A Remedy for the Plague: Weekly Message for 11-10-2020

Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, Pax Christi:

Do you remember why Pope Pius XI established the annual liturgical celebration of Christ the King (which is coming up again very soon)?  Here is the reason, in his own words (from his 1925 Encyclical Letter, Quas Primas):

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 (Quas Primas #24).

Unfortunately, almost 100 years later, the “plague of secularism” is still among us, still eating away at the fabric of society and making it harder and harder for us fallen human beings to find our way onto the path of eternal salvation.

And that’s why all of us digital pilgrims should make a point of celebrating this upcoming feast of Christ the King deeply, meaningfully, and joyfully.  When we do so, we advance his Kingdom of grace in our own hearts, and we send trumpet blasts of truth and light into the darkened world around us.  We may not see immediate and tangible results from a heartfelt, prayerful preparation for and living of the Christ the King Day, but how can we doubt its spiritual effectiveness when the Holy Spirit has made it so clear that he wishes to use it to send abundant blessings into the world?

Keeping First Things First – for Ourselves and for Others

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are counting on Him to be our Savior.  We are not counting on ourselves, our great ideas, or even the positive qualities of modern culture (and yes, there are positive qualities of modern culture). We are counting on Christ.  And now is a marvelous time to remind ourselves of this truth that we profess every single Sunday when we pray the Creed.  

And now is also a marvelous time to remind those around us of this truth. Jesus is the only Savior, and living in his friendship is the only path to fulfillment in this world and the next.  That’s Good News!  Isn’t it worth sharing with everyone around us?

To help all of us receive the graces God has in store for us through this upcoming liturgical celebration, a new RCSpirituality writer (Teresa Williams, CRC – welcome to the team, Teresa!) has composed a special novena — Nine Days to Christ the King.  You can sign up to receive daily emails beginning November 13th with a daily meditation and novena prayers.  We also have an entire Retreat Guide dedicated to this theme: The Kingdom without End.  Maybe we can’t all be in the same physical place to celebrate this culmination of the liturgical year, but we can all still unite in prayer on the digital continent.

Words of Wisdom from St. John Paul II

I would like to finish with some of my favorite lines from St. John Paul II, who never lost sight of the centrality of Christ for each of us and for all of us (which may be one reason why he also never stopped smiling, in spite of so many challenges and sufferings). This was how he described the Church’s “program” for the third millennium – may it be our program as well.

We are certainly not seduced by the naive expectation that, faced with the great challenges of our time, we shall find some magic formula. No, we shall not be saved by a formula but by a Person, and the assurance which he gives us: I am with you!It is not therefore a matter of inventing a “new programme”. The programme already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its centre in Christ himself, who is to be known, loved and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity, and with him transform history until its fulfillment in the heavenly Jerusalem. This is a programme which does not change with shifts of times and cultures... (Novo Millennio Ineunte, #29)

God bless you!

In Him, Fr John Bartunek, LC

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