Advancing the Reign of Christ Here and Now

August 20, 2010

For some time now I’ve been moved to start something at this blog, regardless of the subject of the post.  It has to do with Christ the King.

Christ in Glory, 1597-98, oil on canvas, Annibale Carracci (b.1560, Bologna, d. 1609, Roma), Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

Few people would deny that the world is against God or that many people who claim to be Christians twist the Word of God to suit their own agenda which often masquerades as “social justice” which always seems to create more injustice, not less. You would have to be a sleeping Rip van Winkle not to see that this is the most godless age ever in the history of the world since God called Abraham – or even maybe before.  Since the beginning of the age of enlightenment man has steadily become more homocentric as opposed to theocentric. The heresy of modernism has, since its spawning in the 19th century, greatly facilitated this trend. Sadly, many in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church have become infected to the point of over-emphasizing the horizontal aspect of worship at the expense of the vertical dimension and social work at the expense of spiritual growth.

Interwoven with the de-emphasis on the first three commandments we can see that doctrinal truth has been sacrificed at the expense of ideology of all kinds. Natural law is violated without regard to the consequences.  “If it feels good, do it!” is a prevailing mantra which originated in the 1960s and has become the rule of life for many today.

Inconvenient truths in many places simply are not taught, such as contraception being a grave offense against God.  Priests have been punished for speaking the truths of the Faith from their pulpits and in their parish bulletins while other priests who speak falsely are rewarded.  I have direct experience with a bishop who opposed the Pope and Catholic tradition on a number of issues and earned a very bad name for myself among his supporters.  It seems the word “obey” applied only to those of us he strove to corrupt and not to himself. But we cannot obey unjust commands from anyone, which is why some Catholic dioceses are shutting down Catholic adoption agencies, for example.  The state demands same-sex couples be allowed to adopt children into a life style opposing the very clear will of God as spoken in sacred scripture, and the Church cannot act opposite to her teachings.

The answer to the corruption of the world

On Facebook and other places you can find groups dedicated to the “Social Reign of Jesus Christ.”  That is an admirable and desired end for the world, but Christ must rule in every heart first. If our Savior does not reign in our hearts, our actions will not be congruent with His words.  It is up to each individual to examine his conscience daily on the subject of whether he is putting God first and not himself.  Only when sufficient numbers of Christians really put Christ first in their hearts, when they ruthlessly root out attachments to their own wills, when they are willing to stand up and live the Two Great Commandments – not just the one, will we have anything approximating the “Social Reign of Jesus Christ.” No doubt, as in the past, we will have many martyrs spilling their blood before this comes to pass, if it ever does in this life.

The difficulty of achieving the preeminence of Christ in this life is no reason for any of us to shirk doing battle with ourselves.  Many useful practices and devotions are available to help us, bringing graces upon our souls that strengthen us in fortitude, for the virtue of fortitude is most necessary to fight the human inclination to want to be liked, to blend in and do what everybody else is doing, and to talk and think like the majority – and the majority is not and has not been for Christ in centuries.

We are the servants of the Lord.  The servant is not above his Master (Matt. 10: 24).  Standing up for Christ is an invitation to get publicly clobbered by the many who want to enforce their self-originated version of truth.  But we need not fear the majority because Jesus tells us in Matthew 10: 26-31:

Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

And in Matthew 10: 32-33 we hear the glorious promise to those of us who stand strong against the world:

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

In the times of Ruth and Boaz, the people had a custom of greeting one another with the phrase, Dominus vobiscum (tecum), meaning “The Lord be with you.”  The response was, “The Lord bless you.”  Today at Mass we hear “The Lord be with you” many times, and we respond, “And with your spirit.”  I do not intend to go into the theology of this today, but simply wish to use this as an illustration of one practice people used in Old Testament times to keep the Lord in mind, a practice that is enshrined within our sacred liturgy today.

In religious communities in the 1960s and before, the common greeting when meeting someone in the halls or entering a room was the phrase, “Praised be Jesus Christ.”  The answer was, “Now and forever.”  I don’t know if this practice is still observed, but I am convinced that if Christians greeted each other this way every time we meet, it would be a big help towards the world being brought back into a right relationship with God.

To do my part in witnessing to the supremacy of Christ the King and to building the virtue of fortitude in my soul, I am going to try to remember to end each blog post with this phrase regardless of the subject.  I trust that this practice will keep my posts on track with pure intentions and charity, and that it will always be a reminder to me to suffer with joy.  I will explain the “Amen” addition in another post.  Will anyone stand with me?  I invite you all.

V. Praised be Jesus Christ.

R. Now and forever.  Amen.

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Friday, August 20th, 2010 religion, spirituality

7 Comments to Advancing the Reign of Christ Here and Now

  1. “Praised be Jesus Christ.” The answer was, “Now and forever.”

    When our pastor and the members of the closing procession step outside the church, they pause and say this prayer.

  2. Christian on August 22nd, 2010
  3. This is very encouraging.

  4. barb on August 22nd, 2010
  5. Great post. If you could get half the Catholics in America to think this way we “Protestants” would have to jump out of the way do to the impact for Christ on this nation. God Bless.

  6. Doug on August 30th, 2010
  7. God bless you, too, Doug. And you are right about the impact for Christ on the nation, but you “Protestants” are more than welcome to join in this effort. We are all standing for Christ, are we not? We are all the Father’s children and will be, if we stay faithful, in His heavenly courts praising Him together for all eternity.

  8. barb on August 30th, 2010
  9. I believe that there is no difference in any of us who love Christ, and want to serve Him. We should all come together to praise His Holy Name.

  10. Joey on October 14th, 2010
  11. Barb, You are voicing concerns I share.

    Christ the King will not be mocked forever. A time of Darkness is upon the world. It is an opportunity for us to walk in faith. We are invited by Christ to enclose our sufferings in His Sacred Heart.

    “As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt,
    I will show you miracles.”
    Nations will see and be ashamed
    Of all their might
    They will put their hand on their mouth,
    Their ears will be deaf.
    They will lick the dust like a serpent,
    Like reptiles of the earth
    They will come trembling out of their fortresses;
    To the LORD our God they will come in dread
    And they will be afraid before You.
    Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
    And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
    He does not retain His anger forever,
    Because He delights in unchanging love.
    He will again have compassion on us;
    He will tread our iniquities under foot
    Yes, You will cast all their sins
    Into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:16-19)

  12. Joann on November 6th, 2010
  13. I’m standing with you, Barb.

    Laudetur Jesus Christus!
    Praised be Jesus Christ!
    David recently posted..Bearer of light from the Face of the Lord

  14. David on December 1st, 2010

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