to do precisely that—to touch
the hearts of all of His people “who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom
discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of
faith…. to draw them [out of the darkness] into the light and kingdom of God.”
Our Lord tells us that: “If a kingdom be divided against
itself, that kingdom cannot stand.”
Nothing could be better than living in an eternal and universal kingdom of
truth, life, holiness, grace, justice, love, and peace! But for that kingdom to
stand on Earth, it must not be divided. We pray that the Sacred Heart of
Jesus—the Love of Almighty God for His creatures—will touch all who divide His
Kingdom—rather than touching them with His holy wrath. For our sake as
well as for theirs, may God grant the former and forbid the latter!