Les Femmes

Jesus’ first words in John’s gospel form a question. When Andrew and John follow him he turns and asks, “What are you looking for?” It’s a question for us too. Pope Pius XI, in his encyclical Quas Primas of 1925, gives us a clear answer. To embrace Christ as King is the key. The encyclical established the feast of Christ the King. Will we listen and follow Him?

Pius XI“In [our] first encyclical letter…We referred to the chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind was laboring. And We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and His holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics; and We said further that, as long as individuals and States refused to submit to the rule of our Savior there would be no really hopeful prospect of lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ.

“While men and nations cut off from God are stirring up strife and discord and hurrying along the road to ruin and death, the Church of God carries on her work of providing food for the spiritual life of men, nurturing and fostering generation after generation of men and women dedicated to Christ, faithful and subject to Him in His earthly kingdom, called by Him to eternal bliss in the kingdom of heaven.

“What we said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, or lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day ‘With God and Jesus Christ…‘excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation. When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace, and harmony….If princes and magistrates duly elected are filled with the persuasion that they rule, not by their own right, but by the mandate and in the place of the Divine King, they will exercise their authority piously and wisely, they will make laws and administer them having in view the common good and also the human dignity of their subjects. The result will be order, peace, and tranquility, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent….Oh, what happiness would be ours if all men, individuals, families, and nations, would but let themselves be governed by Christ!

“We may well admire in this wonderful wisdom of the Providence of God, Who, ever bringing good out of evil, has from time to time suffered the faith and piety of men to grow weak, and allowed Catholic truth to be attacked by false doctrines, but always with the result that truth has afterwards shone out with greater splendor, and that men’s faith, aroused from its lethargy has shown itself more vigorous than before….If We ordain that the whole Catholic world shall revere Christ as King, We shall minister to the need of the present day, and at the same time provide an excellent remedy for the plague which now infects society. We refer to the plague of secularism, its errors and impious activities. This evil spirit…has not come into being in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected….Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions, and placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the State and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went further, and wished to set up in the place of God’s religion a natural religion consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were even some nations who thought they could dispense with God, and that their religion should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals and of nations against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable effects…: the seeds of discord sown far and wide; those bitter enmities and rivalries between nations, which still hinder so much the cause of peace; that insatiable greed which is so often hidden under a pretence of public spirit and patriotism…making men seek nothing but their own comfort and advantage, and measure everything by these; no peace in the home, because men have forgotten, or neglect their duty; the unity and stability of the family undermined; society, in a word, shaken to its foundations and on the way to ruin….This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church become bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behoves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from Him and would valiantly defend His rights.” [This encyclical could have been written for our times. Let us dedicate ourselves to the worship and service of Christ our King. Have you enthroned the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts in your home? There are some beautiful images of the Sacred Heart where Jesus is also crowned as King. Let us all serve Him in our hearts, our homes, and our lives. Viva Cristo Rey!]

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