Christ, not Man, is King



I have always liked that our liturgical year now ends with the feast of Christ the King.  It reminds us not only of the Last Day when Christ will reign in Judgment over all men who have ever lived, but also that beneath the showy pomp of human history, the Captains and the Kings who march through its pages are of infinitely of less account than, as the atheist historian HG Welles put it, the penniless preacher from Galilee who is the center of History.   Just after the beginning of World War II the hero pope Pius XII wrote the encyclical  Summi Pontificatus in which he reminded all of humanity that in the final analysis Christ, not Man, is King.


To consider the State as something ultimate to which everything else should be subordinated and directed, cannot fail to harm the true and lasting prosperity of nations. This can happen either when unrestricted dominion comes to be conferred on the State as having a mandate from the nation, people, or even a social order, or when the State arrogates such dominion to itself as absolute master, despotically, without any mandate whatsoever. If, in fact, the State lays claim to and directs private enterprises, these, ruled as they are by delicate and complicated internal principles which guarantee and assure the realization of their special aims, may be damaged to the detriment of the public good, by being wrenched from their natural surroundings, that is, from responsible private action.

Mortal Kings and Kingdoms rise and fall.  Christ remains.

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  1. I thought it was worth mentioning. Prior to Vatican 2, the Feast of Christ the King had a logical place in the flow of the liturgical year. The Feast of Christ the King was/is always the last Sunday of October in which we celebrates Christ’s Kingship over Heaven and earth. We then immediately celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints and the Feast of All Souls. The post Vatican 2 placement of the Feast of Christ the King takes away from the Feast’s solemnity as you would celebrate All Saints and All Souls before celebrating Christ’s Kingship over Heaven and earth.

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