Today is Election Day in the USA. As a Catholic Christian, my allegiance is to Christ the King not the passing governments of this world. On this day of faithful citizenship, I turn towards the upcoming Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe or the short version- the Feast of Christ the King, the end to the liturgical year.
Please, join me in praying this Novena to Christ the King beginning this week.
This feast day was instituted by Pope Pius XI on December 11th in 1925 within the encyclical letter Quas Primas. The Holy Father was responding to the fact that the world was becoming increasingly nationalistic and secular. Governments were claiming more and more allegiance from their citizens and attempting to replace God.
“While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights.” – Quas Primas, 25
Pope Pius XI, therefore, created this feast to help the faithful to remember that allegiance to Christ is above any allegiance to government of a nation.
“The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. 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.” – Quas Primas, 33
It is particularly important to recognize the words of the encyclical in today’s climate of government intrusion on the Church.
“When we pay honor to the princely dignity of Christ, men will doubtless be reminded that the Church, founded by Christ as a perfect society, has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state; and that in fulfilling the task committed to her by God of teaching, ruling, and guiding to eternal bliss those who belong to the kingdom of Christ, she cannot be subject to any external power.” – Quas Primas, 31