On the Feast of the Ascension, Thoughts on the Kingship of Christ

The Ascension of Christ, 1496-98, Oil on panel, 342 x 263 cm. Musée Municipal des Beaux-Arts, Lyon

As we celebrate Christ’s Ascension today, we cannot but think of the mission of the Church and establishing the Reign of Christ the King. Here is an excerpt from The Kingship of Christ According to the Principles of St. Thomas Aquinas, by Rev. Denis Fahey.

. . .When an organism perishes and corrupts, it is because it had ceased to be under the action of the causes which had given it its form and constitution. To make it healthy and flourishing again it is necessary to restore it to the vivifying action of those same causes. So society, in its foolhardy effort to escape from God, has rejected the divine order and revelation; and it is thus withdrawn from the salutary efficacy of Christianity, which is manifestly the most solid guarantee of order, the strongest bond of fraternity, and the inexhaustible source of all public and private virtue. This sacrilegious divorce has resulted in bringing about that trouble which now disturbs the world. Hence it is the pale of the Church which this lost society must re-enter, if it wishes to recover its well-being, its repose, and its salvation.

“Just as Christianity cannot penetrate into the soul without making it better, so it cannot enter in public life without establishing order. . . .If it has transformed pagan society. . .so, after the terrible shocks which unbelief has given to the world in our days, it will be able to put that world again on the true road, and bring back to order the States and people of modern times. But the return of Christianity will not be efficacious and complete if it does not restore the world to a sincere love of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. In the Catholic Church Christianity is incarnate. It identifies itself with that perfect, spiritual, and, in its own order, sovereign society, which is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, and which has for its visible head the Roman Pontiff, successor of the Prince of the Apostles. It is the continuation of the mission of the Savior, the daughter and heiress of His Redemption.”

Rogation Monday

litany-of-saintsSome excerpts from Dom Gueranger’s Liturgical Year:

WE need so much penance, and we do so little! If we are truly in earnest, we shall be most fervent in doing the little that is left us to do.

The object of the Rogation days is to appease the anger of God, and avert the chastisements which the sins of the world so justly deserve; moreover, to draw down the divine blessing on the fruits of the earth. The litany of the saints is sung during the procession, which is followed by a special Mass said in the stational church, or if there be no Station appointed, in the church whence the procession first started.

The litany of the saints is one of the most efficacious of prayers. The Church makes use of it on all solemn occasions, as a means of rendering God propitious through the intercession of the whole court of heaven. They who are prevented from assisting at the procession, should recite the litany in union with holy Church: they will thus share in the graces attached to the Rogation days; they will be joining in the supplications now being made throughout the entire world; they will be proving themselves to be Catholics.

Let us pray

O God, whose property it is always to have mercy and to spare: receive our petitions: that we, and all thy servants, who are bound by the chain of sin, may, by the compassion of thy goodness, mercifully be absolved.

Hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayers of thy suppliants, and pardon us our sins, who confess them to thee; that of thy bounty, thou mayst grant us pardon and peace.

Out of thy clemency, O Lord, show us thy unspeakable mercy; that so thou mayst both acquit us of our sins, and deliver us from the punishment we deserve for them. 

O God, who by sin art offended, and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of thy people, who make supplications to thee; and turn away the scourges of thy anger, which we deserve for our sins.

O almighty and eternal God, have mercy on thy servant N., our chief Bishop, and direct him, according to thy clemency, in the way of everlasting salvation; that, by thy grace, he may desire those things that are agreeable to thee, and perform them with all his strength…

The World in Danger Saved by the Holy Name

Chapter 3 from The Wonders of the Holy Name by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P. (E.D.M.)

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In the year 1274 great evils threatened the world.  The Church was assailed by fierce enemies from within and without.  So great was the danger that the Pope, Gregory X, who then reigned, called a council of Bishops in Lyons to determine on the best means of saving society from the ruin that menaced it.  Among the many means proposed, the Pope and Bishops chose what they considered the easiest and most efficacious of all, viz., the frequent repetition of the Holy Name of Jesus.

The Holy Father then begged the Bishops to call on the Name of Jesus and to urge their peoples to place all their confidence in this all-powerful Name, repeating it constantly with boundless trust.  The Pope entrusted the Dominicans especially with the glorious task of preaching the wonders of the Holy Name in every country, a work they accomplished with unbounded zeal.

Their Franciscan brothers ably seconded them.  St. Bernardine of Siena and St. Leonard of Port-Maurice were ardent apostles of the Name of Jesus.

Their efforts were crowned with success so that the enemies of the Church were overthrown, the dangers that threatened society disappeared and peace once more reigned supreme.

This is a most important lesson for us because, in these our own days, dreadful sufferings are crushing many countries, and still greater evils threaten all the others.

No government or governments seem strong and wise enough to stem this awful torrent of evils.  There is but one remedy, and that is prayer.

Every Christian must turn to God and ask Him to have mercy on us.  The easiest of all prayers, as we have seen, is the Name of Jesus.

Everyone without exception can invoke this holy name hundreds of times a day, not only for his own intentions, but also to ask God to deliver the world from impending ruin.

It is amazing what one person who prays can do to save his country and save society.  We read in Holy Scripture how Moses saved by his prayer the people of Israel from destruction, and how one pious woman, Judith of Betulia, saved her city and her people when the rulers were in despair and about to surrender themselves to their enemies.

Again, we know that the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrha, which God destroyed by fire for their sins and crimes, would have been pardoned had there been only ten good men to pray for them!

Over and over again we read of kings, emperors, statesmen and famous military commanders who placed all their trust in prayer, thus working wonders.  If the prayers of one man can do much, what will not the prayers of many do?

The Name of Jesus is the shortest, the easiest and the most powerful of prayers.  Everyone can say it, even in the midst of this daily work.  God cannot refuse to hear it.

Let us then invoke the Name of Jesus, asking Him to save us from the calamities that threaten us.

 

A Practical Rule of Christian Life, Point 25

Editor’s Note:  In his book, The School of Jesus Crucified, Father Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, Passionist, outlines 25 points as a “Practical Rule of Christian Life for Daily Observance”.  

Point 25

“You might also, when in bed, imagine yourself to have reached the last hour of your life, and to be lying with the holy Crucifix in your hand, and you might ask yourself the following questions:  ‘If I were now about to die, what should I wish to have done?  Would this Crucifix afford me consolation and comfort, because I always loved Him who was Crucified, or would it be a reproach and terror because I offended Him and abused His love and mercy?’  No words can express how useful such reflections, if seriously made, would be to induce a Christian to resolve on leading a more holy life.

Conclusion to the Rule

“In this manner you will pass your day in a holy manner, gain a great deal of merit with little comparative fatigue, sanctify all your actions, and give satisfaction to the loving Heart of your suffering Jesus.”

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A Practical Rule of Christian Life, Point 24

Editor’s Note:  In his book, The School of Jesus Crucified, Father Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, Passionist, outlines 25 points as a “Practical Rule of Christian Life for Daily Observance”.  

Point 24

“Fall asleep in the midst of pious thoughts, such as these, and thus you will sanctify even your sleep.  When you wake in the night, raise your heart to your suffering Jesus, who should be the beloved object of all your thoughts and affections.  Say to Him: My Jesus, I am Thine, do Thou save me.  My Jesus, dying on the Cross for my salvation, grant that I may ever love Thee.  My beloved Jesus, I thank Thee for all Thy love.  I compassionate Thee in all Thy sufferings.”

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