Sunday, October 25, 2009

Last Sunday in October: The Feast of Christ the King (from Matins)


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Lesson iv
Ex lítteris Encyclicis Pii Papæ undécimi
The Lesson is taken from the
Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI
Litt. Encycl. Quas primas, diei 11 Decembris 1925

Cum Annus sacer non unam ad illustrándum Christi regnum habúerit opportunitátem, vidémur rem factúri Apostólico múneri in primis consentáneam, si, plurimórum Patrum Cardinálium, Episcopórum fideliúmque précibus, ad Nos aut singillátim aut commúniter delátis, concedéntes, hunc ipsum Annum peculiári festo Dómini Nostri Jesu Christi Regis in ecclesiásticam liturgíam inducéndo clausérimus.  Ut transláta verbi significatióne Rex appellarétur Christus ob summum excelléntiæ gradum, quo inter omnes res creátas præstat atque éminet, jam diu communitérque usu venit.  Ita enim fit, ut regnáre is « in méntibus hóminum » dicátur non tam ob mentis áciem scientiæque suæ amplitúdinem, quam quod ipse est Véritas, et veritátem ab eo mortáles hauríre atque obediénter accípere necésse est ; « in voluntátibus » item « hóminum », quia non modo sanctitáti in eo voluntátis divínæ perfécta prorsus respóndet humánæ intégritas atque obtemperátio, sed étiam líberæ voluntáti nostræ id permotióne instinctúque suo súbjicit, unde ad nobilíssima quæque exardescámus.  « Córdium » dénique « Rex » Christus agnóscitur ob ejus « supereminéntem sciéntiæ caritátem » et mansuetúdinem benignitatémque ánimos alliciéntem : nec enim quemquam usque ádeo ab universitáte géntium, ut Christum Jesum, aut amári aliquándo cóntigit aut amátum iri in pósterum contínget.  Verum, ut rem préssius ingrediámur, nemo non videt, nomen potestatémque regis, própria quidem verbi significatióne, Christo hómini vindicári oportére ; nam, nisi quátenus homo est, a Patre « potestátem et honórem et regnum » accepísse dici nequit, quandóquidem Dei Verbum, cui éadem est cum Patre substántia, non potest ómnia cum Patre non habére commúnia, proptereáque ipsum in res creátas univérsas summum atque absolutíssimum impérium.
Since the Holy Year hath provided more than one opportunity to enhance the glory of the kingdom of Christ, we deem it to be in the highest degree in keeping with our Apostolic office to accede to the prayers of many Cardinals, Bishops, and faithful, made known to us both individually and collectively, by closing this very Year with the insertion into the ecclesiastical liturgy of a special feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.  It is a long-standing and common custom to apply, in a symbolic sense, the title of King to Christ.  That is to say, to refer to him as King because he hath surpassed and excelled every created being by virtue of his sublime perfection in all things.  In this sense he is said to reign in the minds of men.  By which is meant, not only that the keenness of his mind and the extent of his knowledge surpasseth the rest of mankind, but that he is himself the Truth ; and hence that from him the truth is to be discovered, and also obédiently received, by all mankind.  Likewise he is said to reign in the wills of men.  For in him not only is the human will in exact and precise accord with the holiness of the divine will, but also from him doth come to us the grace and inspiration to conform our own preferences to the divine will, whereby we are moved to the noblest kind of actions.  Again, Christ is acknowledged to be the King of human hearts, on account of his love which passeth human understanding, and of his mercy and kindness, whereby he draweth all men unto him.  For never hath anyone been loved so much at any time as Jesus Christ is loved, and that by so many different races.  Neither will it happen in time to come that anyone shall be so loved.  But although all this is true, Christ is also King in the proper and strict sense of the word.  For if we ponder this matter more deeply we cannot but see that this title, as well as true kingly power, is rightly claimed for Christ as Man.  As the Word of God he is of the same substance as the Father, and hath all things in common with the Father, and therefore in his divine nature he hath the highest and most absolute dominion over all created things.  Hence it is only as Man that he can be said to have received from the Father the kingdom and the power and the glory.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.
R.  Exsúlta satis, fília Sion ; júbila, fília Jerúsalem : ecce Rex tuus véniet tibi justus et Salvátor : * Et loquétur pacem Géntibus.
V.  Potéstas ejus a mari usque ad mare : et a flumínibus usque ad fines terræ.
R.  Et loquétur pacem Géntibus.
R.  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion ; shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem ; behold, thy King cometh unto thee, just and having salvation, *  And he shall speak peace unto the nations.
V.  His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R.  And he shall speak peace unto the nations.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 5: Christus perpétuæ det nobis gáudia vitæ.
R.  Amen.

Benediction 5: May Christ bestow upon us the joys of life eternal.
R.  Amen.

Lesson v

Quo autem hæc Dómini nostri dígnitas et potéstas fundaménto consístat, apte Cyríllus Alexandrínus animadvértit : « Omnium, ut verbo dicam, creatúram dominátum óbtinet, non per vim extórtum, nec aliúnde invéctum, sed esséntia sua ei natúra » ; scílicet ejus principátus illa nítitur unióne mirábili, quam hypostáticam appéllant.  Unde conséquitur, non modo ut Christus ab ángelis et homínibus Deus sit adorándus, sed étiam ut ejus império Hóminis, Angeli et hómines páreant et subjécti sint : nempe ut vel solo hypostáticæ uniónis nómine Christus potestátem in univérsas creatúras obtíneat.  Jamvéro, ut hujus vim et natúram principátus paucis declarémus, dícere vix áttinet tríplici eum potestáte continéri, qua si carúerit, principátus vix intellígitur.  Id ipsum deprómpta atque alláta ex sacris Lítteris de universáli Redemptóris nostri império testimónia plus quam satis signíficant, atque est cathólica fide credéndum, Christum Jesum homínibus datum esse útique Redemptórem cui fidant, at una simul legislatórem cui obédiant.  Ipsum autem evangélia non tam leges condidísse narrant, quam leges condéntem indúcunt : quæ quidem præcépta quicúmque servárint, iídem a divíno Magístro, álias áliis verbis, et suam in eum caritátem probatúri et in dilectióne ejus mansúri dicúntur.  Judiciáriam vero potestátem sibi a Patre attribútam ipse Jesus Judæis, de Sábbati requiéte per mirábilem débilis hóminis sanatiónem violáta criminántibus, denúntiat : « Neque enim Pater júdicat quemquam, sed omne judícium dedit Fílio ».  In quo id étiam comprehénditur (quóniam res a judício disjúngi nequit) ut præmia et pœnas homínibus adhuc vivéntibus jure suo déferat.  At prætérea potéstas illa, quam exsecutiónis vocant, Christo adjudicánda est, útpote cujus império parére omnes necésse sit, et ea quidem denuntiáta contumácibus irrogatióne suppliciórum, quæ nemo possit effúgere.
As to the source of our Lord's kingly dignity, it is fittingly indicated by Cyril of Alexandria who saith : He doth possess dominion, if I may use the word, over all creatures ; a dominion not seized by violence, nor usurped from anyone, but possessed by virtue of his very being and nature.  In him there is a marvellous union of the divine and human natures which is known as the hypostatic union, and this very union is a glorious manifestation of his dominion.  That is to say, as a consequence of this hypostatic union, Angels and men do not only adore Christ as God, but are subject to his dominion as Man, and do obey him as such.  For by reason of this hypostatic union, if for no other reason, Christ hath power over all created beings.  And now, to explain the import and nature of this headship of his, let us say briefly that it consisteth in a three-fold power, namely, that of Law-giver, Judge, and Ruler.  For if this power were lacking, we could scarcely discern wherein he hath any such headship.  And, moreover the witness to our Redeemer's universal dominion, which same is not only implied but announced by Holy Scripture, is more than clear, so that it is an article of the Catholic Faith, proceeding from the truth that Christ Jesus was given to mankind as the Saviour of all those who put their faith in him.  But this being so, it is clear that he is also to be the Law-giver for those who obey him.  Thus, the Gospels not only relate that he made laws, but they also shew him in the act of promulgating them.  In several different passages the divine Master is described as announcing in various ways that whosoever keepeth his commandments, doth thereby shew love for him, and the desire to persevere in loving him.  As to his júdiciary power, Jesus himself hath told us that the Father hath conferred this upon him ; for at the time when the Jews accused him of having broken the law of Sabbath-rest by his miraculous cure of a sick man, he said : The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.  Thus he hath authority to confer rewards or punishment upon the living, for authority so to do cannot be separated from his authority as Judge.  From all this, his executive power (that is, his right to govern) is made clear, since all men must needs obey his rule, and those who disobey are subject to penalties from which there is no escape.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.
R.  Opórtet illum regnáre, quóniam ómnia subjécit Deus sub pédibus ejus : * Ut sit Deus ómnia in ómnibus.
V.  Cum subjécta fúerint illi ómnia, tunc et ipse Fílius subjéctus erit Patri.
R.  Ut sit Deus ómnia in ómnibus.
R.  He must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet, * That God may be all in all.
V.  And when all things shall thus be subdued unto him, then shall he as Son also himself be subject unto the Father.
R.  That God may be all in all.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 6: Ignem sui amóris accéndat Deus in córdibus nostris.
R.  Amen.

Benediction 6: May God enkindle in our hearts the fire of his holy love.
R.  Amen.

Lesson vi

Verúmtamen ejúsmodi regnum præcípuo quodam modo et spirituále esse et ad spirituália pertinére, cum ea, quæ ex Bíbliis supra protúlimus, verba planíssime osténdant, tum Christus Dóminus sua agéndi ratióne confírmat.  Síquidem, non una data occasióne, cum Judæi, immo vel ipsi Apóstoli, per errórem censérent, fore ut Messías pópulum in libertátem vindicáret regnúmque Israël restitúeret, vanam ipse opiniónem ac spem adímere et convéllere ; rex a circumfúsa admirántium multitúdine renuntiándus, et nomen et honórem fugiéndo latendóque detrectáre ; coram Præside románo edícere, regnum suum « de hoc mundo » non esse.  Quod quidem regnum tale in evangéliis propónitur, in quod hómines pœniténtiam agéndo íngredi vero néqueant nisi per fidem et baptísmum, qui etsi est ritus extérnus, interiórem tamen regeneratiónem signíficat atque éfficit ; oppónitur únice regno Sátanæ et potestáti tenebrárum, et ab ásseclis póstulat, non solum ut, abalienáto a divítiis rebúsque terrénis ánimo, morum præferant lenitátem et esúriant sitiántque justítiam, sed étiam ut semet ipsos ábnegent et crucem suam tollant.  Cum autem Christus et Ecclésiam Redémptor sánguine suo acquisíverit et Sacérdos se ipse pro peccátis hóstiam obtúlerit perpetuóque ófferat, cui non videátur régium ipsum munus utriúsque illíus natúram múneris indúere ac participáre?  Túrpiter, ceteróquin, erret, qui a Christo hómine rerum civílium quarúmlibet impérium abjúdicet, cum is a Patre jus in res creátas absolutíssimum sic obtíneat, ut ómnia in suo arbítrio sint pósita.  Itaque auctoritáte Nostra apostólica, festum Dómini Nostri Jesu Christi Regis institúimus, quotánnis, postrémo mensis Octóbris domínico die, qui scílicet Omnium Sanctórum celebritátem próxime antecédit, ubíque terrárum agéndum.  Item præcípimus, ut eo ipso die géneris humáni Sacratíssimo Cordi Jesu dedicátio quotánnis renovétur.
But, nevertheless, a kingdom such as this hath a special character, namely, that it is a spiritual kingdom, for it hath spiritual ends and purposes.  The words quoted above from the Bible clearly indicate this, and the Lord Christ hath confirmed the same by his actions.  On more than one occasion when the Jews―yea, when even the Apostles themselves―falsely imagined that the Messiah would presently free his people from Roman domination, and restore the Kingdom of Israel, he both dispelled and destroyed that fond hope.  For he disclaimed the title of King when it was pressed upon him by the admiring multitude which thronged him ; he refused both the name and the honour by fleeing from them and concealing himself ; and he declared in the presence of the Roman Governour : My kingdom is not of this world.  According to the Gospels it is a kingdom whose citizenship is prepared for by repentance, and bestowed by Baptism through faith.  Although the latter is an outward rite, it doth both signify and produce an inward regeneration.  Furthermore, this kingdom hath been raised up in direct opposition to the kingdom of Satan and the powers of darkness.  Citizenship therein demandeth detachment from riches and worldly affairs, discipline of character, and hunger and thirst after righteousness ; and even more than this, that every citizen thereof is to deny himself, and take up his Cross.  But since Christ as Redeemer hath purchased the Church with his own blood, and as Priest hath offered himself as a sacrifice for sin, which offering abideth forever, is it not evident that as King he is both our Redeemer and Priest?  On the other hand, it is a wicked error to deny to Christ as Man the authority over civil affairs, since he hath from the Father such complete jurisdiction over created things that he could say : All power is given unto me in heaven and earth.  Therefore, by our apostolic authority, we appoint the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, which same is to be observed annually throughout the entire world, on the last Lord's day in the month of October, that is to say, on the Sunday next before All Saints Day ; and likewise we enjoin, that the dedication of the human race to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be annually renewed upon that selfsame day.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.

R.  Fecit nos regnum et sacerdótes Deo et Patri suo : * Ipsi glória et impérium, in sæcula sæculórum.
V.  Ipse est primogénitus mortuórum, et princeps regum terræ.
R.  Ipsi glória et impérium, in sæcula sæculórum.
V.  Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R.  Ipsi glória et impérium, in sæcula sæculórum.
R.  He hath made us kings and priests unto God who is his Father : * To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.
V.  He is the First-Begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.
R.  To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.
V.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R.  To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.
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