Today, the last Sunday of October, we honor Our Lord Jesus Christ, King.
During His Passion, Pilate asked Our Lord Jesus Christ, “Art Thou the King of the Jews?” As St. John relates,
Jesus answered: ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now My kingdom is not from hence.’ Pilate therefore said to Him: Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered: ‘Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice.’
Pilate saith to Him: ‘What is truth?’ And when he said this, he went out again to the Jews…” (John 18, 33-38)
Notice that Pilate, after asking Jesus, “What is truth?” walked away without attending to His answer. Isn’t that typical of the posturing of the leaders of this world! Here is Jesus telling us that everyone who is of the truth hears His voice and Pilate proves that he is not of the truth by ignoring Christ the King’s voice.
Picture if you will, our King as He must have looked when He said these words, not in front of a cheering crowd, but instead, a jeering mob crying for His crucifixion and death. Not wearing splendid garments but clothed in His bloodied and dirtied robe; not crowned with gold and jewels but with hateful thorns. Thus His appearance affirms His message, that is, that His Kingdom is not of this world. There is enmity between His Kingdom and the false kingdoms of this world. It is a kingdom so sublime that nothing this world can do can impinge upon it, and it will have no end.
By affirming that “My kingdom is not of this world”, Our Lord was teaching that contrary to worldly kings who maintain their transient rule by force of arms, by worldly power, His kingdom is absolute, it exists beyond time and will never end. His rule in encoded in our hearts, minds, in our wills and we ignore it at the peril of our souls. There is no escaping it, and whether we accept it, shrug it off with indifference or combat it actively, we nevertheless serve it. Until He comes in glory, we must, in obedience to our thorn-crowned King, serve Him and proclaim His sovereignty in truth and love in all we do.
Make no mistake: our choice is clear: We will serve one or the other: Christ will be our King or by default we serve the ancient enemy of Christ, Satan.
Today, more than ever, we must proclaim His Reign. The leaders of the Church and the leaders of this world may turn away from this thorn-crowned King, but we know that He will triumph and they and all their useless pomp and foolishness will be gone in the blink of an eye. Never before have our prayers been given such efficacy; despite what the Bishop of Rome may say, we recite our prayers, be they litanies, rosaries, the Angelus, the Divine Office or the Little Office. Even when our prayers are forced through an act of the will from a heart burdened with the sorrows and disappointments of these bleak times; yes, especially when we least feel inclined to pray! Our Lord told Sister Josefa Menedez that this is when her prayers were most effective in saving poor sinners! (The Way of Divine Love, TAN Publishing).
To say that His kingdom “is not of this world”, is not to relegate it to a purely personal opinion, best kept to oneself. In fact, just as faith is shown by our works, the spiritual basis for the Kingdom of Christ must evidence itself in a Christian culture. Only thus can peace, justice and unity prevail. Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in his encyclical “Quas Primas” of December 11, 1925. In it, Pius XI states:
“Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ. … In the Kingdom of Christ, that is, it seemed to Us that peace could not be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the restoration of the Empire of Our Lord. … It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to Him by the Father, all things are in His power… If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ.”
Here, we see Pope Pius XI clearly affirming the need for people and nations to return to the Church established by Christ, the one true means of salvation, in obedience.
Tragically, the great work of Pope Pius XI, “Quas Primas” was destined to fail because Pope Pius XI failed to obey Our Lady of Fatima as we have amply discussed in other posts. Liberalism gained ground in the years after Pius XI and the social Kingship of Christ further eroded until at last, in the reign of John XXIII,” it would become clearer”, as the Holy Virgin told Sister Lucia. The Second Vatican Council of which the Virgin warned, was taken over by the very revolutionaries Pius XI deplored with the inevitable result that Quas primas was relegated to history.
“They Have Uncrowned Him!”
Among all the Bishops and Cardinals at that ill-omened Council, Archbishop Lefebvre proved to be the one to stand against the innovators. His book, “They Have Uncrowned Him“ stands today as the best indictment against the liberalism that is intrinsically antithetical to the Kingship of Christ. Speaking of the Conciliar liberal Catholics, he asked:
“Must we renounce the preaching and the application of the commandments of God, “Thou shalt have only one God”, “Thou shalt not kill”, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”, because people want no more of this? because modern mentality tends to the liberation from all moral rules? Is it necessary to renounce the social Kingship of Jesus Christ in a country under the pretext that Mohammed or Buddha wants a place there? In short, they refuse to believe in the practical efficacy of the truth. They think that they can still affirm Catholic principles in theory, and act always contrary to these principles: this is the intrinsic incoherence of the so-called liberal Catholics.”
When reading that quotation from Archbishop Lefebvre, I was overcome with the most poignant sorrow for just how brutally true it has been proven. There is no need to reiterate here the long, sad litany of loss of every last shred of Catholic devotion, of Catholic ethics from public life. And now with Pope Francis, we cannot be blamed for hoping that we have at last reached the nadir and our situation may well improve. Sadly, this hoped for improvement cannot come about yet, because as Our Lord and King has asserted, it has been given to the Immaculata to restore all things in Christ.
As Our Savior chose to enter this world only through the Blessed Virgin Mary, He now refuses to restore it except as we obey His Mother. Christ our King thus awaits our obedience to the humble Virgin of Nazareth. It is a great tragedy that so few today are aware of this essential truth.
Here is a favorite prayer to Christ the King from Sister Carmela of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.
Prayer to Jesus Christ the King
O Divine King, most amiable Jesus, my Redeemer, my Savior, my Spouse, my Master and my Model, I renew today the total consecration of my being to You, begging You to take absolute dominion over me. Be my Sovereign, my Ruler, my Guide. Direct and govern me entirely, so that everything may turn to Your greater glory. Be King of my memory, my intellect, my will, my emotions. I wish all to be completely subject to You and I invite You to reign in me.
Yours is a kingdom of truth, of love, of justice and of peace.
Grant that Your reign of Truth may be established in my mind, destroying all error, deceit and illusion. Enlighten me by Your divine wisdom.
Grant that Your reign of Love may be completely established in my will, to move it, draw it, and direct it always, so that I may no longer be moved by self-love or by creatures but by Your Holy Spirit alone. Make this weak, mean, rebellious will of mine strong, generous, constant. Make it grow stronger by the persevering exercise of virtue and by the gifts of Your Holy Spirit.
Grant that Your reign of Justice may be established in all my actions, so that all that I do may be a work of holiness accomplished with purity of intention and with the greatest fidelity in order to please You and accomplish Your holy will.
Grant that Your reign of Peace may be established not only in my soul, but also in my sensibility, so that, in harmony with the superior part of my soul it may give You glory and neither retard me nor be an obstacle to union with You. Amen.
In this time of the Passion of the Church, remember that it is never too late to Return to the Message of Fatima. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you!
Please, pray the Rosary to confound satan and all who serve him.
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families.
† St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, Give me strength against thine enemies!