Pastors Corner

Quotable Christ the King

November 26, 2023

Ever wonder how we came to this celebration at the end of the liturgical year? Do you assume that it is ancient, the Church having celebrated it for a millennium? You might be surprised to learn that this celebration is less than 100 years old. According to the USCCB:

Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 with his encyclical Quas primas (“In the first”) to respond to growing secularism and atheism. He recognized that attempting to “thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law” out of public life would result in continuing discord among people and nations. This solemnity reminds us that while governments come and go, Christ reigns as King forever.

During the early twentieth century, in Mexico, Russia, and some parts of Europe, militantly secularistic regimes threatened not just the Catholic Church and its faithful but civilization itself. Pope Pius XI’s encyclical gave Catholics hope and—while governments around them crumbled—the assurance that Christ the King shall reign forever. Jesus Christ “is very truth, and it is from him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind” (Quas primas, 7).

In the spirit of Pope Pius XI, we’ll now turn to some quotes about Christ our King to help bolster our trust in Him.

Speaking about Mary: “Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb Him whom she would obey as her master.” – Saint Augustine

“The kingdom of God cannot exist alongside the reign of sin. Therefore, if we wish God to reign in us, in no way should sin reign in our mortal body; rather we should mortify our members which are upon the earth and bear fruit in the Spirit. There should be in us a kind of spiritual paradise where God may walk and be our sole ruler with His Christ.” – Origen, Early Church Father

“The Word of God, as consubstantial with the Father, has all things in common with Him and, therefore, has necessarily supreme and absolute dominion, over all things created.” – Saint Cyril of Alexandria

“He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, ‘as instruments of justice unto God’.” – Pope Pius XI, Quas primas, 33

In writing Quas primas, the Holy Father Pope Pius XI had in mind religious freedom and the expression of the faith, not simply in private, but in public. He states: “Thus by sermons preached at meetings and in churches, by public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament exposed and by solemn processions, men unite in paying homage to Christ, whom God has given them for their King” – Pope Pius XI, Quas primas, 26

“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.” – Pope Pius XI

“When Jesus tells Pilate that his kingdom is ‘not of this world’ (cf. Jn 18:36), this does not mean that Christ is the king of another world, but rather that he is king in another way. For Christ’s dominion is not imposed with the weapons of fear. Instead, it quietly but effectively asserts itself through the power of truth.” – Pope Francis 11/22/15

Two Parishes, One Heart,

Fr. Adam