ABSOLUTELY No One Can Escape The Hand Of God After Death

In this wonderful scripture of an Old Testament Martyr, we see how Eleazar did not disobey God’s law to not eat pigs meat because he knew eventually he would go before God.

8-1 - Eleazar - Dore156Trying To Make Eleazar Eat Pig’s Flesh

“Eleazar one of the chief of the scribes, a man advanced in years, and of a comely countenance, was pressed to open his mouth to eat swine’ s flesh.  But he, choosing rather a most glorious death than a hateful life, went forward voluntarily to the torment.  And considering in what manner he was come to it, patiently bearing, he determined not to do any unlawful things for the love of life.

But they that stood by, being moved with wicked pity, for the old friendship they had with the man, taking him aside, desired that flesh might be brought, which it was lawful for him to eat, that he might make as if he had eaten, as the king had commanded of the flesh of the sacrifice:  That by so doing he might be delivered from death: and for the sake of their old friendship with the man they did him this courtesy.

 

But he began to consider the dignity of his age, and his ancient years, and the inbred honour of his grey head, and his good life and conversation from a child: and he answered without delay, according to the ordinances of the holy law made by God, saying, that he would rather be sent into the other world.  For it doth not become our age, said he, to dissemble: whereby many young persons might think that Eleazar, at the age of fourscore and ten years, was gone over to the life of the heathens: And so they, through my dissimulation, and for a little time of a corruptible life, should be deceived, and hereby I should bring a stain and a curse upon my old age.  For though, for the present time, I should be delivered from the punishments of men, yet should I not escape the hand of the Almighty neither alive nor dead.”  2 Machabees 6:18-26

As I always remind myself and each one of you, the powerful, that persecute the holy faithful Catholics, are able to get away with it in this world.  But they will not escape the hand of God in the next.  All of us should be willing to be tortured to death rather than teach against God’s laws or break them.  Eternity is very Long.

We loose everything, but gain everything in eternity.  We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to have each other to encourage each other to not go against the Bible or the 2000 years of Catholic beliefs and traditions.  Reward or Punishment after death for all eternity?  That is absolutely what is at stake in obedience or rebellious disobedience.

Catholic Perspective Of The Renaissance Part I

The Renaissance may be considered in a general or a particular sense, as

  1. the achievements of what is termed the modern spirit in opposition to the spirit which prevailed during the Middle Ages; or
  2. the revival of classic, especially of Greek, learning and the recovery of ancient art in the departments of sculpture, painting, and architecture, lost for a thousand years in Western Christendom.

atlasAtlas

Impossible though it be to separate these elements from the whole movement into which they enter, we may distinguish them from it for our present purpose, viz., to sum up the influences, whether good or evil, which are traceable to the antique, pre-Christian, or pagan world of letters and plastic remains, as it came to be known and studied from the end of the fourteenth century onwards, in relation to the Catholic Church.

the vaticanFor ecclesiastical history goes through periods analogous to the changes brought about by secular revolutions. Roughly speaking,

  1. The age of the Fathers corresponds to the Imperial Roman period, closing in A.D. 476;
  2. The Middle Ages occupy those tumultuous years when barbarians turned Christians were learning slowly to be civilized, from 476 to 1400;
  3. While the modern relations of Church and State begin with the definite emergence of nationalities in the West, at an era most critical, signalized by the destruction of the Greek Empire, the invention of printing from movable type, the discovery of America, and all this leading on to the Protestant Reformation. History, like life, is a continuous web; its various stages pass into one another by the finest degrees. But after the Great Schism was healed by the Council of Constance in 1417, the Church, turning her back once for all on a worn-out feudalism, and no longer engaged in strife with Teuton emperors, found herself in the presence of new difficulties, and the character of the times was manifestly altered.

We are dwelling now in this modern epoch. The Middle Ages have become an interlude, clearly bounded on both extremities by a more civilized or humane idea of life, which men are endeavouring to realize in politics, education, manners and literature, and religion. This blending of widely dissevered ages and peoples by virtue of a complex type into a consistent, though greatly enlarged historical system, has been due to the Renaissance, taken as a whole.

04543ccxA glance at the map will remind us of the striking fact that Christianity is bound up in space no less than in time with the Greek and Roman World. It has never yet flourished extensively outside these borders, except in so far as it subdued to ancient culture the tribes to which it offered the Gospel. There is a mysterious and providential link, recognized in the New Testament by St. Paul, St. John, and St. Peter, between Rome as the head of secular dominion and the visible Kingdom of Christ. Roman law protected as well as persecuted the disciples; Greek philosophy lent its terms to Catholic dogma.

The School of Alexandria, taught by Clement and Origen, did not scruple to quote Athenian literature in illustration of revealed truths. St. Gregory of Nazianzus wrote Greek poems in a style which was moulded on the classic tragedians. There was always in the West a Puritan spirit, of which from Tertullian and Novatian down to the Spanish Priscillian we may note examples; but the saints who established our tradition-Cyprian, Augustine, Jerome-held more tolerant views; and though St. Jerome felt compunctious visitings for the days and nights he had given to Plautus or Cicero, his own diction is severely classic. His Latin Vulgate, also, while it obeys the construction of the Hebrew, is written in cultivated, not in rustic, language. St. Gregory, the Great despised grammar as a subordinate accomplishment, but was himself a good scholar.

The loss of Greek authors and the decline of Church Latin into barbarism were misfortunes in a universal ruin; neither of these events was the consequences of a deliberate break with antiquity. Latin and Greek had become sacred languages; the Western and Eastern liturgies carried them with Holy Scripture wherever they went. Catholic Rome was Latin by tradition and by choice. No German dialect ever attained to the privileges of the sanctuary which St. Cyril won for the Old Slavic from Pope Nicholas I.

embertidezodiacUnder these circumstances, a revival of learning, so soon as the West was capable of it, might have been foreseen. And it was equally to be anticipated that the Vatican would not reject a movement of reconciliation, akin to that whereby so many of the ancient usages had been long ago adapted to Christian ends. Speaking of the second century, Walter Pater observes: “What has been on the whole the method of the Church, as a ‘power of sweetness and patience’, in dealing with matters like pagan art, pagan literature, was even then manifest.” There had been, at that day, an “earlier and unimpeachable Renaissance“. The Catholic principle, in accordance with its name, assimilates, purifies, consecrates, all that is not sin, provided that it will submit to the law of holiness. And the central classic authors, on whose study liberal education has been set up from the age of Aristotle among Greeks, from the Augustan era in Rome, were happily amenable to the cleansing baptism. As a literature, the chief schoolbooks were singularly free from moral deformities; their teaching fell short of the New Testament; but it was often heroic, and its perils admitted of correction. Newman happily describes Graeco-Roman civilization as “the soil in which Christianity grew up“. And Pater concludes that “it was by the bishops of Rome. . .that the path of what we must call humanism was thus defined”, as the ideal, namely, of a perfect training in wisdom and beauty. Quite in unison with such a temper of mind, Pope Leo X in 1515 wrote to Beroaldo, the editor of Tacitus: “Nothing more excellent or useful has been given to men by the Creator, it we except the true knowledge and worship of Himself, than these studies”.

576px-Tychonian_system.svgWhen, therefore, Nicholas V (1447-55) founded the Vatican Library, his act was inspired by the tradition of the Holy See, deservedly known as the nursing-mother of schools and universities, in which the seven “liberal arts” had always been taught. Paris, the greatest of them, had received formal recognition in 1211 from Innocent III. Between the years 1400 and 1506 we may reckon some twenty-eight charters granted by the popes to as many universities, from St. Andrews to Alcala and from Caen and Poiters to Wittenberg and Frankfort-on-the-Oder.

But Humanism was propagated chiefly from Italian centres and by Italian or Greek professors. We must bear in mind a fact which is often lost sight of, that the Scholastic philosophy had never taken deep root in the Peninsula, and that its masters chiefly flourished north of the Alps. Alexander of Hales, Scotus, Middleton, Occam, were Britons; St. Albert the Great was a German; St. Thomas Aquinas, his disciple, taught at Paris.

1069px-Wide_Field_Imager_view_of_a_Milky_Way_look-alike_NGC_6744On the other hand, that renaissance of Roman Law which enabled Frederick Barbarossa and his successors to withstand the papacy, began with Irnerius at Bologna. Again, it was Petrarch (1303-1374) who inaugurated the far-reaching movement which claimed for literature, i.e., for poetry, rhetoric, history, and all their branches, the rank hitherto maintained by logic and philosophy; Dante, who crystallizes the “Summa” of St. Thomas in miraculous verse, remains medieval; Petrarch is modern precisely by this difference, although we must not fancy him opposed to Church or Bible. Now when Greek manuscripts were eagerly sought after, and when Cicero dictated the canons of Latin style, the syllogism with its arena of disputation could not be give place to the orator’s chair and the secretary’s desk. Not science but life was the end of study. We remark no considerable achievement in metaphysics until the culminating period, both of Humanism and the Reformation, had passed away.

In 1455, the library of Pope Nicholas contained 824 Latin and 352 Greek manuscripts. In 1484, at the death of Sixtus IV, the Greek MSS, had increased to one thousand. From the catalogues we infer that much interest was taken in collecting the great Fathers, the canon law, and medieval theology. Nicholas owned the famous Vatican Codex (B) of Holy Scripture; Sixtus has in his possession fifty-eight bibles or parts of bibles. Cardinal Bessarion gave his magnificent stock of books to St. Mark’s Venice; and the Medicean Library, collected at Florence, where it still reposes (the Laurentian), was for a while transferred to Rome by Clement VII. At Basle the Dominican cardinal, John of Ragusa, left important Greek MSS, of parts of the New Testament, which were used by Reuchlin and Erasmus with advantage. These illustrations may suffice to indicate the movement, becoming universal throughout Catholic Europe, towards recovery from all sides of the treasures of the past.

Titian_Alexander VI Presenting Jacopo Pesare to St. Peter_1506-11_Antwerp_Koninklijk Museum voor Schone KunstenAnother and most important step was to print that which had been so recovered. Printing was a German invention. The local ordinaries and religious houses favoured it greatly. Cloisters became the home of the Press; among them we may quote Marienthal (1468), St. Ulrich, at Augsburg (1472), the Benedictines at Bamberg (1474). Typography was introduced at Brussels in 1474 by the Brothers of the Common Life. They called themselves “preachers in not in word but in type”. And the early printed books in Germany were of a popular devotional, educational, and Biblical character.

To the Renaissance in its opening stage the honour belongs of scattering broadcast the printed Latin Vulgate as well as translations of it in most European languages, of course with approval from the Church. Ninety-eight complete editions of the Vulgate were sent our before 1500; a dozen editions preceded the appearance in type of and Latin classic. The first book produced by Gutenberg was that exceedingly beautiful “42-line” Bible according to St. Jerome’s version afterwards known as the Mazarine Bible and still extant in several copies. The first dated Bible came out at Mainz in 1462; the first Venetian, in 1475, was followed by twenty-one editions. The Hebrew test was printed at Soncino and Naples between 1477 and 1486; the Rabbinic Bible was dedicated at Venice to Leo X in 1517. Cardinal Ximenes renewed the labours of Origen by his Polyglot of Aleala, 1514-22, which included the Greek New Testament. But Erasmus anticipated its publication by an indifferent text in 1516. Aldus printed the Septuagint in 1518.

KnightAs regards translations on the Catholic side, they went on before and after Luther, from the Spanish of Boniface Ferrer in 1405 to the English of Douai in 1609. All these were printed; but space will not all more than a reference to the details here, or to the changes in policy brought about, in consequence of heretical translations and the abuse of Scripture-reading, under Paul IV and the Council of Trent.

During the period commonly assigned to the Renaissance at its height (1453-1527), freedom was the rule. Nicholas V had it in mind to make Rome the intellectual centre of the world. His successors entered largely into the same idea. Pius II (Piccolomini) was a man of letters, not unlike the great Erasmus. Paul II, though severe upon neopagans, such as Pomponazzo, did not condemn the Classical movement. Alexander VI was a statesman, not a scholar and not an Italian. The fierce and splendid Julius II, himself without culture, gave commissions to Raphael and Michelangelo, but openly despised the pedants about his court. From Leo X his age receives its title-he was the “incarnation of the Renaissance in its most brilliant form”.

Pope-Pius-VIAn extraordinary enthusiasm for antiquity had set in, combined with boundless freedom of opinion, with a laxity of morals which has ever since given scandal to believers and unbelievers alike, and with a festal magnificence recalling the days and nights of Nero’s “golden house”.

The half-century which ends in the sack of Rome by Lutheran soldiers, however dazzling from a scenic point of view, cannot be dwelt on with satisfaction by any Catholic, even when we have discounted the enormous falsehoods long current in historians who accepted satires and party statements at their own value.

Churchmen in high places were constantly unmindful of truth, justice, purity, self-denial; many had lost all sense of Christian ideals; not a few were deeply stained by pagan vices. The temper of ecclesiastics like Bembo and Bibbiena, shown forth in the comedies of this latter cardinal as they were acted before the Roman Court and imitated far and wide, is to us not less incomprehensible than disedifying. The earlier years of Æneas Sylvius, the whole career of Rodrigo Borgia, the life of Farnese, himself as well as the Curia, these all exhibit the union of subtlety, vigour, and other worldly qualities, which leaves us in dumb and sorrowful amazement. Julius II fought and intrigued like a mere secular prince; Leo X, although certainly not an unbeliever, was frivolous in the extreme; Clement VII drew on himself the contempt as well as the hatred of all who had dealings with him, by his crooked ways and cowardly subterfuges which led to the taking and pillage of Rome.

300px-Cesare_Borgia,_Duke_of_ValentinoisNow, it is not unfair to trace in these popes, as to their advisers, a certain common type, the pattern of which was Cesare Borgia, sometime cardinal, but always in mind and action a condottiere, while its philosopher was Machiavelli. We may express it in the words of Villari as a “prodigious intellectual activity accompanied by moral decay”. The passion for ancient literature, quickened and illustrated when the buried classic marbles were brought to light, simply intoxicated that generation. Not only did they fall away from monastic severities, they lost all decent and manly self-control. The survivors of a less corrupt age, as Michelangelo in his sonnets, remind us that native Italian genius had done great things before this new spirit took possession of it. But there is no denying that in its triumphant days the Renaissance looked up to beauty, and looked away from duty, as the standard and the law of life. It had neither eyes nor sense for the beauty of holiness. When it is called “pagan” we mean this corrupting anarchic influence, represented more gracefully by genuine poets and men of letters like Politian, more grossly by such licentious singers as Lorenzo de’ Medici, by Poggio, Bandello, Aretino, and a thousand others who declared that the morals of Petronius Arbiter were good enough for them.

Girolamo.SavonarolaWhen Savonarola in 1475 fled to the Dominican cloister at Ferrara, and there composed his lament on “the ruin of the Church”, he cried out: “The temple is fallen, and the house of chastity”. But the earthquake had not yet come. Worse things were to happen than he had seen. And a catastrophe was inevitable, of which he would be the prophet in St. Mark’s, Florence, sent to a partly credulous and a still more exasperated world.

Savonarola (1453-98), Erasamus (1466-1536), and Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) may be taken as figures in what has been sometimes called the Christian Renaissance. They represent beyond question the mind of the Church concerning those ancient authors, not sacrificing faith to scholarship, or Holy Writ to Homer and Horace, while they allow to culture its province and its privileges. Such was to be the lasting concordat between divinity and the humanities, but not until paganism had robbed Italy of its independence, after the popes had set their house in order, and the Society of Jesus had been entrusted with the education of youth.

On the strength of his protest against the unseemly and degrading literature which abounded in his time, Savonarola was condemned as a Puritan; his “burning of the vanities” in 1497 has been cited in proof; and he employed scathing language (see the Letter to Verino, 1497) that may be strained to this conclusion. But among his penitents were artists, poets, and learned men: Pico della Mirandola, Fra Bartolommeo, Botticelli, Michelangelo. The friar himself bought for St. Mark’s at a heavy charge the famous Medicean Library; and every candid reader will perceive in his denunciation of current books and paintings an honest Christian’s outcry against cancerous vices which were sapping the life of Italy.

When we come to Erasmus, no fanatic assuredly, we discover that he too made a difference between clean and unclean. Erasmus laughed to scorn the Ciceronian pedantries of Bembo and Sadoleto; he quoted with disgust the paganizing terms in which some Roman preachers travestied the persons and scenes of the Gospels. He had a zeal for the inspired Word, and his Greek and Latin New Testament was the chief literary event of the year that saw its publication. He edited St. Jerome with minute care (1516); he did something for the chief Latin Fathers, and not a little for the Greek. In his preface to St. Hilary his true scholar commends all learning, old or new, but he would have its proper value given to each department from the Scriptures even to the Schoolmen. His “Praise of Folly” and other satirical writings were an attack, not upon medieval genius, but upon the self-confident ignorance which declaimed against good literature without knowing what it meant. So rare and indefatigable an appraiser of literary works in every form could not be insensible to the merits of St. Augustine, however much he delighted in Virgil. The scholarship of Erasmus, given to the world in a lively Latin, was universal and often profound. It was also honestly Christian; to make Holy Scripture known and understood was the supreme purpose he ept in view. And thus the “prince of humanists” could remain Catholic, while looking for a moral restoration, during the whirlwind of Luther’s revolt. In him the Renaissance had cast away its paganism.

Thomas More_Frick_1527His friend, Sir Thomas More, a liberal scholar, a saint, and a martyr, proved by the enchanting courtesy of his daily converse and by the simple, almost ironical heroism which he displayed on the scaffold, how antique learning and Catholic virtue might combine in the loftiest of ideals. More’s “Utopia” won a place by itself, which it still keeps, far above the imitative and passing literature of those Latin versifiers, those vain rhetoricians, who at best were scholiasts, but too commonly wasted their small talents in feebly reproducing the classic themes and metres. The English chancellor took a firm grip of social and religious problems, not so much regarding theory as intent on reform according to Catholic principles. He wrote Latin with greater force than elegance; his works in the vernacular have salt and savour, wit and idiom to commend their orthodoxy. In the same category of Christian humanists we may associate with More a goodly number of Englishmen, from the Benedictines, Hadley and Selling, who were students at Padua in 1464, to Crocyn, Linacre, Colet, Fox, and the martyred Cardinal Fisher.”  1914 Catholic Encyclopedia

 

St. King Elesbaan Of Ethiopia Oct. 27

iow-saint-elesbaan-18th-century-3-1mb-crop-rtstoryvar-large-18th-century-3-1mbSt. Elesbaan was a black king (known as King Kaleb) from (Abissina) Ethiopia in the 6th Century.  Ethiopia was part of the Eastern Roman Empire under Emperor Justinian.  King Dunaan of the southern Arabian peninsula, had apostatized from the Catholic Church and had become a Jew.  He killed or kicked out the bishops and priests, destroyed or took over all the churches and made them into synagogues.  Many Catholics were killed by him without trial.

Emperor Justinian asked King Kaleb to go to Arabia and stop King Dunaan.  With great danger, he crossed the Red Sea and was able to eventually overthrow King Dunaan, restored the Churches to the Catholics.  He is known as a saint for protection while at sea.

3077King Kaleb then returned to Ethiopia and trained his son to be a good Catholic king.  Once that was done, he entered a monastery where he humbly prayed, obeyed and worked.  That is where his name changed to be St. Elesbaan when he entered the religious life.

Who Do You Want Watching You, “Big Brother” Or “Christ The King”

Before when communism was not popular in the United States, you would hear the saying that in Russia and China, “Big Brother” is watching you.  That meant that the communist government was spying and watching everything you did.  It is a lot like what is happening with our government collecting all our computer and cell phone information.

communism_doesn't_workAs we have gotten rid of obeying Christ The King’s laws; (Ten Commandments And The New Testament), we have to obey “Big Brother’s” laws.  Not too long ago the Ten Commandments were to some extent honored here in the United States.  There were real laws against using birth control, abortion and homosexual sex, (“sodomy laws”).  Now Big Brother and Big Sister (In the case of the mayor of Houston), are watching you if you go against the LGBT group or will not “marry” homosexual couples.  You are in trouble if you keep Christ the Kings laws.

ForGodandCountryJesus is God.  Jesus Created us.  Jesus died on the cross to redeem and save us from death and hell.  Jesus loves us infinitely more than “Big Brother and Big Sister”.

From Constantine till the Renaissance, Jesus Christ was King of the Roman Empire.  That is called Christendom.  God gives authority to popes who gave it to cardinals, bishops, abbesses, emperors, kings and queens.  The Catholic Church’s authority was respected and obeyed.  Popes, emperors and kings were obeyed.

christ-the-kingI will be the first to say that Christendom was never perfect.  There was all sorts of abuse of power and wealth by bad popes, cardinals, bishops, emperors, kings and queens (and everyone else).  Concupiscence, original sin, always wrecks things.  But that does not say that Christendom in itself is bad.  The evil is in the rulers and the people, not the power and legal system created by God.

800px-Carlow_Cathedral_St_Patrick_Preaching_to_the_Kings_2009_09_03Under Christendom, there were injustices and corruption.  There were unjust capital punishment and imprisonment.  But over all it was a very good way of enforcing God’s rules and governing and taking care of people.

You can criticize it all you want.  But that does not make you right.  Just look at the democratic government we have here in the United States.  There is corruption.  We pay enormous taxes to the government.  No one is happy with the Democrats or the Republicans.  Most people no longer vote because it is a sham.

Our government continues to do subversive military activity in many parts of the world.  We continue to fight a war in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It dictates to poor countries who need financial aid that they have to have abortions, birth control, condoms, and promote homosexuality in order to get finical help.

Under this democratic government and penal system, 2.3 million adults are in prison or jail, 4.8 million are on probation and another 7 million are under correctional supervision.  Is this good?  What is wrong with “Big Brother” (US Government)? Or little brother (the average citizen).

Under Christendom there was way fewer people incarcerated.

PFA89439No matter what you or I think.  God wants to be the boss and will be in the end.  He is honest, just, fair and loving.  I would rather have Him dictating my life than all these corrupt politicians.  And whether you like it or not, in the end, Christ the King will judge you and rule you at death.  Why not be subject to Him right now?

At this second in time I can do almost anything I want.  But eventually I will come before the “Judge”, The King, God.  Then He will have all the say.  Right now I can be rebellious against God’s rules, small or big.  But only for a short time.

José_Gil_de_Castro_isabel_portugalMost Catholics and people choose to disobey God’s rules in small or big ways.  But it always catches up with them someday.  It is like not paying a traffic ticket.  Eventually you will be caught and have to pay way more.  It is like smoking, eating too much, having sex before marriage, all this will have a lasting effect on you, sooner or later, and whether you like it or not.  I just talked with a woman who caught Herpes.  25 % of people in the USA have Herpes.  It is incurable.

All this has happened by kicking God’s rules out of government.  In HIs place we have put the “god MAN”.  We are in, God is out.  “It is my life, it is my body, and I will do with it what I want”.  No God, No interior peace.  Know God, Know interior peace.

To have Christendom like Jesus wants we need to:

  1. Acknowledge God as our King and totally obey Him and His laws.
  2. Be holy popes, cardinals, bishops, religious, priests, emperors, kings, queens, civic leaders, parents and children.
  3. Humbly obey God’s rules.
  4. Not be materialistic or put our treasures in this life, but in heaven.
  5. Be humble servants who serve rather than be served.
  6. Be transparent and totally honest.

If you want to obey Christ the King, you will be happier and will reign with Jesus for ever.  He is a humble loving King, only looking out for our good.  He wants to share His divine Kingship with all of us who love, trust and obey Him in this life.  We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to be working for the restoration of the Temporal Rule of Jesus Christ as King over Creation, the Catholic Church and all Governments.

 

“Vive Christus Rex” And “Quas Primas” Pope Pius XI

From the Encylical Letters of Pope Pius XI Quas Primas, 11 Decembris 1925

christ-priest-000Since this Holy Year therefore has provided more than one opportunity to enhance the glory of the kingdom of Christ, we deem it in keeping with our Apostolic office to accede to the desire of many of the Cardinals, Bishops, and faithful, made known to Us both individually and collectively, by closing this Holy Year with the insertion into the Sacred Liturgy of a special feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This matter is so dear to Our heart, Venerable Brethren, that I would wish to address to you a few words concerning it. It will be for you later to explain in a manner suited to the understanding of the faithful what We are about to say concerning the Kingship of Christ, so that the annual feast which We shall decree may be attended with much fruit and produce beneficial results in the future. It has long been a common custom to give to Christ the metaphorical title of “King,” because of the high degree of perfection whereby he excels all creatures. So he is said to reign “in the hearts of men,” both by reason of the keenness of his intellect and the extent of his knowledge, and also because he is very truth, and it is from him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, too, in the wills of men, for in him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the Holy Will of God, and further by his grace and inspiration he so subjects our free-will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors. He is King of hearts, too, by reason of his “charity which exceedeth all knowledge.” And his mercy and kindness which draw all men to him, for never has it been known, nor will it ever be, that man be loved so much and so universally as Jesus Christ. But if we ponder this matter more deeply, we cannot but see that the title and the power of King belongs to Christ as man in the strict and proper sense too. For it is only as man that he may be said to have received from the Father “power and glory and a kingdom,” since 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.

Man of Sorrows_Christ as the_COTER, Colijn deThe foundation of this power and dignity of Our Lord is rightly indicated by Cyril of Alexandria. “Christ,” he says, “has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped, but his by essence and by nature.” His kingship is founded upon the ineffable hypostatic union. From this it follows not only that Christ is to be adored by angels and men, but that to him as man angels and men are subject, and must recognize his empire; by reason of the hypostatic union Christ has power over all creatures. But a thought that must give us even greater joy and consolation is this that Christ is our King by acquired, as well as by natural right, for he is our Redeemer. Would that they who forget what they have cost their Savior might recall the words: “You were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled.” We are no longer our own property, for Christ has purchased us “with a great price”; our very bodies are the “members of Christ.” Let Us explain briefly the nature and meaning of this lordship of Christ. It consists, We need scarcely say, in a threefold power which is essential to lordship. This is sufficiently clear from the scriptural testimony already adduced concerning the universal dominion of our Redeemer, and moreover it is a dogma of faith that Jesus Christ was given to man, not only as our Redeemer, but also as a law-giver, to whom obedience is due. Not only do the gospels tell us that he made laws, but they present him to us in the act of making them. Those who keep them show their love for their Divine Master, and he promises that they shall remain in his love. He claimed judicial power as received from his Father, when the Jews accused him of breaking the Sabbath by the miraculous cure of a sick man. “For neither doth the Father judge any man; but hath given all judgment to the Son.” In this power is included the right of rewarding and punishing all men living, for this right is inseparable from that of judging. Executive power, too, belongs to Christ, for all must obey his commands; none may escape them, nor the sanctions he has imposed.

Christ in Majesty with the Patron Saints of Cremona_BOCCACCINO, BoccaccioThis kingdom is spiritual and is concerned with spiritual things. That this is so the above quotations from Scripture amply prove, and Christ by his own action confirms it. On many occasions, when the Jews and even the Apostles wrongly supposed that the Messiah would restore the liberties and the kingdom of Israel, he repelled and denied such a suggestion. When the populace thronged around him in admiration and would have acclaimed him King, he shrank from the honor and sought safety in flight. Before the Roman magistrate he declared that his kingdom was not of this world. The gospels present this kingdom as one which men prepare to enter by penance, and cannot actually enter except by faith and by baptism, which, though an external rite, signifies and produces an interior regeneration. This kingdom is opposed to none other than to that of Satan and to the power of darkness. It demands of its subjects a spirit of detachment from riches and earthly things, and a spirit of gentleness. They must hunger and thirst after justice, and more than this, they must deny themselves and carry the cross. Christ as our Redeemer purchased the Church at the price of his own blood; as priest he offered himself, and continues to offer himself as a victim for our sins. Is it not evident, then, that his kingly dignity partakes in a manner of both these offices? It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power. Therefore by Our Apostolic Authority We institute the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ to be observed yearly throughout the whole world on the last Sunday of the month of October – the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints. We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to be renewed yearly.

Feast Of Christ The King (Last Sunday Of October)

Lex Christianorum: Te Saeculorum Principem

The wicked mob screams out. “We don’t want Christ as King.”

While we, with shouts of joy, hail Thee as the world’s supreme King.

May the rulers of the world publicly honor and extol Thee: May teachers and judges reverence Thee; May the laws express Thine order and the arts reflect Thy beauty.

May kings find renown in the submission and dedication to Thee.

Bring under Thy gentle rule our country and our homes.

Glory be to Thee, Jesus, supreme over All secular authorities:

And glory be to the Father and the loving Spirit through endless ages.

To Thee, Who by right claim rule over all men,  We willing submit ourselves; to be subject to Thy laws Means happiness for a state and its peoples.

Glory be to Thee, Jesus Supreme over all secular authorities; And glory be to the Father and the Loving Spirit through endless ages.

Christ triumphantly unfurls His Glorious banners everywhere; Come nations of the world, and On bended knee acclaim the King of Kings.

How great is the happiness of the country that rightly owns the rule of Christ and Zealously carries out the commands God gave to men.

The plighted word keeps marriage unbroken, the children grow up with virtue intact and Homes where purity is found Abound also in the other virtues of home life.

Beloved King, may the light from Thee that we desire, shine on us in all glory; May the world receive the gift of peace, Be subject to Thee and adore Thee.

Christendom Where Christ Rules As King

On This Feast Of Christ The King, try to take time to read about Christendom.

“In its wider sense this term is used to describe the part of the world which is inhabited by Christians, as Germany in the Middle Ages was the country inhabited by Germans. The word will be taken in this quantitative sense in the article in comparing the extent of Christendom with that of Paganism or of Islam. But there is a narrower sense in which Christendom stands for a polity as well as a religion, for a nation as well as for a people. Christendom in this sense was an ideal which inspired and dignified many centuries of history and which has not yet altogether lost its power over the minds of men.

kingcrownThe foundations of a Christian polity are to be found in the traditions of the Jewish theocracy softened and broadened by Christian cosmopolitanism, in the completeness with which Christian principles were applied to the whole of life, in the aloofness of the Christian communities from the world around them, and in the hierarchical organization of the clergy. The conflict between the new religion and the Roman Empire was due partly to the very thoroughness of the Christian system and it naturally emphasized the distinction between this new society and the old state. Thus when Constantine proclaimed the Peace of the Church he might almost be described as signing a treaty between two powers. From that Peace to the time of the Barbarian inroads into the West, Christendom was all but conterminous with the Roman Empire, and it might be thought that the ideal of a Christian nation was then at least realized. The legal privileges which were granted to the bishops from the first and which tended to increase, the protection given to the churches and the property of the clergy, and the principle admitted by the emperors that questions of faith were to be freely decided by the bishops – all these concessions seemed to show that the empire had become positively as well as negatively Christian. To St. Ambrose and the bishops of the fourth century the destruction of the empire seemed almost incredible except as a phase of the final catastrophe, and the system which prevailed in the delays of Theodosius seemed almost the ideal Christian polity.

Yet there was about it much that fell short of the ideal of Christendom. In many ways, as a contemporary bishop expressed it, “the church was in the empire, not the empire in the church”. The traditions of Roman imperialism were too strong to be easily mitigated. Constantine, though not even a catechumen, in a sense at least, presided over the Council of Nicaea and the “Divinity” of his son Constantius, though formally observing the rule that decisions of faith belonged to the bishops, was able to exert such pressure upon them that at one time not a single strictly orthodox bishop was left in the occupation of his see. The officious interference of a theologian emperor was more dangerous to the Church than the hostility of Julian, his successor. But the wish to dominate in every sphere was not the only relic of pagan Rome. Though the emperor was no longer pontifex maximus and the statue of Victory was removed from the senate house, though Theodosius decreed the final closing of the temples and put an end to pagan public worship, the ancient world was not really converted; it was hardly a catechumen. In philosophy, literature, and art it clung to the old models and reproduced them in a debased form. Pagan civilization had not been Christians of a simpler character and a more spontaneous vigour than the inhabitants of the degenerate empire. The formation of Christendom was to be the work of a new generation of nations, baptized in their infancy and receiving even the message of the ancient world from the lips of Christian teachers.

Christ the King in Glory_stained glassBut it was to be long before the great future hidden in the Barbarian inversions was to become manifest. At their first irruption the influence of the Teutonic tribes was only destructive; the Christian polity seemed to be perishing with the empire. The Church, however, as a spiritual power survived and mitigated even the fury of the Barbarian, for the helpless population of Rome found a refuge in the churches during the sack of the city by Alaric in 410. The distinction between church and empire, which this disaster illustrated, was emphasized by the accusations brought against the patriotism of the Christians and by St. Augustine’s reply in his “De Civitate Dei”. He develops in this encyclopedic treatise the idea of the two kingdoms or societies (city, except in a very metaphorical sense, is too narrow to be an adequate translation of civitas) the Kingdom of God consisting of His friends in this world and the next, whether men or angels, while the earthly kingdom is that of his enemies. These two kingdoms have existed since the fall of the angels but in a more limited sense and in relation to the Christian dispensation, the Church is spoken of as God’s kingdom on earth while the Roman Empire is all but identified with the civitas terrena; not altogether, however, because the civil power, in securing peace for that part of the heavenly kingdom which is on its earthly pilgrimage, receives some kind of Divine sanction. We might, perhaps, have expected, now that the empire was Christian, that St. Augustine would have looked forward to a new civitas terrena reconciled and united to the civitas Dei; but this prophetic vision of the future was prevented, it may be, by the prevalent opinion, that the world was near its end. The “De Civitate”, however, which had a commanding influence in the Middle Ages, helped to form the ideal of Christendom by the development which it gave to the idea of the kingdom of God upon earth, its past history, its dignity, and universality.

christ-the-kingFrom the fifth century till the days of Charles the Great there was no effectual political unity in the West, and the Church had no civil counterpart. But Charles’ dominions extended from the Elbe to the Ebro and from Britany to Belgrade; there was but little of Western Christendom which they did not include. Ireland and the South of Italy were the only parts of it which his power or his influence did not reach. Over the territories actually comprised in his empire he exercised a real control, administrative and legislative, as well as military. But the Carlovingian empire was far more than a mere political federation: it was a period of renewal and reorganisation in nearly every sphere of social life. It was spiritual, perhaps, even more than political. In war conversion went hand in hand with victory; in peace Charles ruled through bishops as effectively as through counts; his active solicitude extended to the reform and education of the clergy, the promotion of learning, the revival of the Benedictine Rule, to the arts, to the liturgy and even the doctrines of the Church. In the West Christendom became a temporal polity and a society as well as a Church, and the empire of Charles, brief though its existence proved to be, remained for many centuries an ideal and therefore a power. Yet the Carlovingian civilization was in most cases a return to late Roman models. Originality is not its characteristic. Charles’ favourite church at Aachen is supported on the columns which he sent for from the ruined temples of Italy. Even in his relations with the Church he would have found the closest precedents for his policy in the attitude of Constantine or even perhaps of Justinian. Great as was his respect for the successor of St. Peter, he claimed for himself a masterful share in the administration of matters ecclesiastical: he could write, even before his coronation as emperor, to Pope Leo III, “My part is to defend the Church by force of arms from external attacks and to secure her internally through the establishment of the Catholic faith, your part is to render us the assistance of prayer”. Still every step forward has usually begun with a return to the past; it is thus that the artist or the statesman learns his craft. If the Carlovingian system had lasted, no doubt much that was new would have been developed, and even under Charles’s successor the spiritual and temporal powers were placed on a more equal and more appropriate footing. But Charles was too great for his age; his work was premature. The political bond was too weak to prevail over tribal loyalty and Teutonic particularism. Disorder and disruption would have broken up Carlovingian civilization even if Northman, Saracen, and Hungarian had not come to plunge Europe once more into anarchy.

During the tenth century the work of moral and political reconstruction was slowly carried on by the Church and feudalism; in the eleventh came that struggle between these two creative factors of the new Europe which saved the Church from absorption into feudalism. This century opened with what was, perhaps, the most hopeful attempt, after Charles the Great, to give the medieval empire a really universal character. The revived empire of Otto I in the middle of the tenth century had been but an imperfect copy of its Carlovingian model. It was much more limited geographically, as it included only Germany, its dependent states to the east, and Italy; it was limited also in its interests, for Otto left to the Church nearly all those spheres of ecclesiastical, educational, literary, and artistic activity for which Charles had done so much. But Otto’s grandson, the boy emperor Otto III, “magnum quoddam et improbabile cogitans”, as a contemporary expressed it, attempted to make the empire less German, less military, more Roman, more universal, and more of a spiritual force. He was in intimate alliance with the Holy See, and with almost startling originality he established in Rome the first German and then the first French pope. He seems to have realized the truth that it was only by leaning on and developing religious aspect of the empire that he could hope at that stage of history to make its influence universal in the West. Europe was so unformed politically that the long reign of a wise and determined emperor backed up by the Church might perhaps have changed its future history, have brought together into one broad and rather indefinite channel the small but already divergent streams of national tendencies, and built up Europe on the basis of a Christian federalism. But Otto mirabile mundi, died at the age of twenty-two, and the dream of a Christian empire faded away. Never again did a successor of his make a serious attempt to throw off his German character and to make the sphere of his rule conterminous with Christendom. Fascinating as is the theory of the Holy Roman Empire, and great as was its influence on history and speculation, it was always something of a sham. It claimed in political matters a sphere of action as wide as that of the popes in things spiritual but, unlike the spiritual, this political plena potestas was never admitted. Even before the War of Investitures and the First Crusade had made so wide a breach in the imperial prestige, an Abbot of Dijon of Italian origin could contrast the still enduring unity of the Church with the disruption of the civil power. The empire is generally held to have reached its zenith in the middle of the eleventh century but that is not the century in which we find the ideal of a united Christendom nearest its realization.

Keys to the Kingdom_LORENZO VENEZIANOPolitical unity in the West was never restored after the fall of the Carlovingian Empire, religious unity lasted till the Reformation, but in the twelfth century we find, in addition, a very large measure of what may compendiously be called “social unity”. Before that time isolation, disorder and the predominance of feudalism had kept men apart; after it the development of national distinctions was to have something of the same effect. The twelfth century is therefore the period in which Christian cosmopolitanism can best be studied. The Church was naturally the chief unifying force, in the darkest days she had preached the gospel to Frank, Saxon, and Gallo-Roman, and her organization had been, at critical moments when the civil power had almost sunk under the flood, the only bond which linked together the populations of the West. The opening century found the Church in the midst of that Hildebrandine movement, in favour of clerical celibacy and against simony, which was necessary to save the spiritual character of the clergy from being obliterated by too close a contact with temporal administration and the material ambition of feudal society. The reform, though its centre was at Rome, was a European movement. Its forerunners had been found in the monasteries of Burgundy and among the students of canon law in the Rhine cities; at the height of the struggle its leaders included Italians, Lorrainers, Frenchmen, and a German monastic revival. When Paschal II showed signs of faltering, the movement was carried on almost in spite of him by the zeal of French reformers. Even Spain, England, and Demnark caught the saving infection, and the eventual settlement between Church and empire was foreshadowed in the concordat, devised probably by a French canonist, which was agreed to by St. Anselm and Henry I. Thus did all the nations which were to be have their share in the victory of Hildebrandine principles, and there was roused throughout the West a revival of the spiritual life. The ideals of the clergy were raised, or rather they acquired strength and confidence to pursue ideals which they had always, though despairingly, acknowledged. This crusade against selfishness, passion, and weakness brought together the clergy of the West, as the attack on more material foes united its peoples, and as a consequence the ecclesiastical body in the twelfth century is a real society almost contemptuous of political or racial frontiers. We find Frenchmen and an Englishman in the chair of St. Peter; an Italian, St. Anselm, at Canterbury; a Savoyard, St. Hugh, at Lincoln; an English John of Salisbury at Chartres: instances such as those could be multiplied almost indefinitely. In medieval Latin this vast society possessed a language suited to the varied wants of the age, and it is as living as any vernacular if we read it in a letter of St. Anselm, a sermon of St. Bernard, a poem of Adam of St. Victor, the “Polycraticus” of John of Salisbury, an assize of Henry II, the desultory chronicle of Ordericus Vitalis or the finished history of William of Tyre. It was a language which might have had a greater literature if the less simple amongst those who wrote had not been continually harking back to classical models.

The spirit of Catholicity in the Church was guarded and prompted by the ever increasing power of the popes. The days when the Holy See had had to be rescued by the emperors from the petty and passionate Roman nobility must have seemed far off, and the most definite result of the War of Investitures was a second liberation, the conquest of the complete independence of papal elections. Never was the papal power in Europe so great as in the years between the end of that war in 1122 and the great disaster of the Second Crusade. Besides being the guardian of the Faith, the papacy was fast becoming the central court of Christendom. For close on two centuries, from Nicholas I to Leo IX in the middle of the eleventh century, the plenary powers of the pope had been but exceptionally exercised north of the Alps though they had been acknowledged in principle, but in this most legal of centuries the exercise of papal jurisdiction becomes habitual. The curia was treated as a court of first instance as well as a court of appeal. Hardly any subject was too small or too local to be referred to Rome: the pope, for instance, decided whether or not the Duke of Larraine might have a castle within four miles of Toul. Papal legates might be met on all the highways of Christendom, papal courts sat in every land. Canon law grew fast, and the “Decretum” of Gratian, about the middle of the century, though it was not an authoritative collection, provided legates and judges with an admirable synthesis of papal pronouncements. St. Bernard was much troubled at the amount of legal business which poured in upon the pope; it must, he considered, interfere with the more spiritual duties of his high office. But the movement was irresistible; the papacy had become de facto the centre of a vast Christian nation. The empire was, as we have seen, out of court. It was in the papacy that Christendon, a temporal as well as a spiritual society, found its head in temporal and spiritual things alike.

CuoreVandea2_thumbAfter the faith and the hierarchy of the Church the monastic orders have usually formed the strongest bond of Catholic union, and in the twelfth century the monastic spirit was full of life. In the previous epoch the Cluniac Benedictines had played an essential part in the work of reconstruction; but life was now more complicated, and monasticism took many forms. The contemplative spirit of the old hermits inspired the Carthusian foundation of St. Bruno, “the only ancient order which has never been reformed and never required reforming”, the increased demand for parish work led to the revival of regular canons, and in part to the foundation of the Premonstratensians, the Crusades produced the military orders, while in the Cistercians the new spiritual fervour with its ascetical and mystical tendencies found appropriate expression. Seldom has a new order spread with such rapidity throughout Europe as these white Benedictines, and St. Bernard, their great representative is the most marvellous instance of the power of a single man, without official position, over all classes and different nations. The settlement of a disputed papal election practically depended on his verdict, he appeased the feuds of German noble families and reconciled Italian cities, he led one emperor to the South of Italy and sent another on a crusade of the East; more wonderful still, single-handed he pursued the Roman people to forsake the antipope. Though not the originator, he was the motive power of the Second Crusade, and his eloquence seemed as persuasive in the Rhine cities as in Burgundy, and as successful in saving the Jews from the fanaticism of the crusaders as in rousing the crusading spirit.

Besides the Church and its many activities, there were other forces at work, other expressions of the energy of youthful Christendom which must at least be enumerated. The twelfth-century renaissance was a rapid development of what may be called Franco-Norman civilization. France, if the name is given a comprehensive meaning, had conquered England and South Italy, had brought about the crusades, and had helped the papacy to victory over the empire. It was in France that the new monastic movements took their rise, and the intellectual movement as well. The University of Paris was the university of Christendom, and the problems stated by the Breton Abelard excited the curiosity and the enthusiasm of young men from every country. French was spoken nearly as widely as Latin, and the medieval epic, the romances of the Arthurian legend, and the lyrics of the troubadours, the three most characteristic forms of medieval vernacular literature all were developed amongst men who spoke one of the dialects of French. Politically the Franco-Norman world was divided between Plantagenet, Capetian, and the princes of the South, and the personality of Frederick Barbarossa gave a splendour to German politics, but intellectually and socially French civilization dominated Europe. It was however, a supremacy which lay in the rapidity and logical thoroughness with which she expressed ideas common to the whole West. The development of Gothic architecture in England was almost parallel to the French, the epic and the Arthurian legend found a congenial soil in Germany, and the lyrical poetry of Italy was almost a younger sister to that of Provence. The same spirit seemed to be abroad from Scotland to Palermo, and the Christians of the West must have felt that they were indeed citizens of a great city.

KnightFor this sense of a common Christendom was not confined to the clergy or the knightly and baronial classes. The peasantry and the town-population had much improved their economic and legal positions since the beginning of the eleventh century, they had also profited by the education of action and experience. In the movement for the Truce of God, in the Hildebrandine reform, in the Crusades, in all these struggles of a crowded age, the holy people of God had taken a prominent part; all had increased their self-confidence, all had drawn them closer to the clergy and to one another. Though the aim of the Hildebrandine reform was to preserve the distinctive features of the priestly life, it had not formed the clergy into a caste. Gregory VII had appealed to the laity, and the reformers found among the people allies most enthusiastic at times indeed fanatical and cruel. The Crusades, too, had consecrated the devotion of the poor pilgrims as well as knightly valour. At one moment, when the leaders had forgotten the Holy City for the sake of Syrian castles, it was the zeal of the poor that alone saved the fortunes of the expedition. On the other movements of the time clergy and people were often united, and municipal liberties, at least in their earlier stages, found a support in the Church. Alexander III, the greatest pope of the century, was allied with the Lombard republics in their struggle with Frederick Barbarossa, the greatest of its emperors. It is at least probable that since the early ages of the Church, clergy and laity have never been so united as in this century. Few medieval saints have excited so much universal and popular enthusiasm as St. Thomas of Canterbury, a martyr for the rights of the Church and the clergy, and the pilgrims who thronged to Canterbury from all parts of Christendom are perhaps the best evidence of the union between people and clergy, and between the different nations of the West.

The pontificate of Innocent III, which began before the close of the twelfth century, was the climax of this period of Christian cosmopolitanism. It illustrates both the splendour of the ideal and the increasing difficulty of realizing it. Few popes have had nobler aims than Innocent, few have been more favoured by nature and circumstance or have been apparently more successful. He was enabled to put at the head of a national movement in Italy, to govern Rome, where his predecessors had been weakest, to compel the King of France to respect the rights of marriage and the King of England those of the Church, to help in the success of two papalist candidates to the empire, and to see a crusade sail for the East. These are but some of the successes of his reign, yet it is impossible to study the fortunes of his pontificate without observing that nearly every one of his victories is marked by the signs of ultimate failure. Of the two emperors whom he helped to the throne, the first repudiated all his engagements and declared open war upon him in Italy, the second was that Frederick II who was to be the most thoroughgoing foe of the papacy. The homage which Innocent won from King John contributed in a later generation to embitter the relations between England and the Holy See. In his Italian policy, disinterested as it was, can be traced the first beginnings of future evils; the political power he had acquired led to the first case of nepotism and to the first appeal to a French noble for help in the South of Italy. He lost control over both the religious campaigns which he set in motion, for he endeavoured unsuccessfully to protect Raymond of Toulouse from the Albigensian crusaders and to prevent the Venetians diverting the Fourth Crusade from Jerusalem to Constantinople.

KnightsThat so great a pope should meet with failures so signal was significant of the change coming over Europe. The control over temporal and even ecclesiastical matters was slipping away from the head of Christendom, though the great personality of Innocent and the successful war waged by his successors against the empire might disguise the fact from contemporaries. In the fourteenth century the national wars, the great Schism, the unimpeded progress of the Turks, these were all witnesses to the divisions of Christendom. For a moment, at the time of the Council of Constance in 1414, there seemed to be a rally; the Christian society appeared to be drawing together again in order to put an end to the schism and to reform the Church; but as a matter of fact that council was the first of European congresses, a meeting of national delegates rather than a parliament of Christendom. The history of this change from the Christendom of the twelfth century to the nations of the Reformation epoch, is the history of the later Middle Ages. It is possible, however, to disentangle some of the elements of this complicated process of disintegration.

To the modern student, who is wise after the event, it is clear by the eleventh century that the Europe of the future is not going to be built up politically as an empire and that the ultimate development of some form of national state is assured. The Church, though she might have preserved a large measure ot social unity and linked the nations together, could never have formed a permanent, universal state, for Christianity is not, like Islam, a political system. Politically, there seems but two alternatives; empire or nations. Indeed the roots of nationality can be traced deep down in geographical and racial differences and in the varing degrees in which the Teutonic invaders of the Roman Empire coalesced with its old inhabitants. In the twelfth century, though the sense of a common Christianity is the predominant characteristic of the age, the development of national distinctions proceeded apace. Germany was long to regret the glories of the reign of Frederick Barbarossa, yet even his power failed to level the Alps politically and to overcome the still hardly conscious nationalism of the Lombard cities. The social and intellectual influence which France had exerted in the middle of the century began under Philip Augustus to take a political form; while in England conquerors and conquered were fast amalgamating, and a national feeling, fostered by insular position, had grown up, though it was concealed for the moment by the extent of the Angevin Empire and the foreign interests of Henry II and Richard I. This empire broke into pieces under John, and, after an interval of weakness and hesitation, England appears in the reign of Edward I as the country where nationality had most rapidly developed. Elsewhere, too, the process continued. The personality of St. Louis gave to the French monarchy a halo comparable to the spiritual character which was to cling for so many centuries to the Holy Roman Empire. The fall of the Hohenstauffen decided finally what had long threatened, that Germany was to be not a State, but at any rate a nation severed from Italy, and that Italy itself was to live its own turbulent city life so fruitful in war, in tyranny, in saints, and in works of art.

KnightMeanwhile the new monarchies of the West became self-conscious through their lawyers. Secular law in the twelfth century had given its support to the civil power, but it had been overshadowed, on the whole, by the great development of canon law. Towards the close of the thirteenth it had its revenge as the ally of the national sovereigns. Edward I was both one of the most legal and one of the most powerful of English kings, yet in his case legal absolutism was mitigated by customary law. In France the enigmatic figure of Philip the Fair was half-concealed by his legist ministers, men who combined a radical anti-clericalism, ready to go any lengths, with the most frank acknowledgment of the absolute power of the sovereign. It is an instance of the irony of history that Edward and Philip should be the contemporaries of Boniface VIII, the boldest assertor of papal supremacy. The probable explanation is that the recent victory over the empire misled the papalist writers and perhaps the popes themselves. The disappearance of the Hohenstauffen seemed to leave the papacy an undisputed supremacy in the Christian world. It had been the practice to speak of the spiritual and temporal powers in terms of pope and emperor, and it was long before it was realized, at least on the papal side, that the civil power, defeated as emperor, had returned to the attack with more aggressive vigour as the Monarchy and the State. The papal-imperial controversy continued, though with increasing unreality, when the pope was at Avignon, and the emperor was Louis of Bavaria, and little effort was made to adapt to the new conditions the older theory of the co-ordinate powers of Church and State, both of immediate Divine origin but differing in dignity.

The struggle between Boniface and Philip culminated in the outrage of Anagni, where Nogaret, the French lawyer, struck the aged pope. It was a brutal act, disgraceful only to the perpetrator. Unfortunately, it was followed by the migration, a few years later, of the papal court to the prison-palace of Avignon. This premature development of French absolutism was followed by years of war and anarchy; but from her misfortunes France rose up a consolidated monarchy. In England, aristocratic misrule and some forty years of intermittent civil war produced the same result. In Spain, and even in the German and Scandinavian principalities and kingdoms, different causes tended in the same direction. Thus grew up those monarchies, powerful at home jealous of foreign interference, which contributed so much to the Reformation.

385px-JacquesdeMolayWhile in the political sphere nations were drawing apart, in the social sphere the Church was losing much of her influence on the thoughts of men. Some of this loss was perhaps inevitable. New interests were springing up on every side with the growth of wealth, of education, and of the complexity of life new professions, other than that of arms, were being opened to the educated laity. Religion could hardly expect to keep the hold she had exercised on the outward lives of Christians. Meanwhile the improvement of secular law would in time render unnecessary and invidious many of the clerical privileges which had been so essential in a simpler age. Thus as European society developed, the clergy, the most cosmopolitan element of it, would necessarily lose some of the commanding influence they had exercised in the ages when they represented civilization as well as religion. But other causes were at work. The high religious enthusiasm of the earlier twelfth century was not maintained at the same level either in clergy or people. And indeed even that Christian age had had its dark side. Passion, the fierce passionate character of a primitive people, was not yet subdued. What had been won by the Hildebrandine movement had to be preserved. No moral victory is final: no generation can afford to disarm. The very success of the Church brought its dangers, and increased power tended to ambition and worldliness. The faults and the wealth of the clergy must have contributed something, it would be difficult to say how much to the darkest feature of the age, the heresy which even in St. Bernard’s time lurked in secret nearly everywhere. This evil spread like a plague through Southern France and Italy, and kept appearing sporadically north of the Alps. It seemed to threaten Christian morals and Christian faith alike. So acute did the danger become in France that it almost justified the violences of the Albigensian Crusade but the Church of the thirteenth century had nobler weapons than those of De Montfort or the Inquisition: the Friars and Scholastic movement attacked heresy, morally and intellectually, and routed it. Henceforth, however, till the sixteenth; century, no great religious or monastic movement, common to Christendom, was provoked by the many moral and intellectual causes which led to the decline and fall of the medieval system and finally to the Reformation itself.

The history of the papacy cannot be separated from that of the Church. The great popes of the past had had a share which can hardly be over-estimated in binding together Christian society and raising its moral level; it is not surprising that the diminished influence of the papacy is among the causes of the disintegration of Christendom. It is difficult not to trace the decadence to the struggle with Frederick II. Before that struggle, in the days of Innocent III, the difficulties of the papacy were due to its agents, its subjects, to the very greatness of the task it had undertaken, not to the character or aims of the popes themselves. But from Gregory IX a different spirit seemed to prevail. The popes were engaged in a hand-to-land conflict with a power which aimed at establishing a strong monarchy in Italy which threatened to stifle Roman and papal freedom the contest was not being waged with an imperious but distant German: it was Italian, territorial and bitter. The spiritual ruler seemed almost merged in the sovereign of Rome and the feudal lord of Sicily. Money was necessary, and in order to obtain it funds had to be raised in other, and especially, transalpine lands, and by means which aroused much discontent and which affected the credit of Rome as the central court of Christendom. The conception of canon law, of a system of courts Christian and a sacred jurisdiction over-riding political frontiers, is a magnificent one, and the debt which European law owes to the canonists is admitted by the modern masters of legal history. It was a system, however, which had many rivals, and it required the support of a high moral prestige. Unfortunately, the machinery was, from the first, defective, there was no organization at Rome capable of dealing with the press of legal business, and even in the twelfth century complaints of venality and delay were frequent and bitter. Litigants are not easily satisfied, nor has the law often been at once impartial cheap, and speedy in any country yet it can hardly be denied that in the thirteenth century; the Roman courts suffered from very serious abuses.

knights_templar_battle_wearyIt is unnecessary to follow the fortunes of the papacy after the thirteenth century; the lesson of the French influence, of the schism, of the Italianization of the fifteenth-century popes, is but too clear. Though the essential rights of the Holy See were but seldom denied in those years, it was clear, when the crisis came, and when the papal supremacy had to bear the first attack, that that devotion which makes martyrs and the enthusiasm which inspires righteous rebellion were sadly lacking. It would seem, then that the growth of national divisions, the increased secularism of everyday life, the diminished influence of the Church and the papacy, that all these interdependent influences had broken up the social unity of Christendom at least two centuries before the Reformation, yet it must never be forgotten that religious unity remained. As long as Christendom was Catholic it was a reality, a visible society with one head and one hierarchy. Though for the moment centrifugal tendencies were in the ascendant, the future was full of possibilities. A great religious movement, a revival of the Christian spirit, the reform which should have come when the Reformation came, any such appeal to the common faith and to Catholic loyalty might have brought the Christian nations together again, have put some check upon their internal absolutism and external combativeness and have removed from the Christian name the reproach of mutual antagonism.

Such speculation is, however, as idle as it is fascinating, instead of the reform, of the renewal of the spiritual life of the Church round the old principles of Christian faith and unity, there came the Reformation, and Christian society was broken up beyond the hope of at least proximate reunion. But it was long before this fact was realized even by the Reformers and indeed it must have been more difficult for a subject of Henry VIII to convince himself that the Latin Church was really being torn asunder than for us to conceive the full meaning and all the consequences of a united Christendom. Much of the weakness of ordinary men in the earlier years of the Reformation, much of their attitude towards the papacy, can be explained by their blindness to what was happening. They thought, no doubt, that all would come right in the end. So dangerous is it, particularly in times of revolution, to trust to anything but principle.

mass-purgatory-496504066_88d304cb82The effect of the Reformation was to separate from the Church all the Scandinavian, most of the Teutonic, and a few of the Latin-speaking populations of Europe but the spirit of division once established worked further mischief, and the antagonism between Lutheran and Calvinist was almost as bitter as that between Catholic and Protestant. At the begining, however, of the seventeenth century, Christendom was weary of religious war and persecution, and for a moment it almost seemed as if the breach were to be closed. The deaths of Philip II and Elizabeth, the conversion and the tolerant policy of Henry IV of France, the accession of the House of Stuart to the English throne, the pacification between and Spain and the Dutch, all these events pointed to the same direction. A like tendency is apparent in the theological speculation of the time: the learning and judgment of Hooker, the first beginning of the High Church movement, the spread of Arminianism in Holland, these were all signs that in the Protestant Churches, thought, study, and piety had begun to moderate the fires of controversy, while in the monumental works of Suarez and the other Spanish doctors, the Catholic theology seems to be resuming that stately, comprehensive view of its problems which is so impressive in the great Scholastics. It is not surprising that this moment, when the cause of reconciliation seemed in the ascendant, was marked by a scheme of Christian political union. Much importance was at one time attributed to the grand dessein of Henry IV. Recent historians are inclined to assign most of the design to Henry’s Protestant minister, Sully, the king’s share in the plan was probably but small. A coalition war against Austria was first to secure Europe against the domination of the Hapsburgs but an era of peace was to follow. The different Christian States, whether Catholic or Protestant were to preserve their independence, to practise toleration, to be united in a “Christian Republic” under the presidency of the pope, and to find an outlet for their energies in the recovery of the East. These dreams of Christian reunion soon melted away. Religious divisions were too deep-seated to permit the reconstruction of a Christian polity, and the cure for international ills has been sought in other directions. The international law of the seventeenth century jurists was based upon national law, not upon Christian fellowship, the balance of power of the eighteenth century on the elementary instinct of self-defence, and the nationalism of the nineteenth on racial or linguistic distinctions. It has never occurred to anyone to take seriously the mystic terminology with which in the Holy Alliance Alexander I of Russia clothed his policy of conservative intervention. The Greek insurrection and the Eastern questions generally restored the word Christian to the vocabulary of the European chanceries, but it has come in recent times to express our common civilization rather than a religion which so many Europeans now no longer possess.”  1914 Catholic Encyclopedia

Christ The King Or Machiavelli’s “Prince” Of This World

As traditional Catholics, we believe in Jesus Christ the King as the temporal ruler over this world as well as in heaven.  We believe in Christendom where all countries are subjected to God’s rules, in the Church, the state and the family.  All authority comes from above, God and is given to the Church and her visible leaders.  They rule over kings and queens who govern over states.  The elders of families rule over their children.

christ-the-kingChrist the King is the God of Love, Truth, Life, Mercy and Justice.  He proved His love by laying down his life on the Cross to save us.  He never went around murdering or deceiving people.  He was poor and humble.  His laws are for our good.  We can chose Him to be our King to rule over us or we can choose a worldly politician to rule over us.

Christ the King in Glory_stained glassIn opposition to Jesus’ Kingdom, is the political world of the pagan Republics where either the ruler has been elected by popularity, (and work through parliaments) or a dictator who has taken over power by force.

Many people wrongly believe that the downfall of Christendom and all other evil that we find in politics, began with the French Revolution.  The fact is that rebellion has been with us ever since satan’s rebellion at the beginning of creation.  Then he spread his “rebellious spirit” to Eve and Adam.

But a very important revolution against God also began with the new “Spirit of the Renaissance” when powerful people began looking back to the pagan cultures, religions, philosophers and political systems.  The devil incited these people to rebel against the order of Catholicism on which society was directed at that time.  It was far from perfect, but at least God was recognized and there was such a thing as right and wrong.

A very important person in the “Renaissance Revolution” was Nicolò Machiavelli.  Because of his distortion of truth and evil designs the name for the devil in the Anglo-Saxon world came to be known as “Old Nick“.

Machiavelli1He was born in Florence Italy on 3 May, 1469 and died 22 June, 1527.   His most important work is called “Il Principe”, which in Italian means the prince.  He wrote if for his friends the Medici family.

There are many bad people who have had great influence in the world.  But there are seven UN worthy of mention.

  1. Machiavelli and his immoral “morality” and glorification of absolutism.
  2. Kant who taught that all truth is subjective.
  3. Nietzsche self proclaimed Anti Christ, who’s philosophy was to excite rebellion and coined the saying “God is Dead”.
  4. Freud, father of the sexual revolution by attributing most human behavior to sexual desire.
  5. Darwin, who put accident and adaptation, (not God) as the force behind all creation.
  6. Marx who promised the masses paradise here by liberation from the wealthy and religion by violent revolution.
  7. Sarte who despaired of any meaning to life, so professed absurdity.  Ideas From Article By Peter Kreeft On Machiavelli.

Machiavelli’s hero was Cesare Borgia.  He was an illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI who made him “Il Principe”, prince over land taken from the Vatican State.  He was ruthless, cruel and deceitful.  He did well only because of the power his dad had as Pope.

300px-Cesare_Borgia,_Duke_of_ValentinoisBut he too died and this was written on his grave.

“Here lies in a little earth

he who everyone feared

he who peace and war

held in his hand.

Oh, you who go in search

of worthy things to praise,

if you would praise the worthiest

then your path stops here

and you do not need to go any farther.”

Machiavelli is the typical Italian Renaissance man.  His life, thoughts and behavior were based on classical paganism.  He taught that a politician has to do what ever he has to do: killing, lying, cheating and deceiving, in order to get power and territory.  He also admired the cruelty of Hannibal.Hannibals-Zug-über-die-Alpen-215-v-Chr-Stich-Motte-640x450

 “A prince must keep clear of crime not only when it is hurtful to his interests but when it is useless. He should try to win the love of his subjects, by simulating virtue if he does not possess it; he ought to encourage trade so that his people, busied in getting rich, may have no time for politics; he ought to show concern for religion, because it is a potent means for keeping his people submissive and obedient.”  1914 Catholic Encyclopedia

Because of his advocacy of removal of Catholic morals from politics, his book was put on the Index in 1559.

Machiavelli-crashworks“Machiavelli did not disguise his dislike for Christianity which by exalting humility, meekness, and patience had, he said, weakened the social and patriotic instincts of mankind. Hence, he mocked at Savonarola though he was the saviour of democracy, and he had a special dislike for the Holy See as a temporal power, as he saw in it the greatest obstacle to Italian unity; to use his own expression, it was too weak to control the whole peninsula, but too strong to allow of any other state bringing about unity.”

1914 Catholic Encyclopedia

 

We are free to choose between following this world’s prince or Christ the King.  We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know what a great King Jesus is and to whole heartedly follow and obey him.