Not long after the previous post, unlike a year ago when I was rushed to hospital with severe pancreatitis, once again I was suddenly and seriously ill, this time with what the doctor’s call a brain bleed.
Miraculously after collapsing and landing on the floor when
I came to I heard the phone ringing, crawled until I found it and heard the
voice of a dear friend who wondered what was going on as normally I answer the
phone quickly. I told him. He came over immediately. Climbed up onto the
balcony, saw through the window I was on the floor, broke in, called 911,
stayed with me until the paramedics arrived.
Unlike last year when, I spent days literally struggling not
to die, from the moment I gained consciousness until the doctors told me death
had receded, this time when I came to I was peaceful, knew death was being kept
at bay and that this illness had more to do with
metanoia – that is conversion of heart - for myself and the human family, thus
it is not so much illness I am aware of as the grace of wee suffering in
intercession and atonement.
In case any reader thinks the preceding is some sort of
humble-brag an adult member of my family said I should be offering this
experience as noted, thereby confirming what was already in my heart.
I have two books brought to me by family, when they were
permitted to visit, books which enhance atonement offering. This city is in a 4th
wave of the pandemic and the hospital is in lockdown so you can only have 2
designated visitors, one is the daughter of my heart being my son’s wife, a joy
whenever I see her and is truly a woman of faith, very close to and attentive
to Our Blessed Mother. The other designated visitor is my son, a man of faith
also very close to and attentive to Our Blessed Mother. I trust them both and
One book is THEOLOGY OF THE LITURGY, a treasure house for
contemplation and prayer from which this, which has been the focal point of
these already 10 weeks of therapy and recovery, referencing the Fathers of the
Second Vatican Council and their choice to consider what became the document on
the liturgy: By starting with the theme of liturgy, God’s primacy, the
absolute precedence of the throne of God, was unmistakably highlighted.
Beginning with the liturgy tells us: “God first.” When the focus on God is not
decisive, everything else loses its orientation. The saying from the Rule of St.
Benedict “Nothing is to be preferred to the liturgy” [43,3] applies
specifically to monasticism, but as a way of ordering priorities it is true
also for the life of the Church and of every individual, for each in his own
way. It may be useful here to recall that in the word “orthodoxy”, the
second half, “…doxa.”, does not mean “idea”, but, rather, “glory”: it is not
a matter of the right “idea” about God; rather, it is a matter of the right way
of glorifying Him, of responding to Him. For that is the fundamental question
of the man who begins to understand himself correctly. How must I encounter
God? Thus learning the right way of worshipping- orthodoxy- is the gift par
excellence that is given to us by faith.
In my near 80 years of life and 40 of priesthood I have
experienced a vibrantly visible Church where clergy and men and women religious
were visible by clerical dress and religious habits, to a rag-tag Church, of
priests and religious dressed as seculars, thus a Church now mostly invisible;
from packed attendance at Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation, to
parish Churches on such days in the 21st century, sparsely
populated, and simultaneously rendering the Church even less visible, it is
akin to old Western movies where the camera pans the deserted streets of an
abandoned town with wind blowing swirls of dust through the empty buildings and
tumble weeds are scattered about while the soundtrack is of lamenting music and
banging saloon doors, to trigger the audience to ponder ‘what happened’, ‘where
have all the people gone’?
Nowhere Charlie Brown. They are us, or rather we are them,
we have gone so far from self that we live and move beside ourselves like
fleshed shadows and move about passing one another as if we are become blind
walking about in the dark.
We pass by each other not seeing Whom we are actually
Pope Francis wants us to be the field-hospital-Church for
the deeply wounded human family, however since the turbulent post-Vatican II
sixties we have made ourselves invisible as Church notwithstanding all our
vaunted reassurances, mostly to ourselves, that the outcome of our rush to ditch the charisms of founders
and foundresses of our religious orders, ditching as well religious habits and
priestly garb in order be more relevant and closer to the people, we are now
further from the people than ever and those western ghost towns are more
populated than seminaries, noviciates and parishes.
We have secularized religion, made the truth of Gospel
teaching and moral order a matter of personal whim and thus we have become
complicit in the culture of death.
We have become like the woman I watched coming out of a
theatre one night on Broadway, in New York, casually lifting up her evening
gown as she, nonchalantly, stepped over a homeless man to get to her limo.
In this year 2021, second of the pandemic, with many
countries experiencing the fourth and fifth waves of covid, where the left and
right shout incessantly, from the battlements of their ideological castles,
firing flaming pitch of mutual accusations rarely based on objective,
verifiable facts, at each other, while what should be a means of enhancing
mutual respect understanding, the internet, has become a moat of self
aggrandizing sharks surrounding the castles, the sharks devouring the name and
dignity of all who do not agree with their view of reality. In the current
climate I admit even hesitating to continue to blog: how confused and lacking
in common sense have we become that during Cop26 so many people were taken in
by a posting which promised if you post a picture of your pet “we would plant a
As we walk along the road of life, pilgrims towards our real
home, it is extremely urgent not that we plant trees wilily-nilily but that we
replant ourselves at the center of our Baptism, which is where the horizontal
and vertical bars of the Cross meet, there we will once again be face to face
in the arms of our Beloved Bridegroom and can see into His eyes, eyes of our
Divine Lover and what do we see reflected there in the burning light of the
fire of HIS LOVE for us? An immense, endless ditch in which lay our wounded
brothers and sisters. They are HIM and HE is THEM. One face seems familiar. It
is our own, as we pass by, so bent towards our false, uncreated by God selves.
After all these millennia since Adam we have manufactured humanity into
functional entities, bearing the burden of self-sufficiency illusion, having
failed to become fully the beloved children of God and thus the universal
siblings we have been created to be, and as is a certainty for all who will
follow us, be there future generations who emerge from this culture of death,
they will fail as well, unless we begin to become real persons, being about anchoring
the liturgy in the foundational act of our faith and, thus, also about its
place in the whole of our human existence. 
When I was doing my studies in university for my Bachelors’
Degree in Philosophy I took advantage to indulge my passion for humanity and
the story of the human person through minors in history, anthropology, and
My own study-meditation-reading in those fields continues to
Every era in history has within it its own turbulence, evil,
confusion, and when the dust settles and we look back we discover, granted
sometimes only after much searching, it has had its own peace, holiness,
clarity. For every nation, religion, on earth, for each human being, the
journey of our Elder Brothers and Sisters in Faith and Liturgy, the Jewish
People, the Exodus Journey, is the template for the pilgrimage from birth to
death for each of us, and for following Christ carrying our cross with Him
wherever He leads, this template holds true, even in 2021. The Old Testament
does not detail all the events of those forty years in the desert, rather we
are given broad outlines as it were, with a few specific critical moments
between God and His People being in more detail.
To assume, for example, the chaos and deep divides in the US
in the Trump and post-Trump era, came out of nowhere is also to assume when the
guns fell silent at the end of the American Civil War, that the war was over.
Nope. It never really ended. The wounds were temporarily cauterized but never
healed and the push by the extreme left – politicians and media alike – to assign
blame for all that to the current generation is both insanely evil and shows a
complete ignorance of what triggered the civil war. Democracy is being torn to
shreds virtually everywhere it exists because that sixties mind-set which
assumes inflexibly it knows everything better than everyone not of their ilk
betrays a fateful blind ignorance of the human person and human history, it is
the tower of Babel arrogance rooted in the original sin where the created
person trusted a snake and self more than the one who creates us.
And how did that work out?
In telling us the shining truth of how things unfolded
Genesis tells us about more than sin, which like a huge boulder dropped into a
still lake, the waves traveling ever faster outward to the far shores, such is
sin throughout history. It washes over each of us who toss our own sin-boulders
into the unfolding of history, but Genesis, from God’s own heart and in His own
words reveals One is given to us, who as Lord of the Cosmos is more powerful
than the mightiest of waves and even the huge boulder used to assure us we are
safe from His liturgy, if we just block Him in the tomb, that is seal Him out
of our hearts, memories, awareness so we can safely bypass, walk by, our
brothers and sisters in the ditch.
I have absolutely no intention here of advocating for one
side or the other in any of the disputed questions swirling around us like a
sandstorm scrapping away the thin veneer of what is left within us of Baptismal
compassion and understanding for one another, rather it is my hope that through
this and follow-up essays to show that we can choose to live Theocentric [God
-centered] lives, grounded in Christocentric [Christ centered] liturgy in every
moment of the days that are still grace-gifted to us – please God therefore
living between two Holy Masses, the Divine Liturgies of today and tomorrow.
From that will flow our stopping by the ditch and picking up
our siblings so battered and wounded by life, bringing them deep into the inn
of our hearts to be cared there with the patience and compassion of our love
and understanding, centered in and flowing from the Holy Gospel and like a
healing balm lavished through objective truth words spoken to heal and comfort
them, never to prove some disputatious point.
More than a century ago humanity thrust itself into the
co-called ‘war to end all wars’, whose oceans of blood proved only to have been
a dress-rehearsal for WWII and its Niagara Falls of blood which has so
saturated the earth that almost a century later the wounds, worse than those of
the civil war, are not only unhealed but have become putrid with the culture of
blame and death so favoured by some in power, while wars, revolutions,
concentration camps proliferate.
When WWI appeared to be winding down, with most of Europe
devasted and empires and kingdoms overrun, allowing the victorious allies to
redraw the maps of much of the world, the real shocker for many was the Russian
Revolution, which was more than the overthrow of a czar but of an ancient
culture with its Christian faith and liturgy.
The fact that the main leaders and participants were all
baptized, as are many of today’s leaders who push abortion and related evils,
should have us pause and realize it is not just satan himself personally
prowling about the earth seeking whom he may overcome. The culture itself and
its adherents so prowl to overcome people of faith.
We seem determined to outdo Cain rather than embrace the
humility of Abel, the first person in recorded history to celebrate liturgy,
for which he paid with his life.
Like him we must choose to risk martyrdom and live liturgy
Life is not a stage or film production of Les Misérables.
Liturgical inner peace is what is needed that we move about
these turbulent days with calm emotions, radiating the Light of Christ,
fulfilling our baptismal vocation to be light and salt within the human family.
We are baptized people called to turn away from violence,
loving our enemies, praying for those who persecute us as Jesus asks us to.
Liturgically living, means for us no mounting of the barricades, rather
peaceful, loving living out of the prayer of St. Francis that metanoia will
envelope those caught as prey by the wolves of the culture of death, and also
that the wolves themselves, will receive the grace of metanoia, through our love and shining the light of Christ
which heals their/our wounds and washes away the poison of secularism and anger
leaving them/us with childlike cleanness of soul and heart, and picking up the
towel and water of humility and charity in imitation of Christ to, by our very
presence be about lovingly washing their tired and blistered feet through being
truth and light, radiating truth and light, letting go of the need to be in
control, or win arguments or have power over anyone, being in and with Christ
humble servants, thus shattering the darkness of the culture of death, causing
the shards to fall as harmless icons reflecting the light, sparkling as ice crystals do in the moonlight shining
on fresh fallen snow. Our Lady, Star of the Sea, is the gentle, brilliant
moonlight of history, drawing us to follow the same star as the Magi, which is
Herself, to the cave of the Incarnate One’s birth, where if we are humble
enough, little enough, to bend low, enter the cave offering the Child the
frankincense of our charity towards other, the myrrh of our love for Jesus,
Mary, and Joseph, and offering the gold of discipleship. Once we have laid our
gifts before the Child She will pick the Child up and place Him in the manger
of our hearts, our becoming then ever more fully Christ-bearers to others.
While the Russian revolution and civil war were ongoing, a
not much publicized aspect of history was also unfolding. What is known as THE
RUSSIAN RELIGIOUS RENAISSANCE. Like the proverbial grain of wheat, it would be
over seventy years before in Russia, above ground as it were, much would
change, and even today, though not yet completed that change is like a tender
shoot that powerful forces in Russia are trying to crush to death.
Urbanites have been trying, for decades, to eliminate
dandelions from their lawns. That part of creation we call nature is far more
resilient than we seem to grasp. But compared to the resilience of the Gospel
nature is a wimp.
The entire human family, if it is to find the field hospital
of the Church on the battlefield of the 21st century needs a huge
red cross painted anew on the canvas of history partly by the visible blood of
martyrs – already occurring, and the sweat and tears of the CONFESSORS OF
FAITH, ordinary baptized people living liturgically rooted lives that are
peaceful, holy and without sin, willingly standing, with radiant smiles at the
doorway to the hospital, lovingly welcoming all who come. No more for us
The steamer referred
to below was a ship carrying the protagonists of the Russian Renaissance to
safety. For us the ‘steamer’ is Christ Himself and His Church, His Body of
which we are members. If we live and love and have our being in Him and the
Church we will be true light, salt, confessors and, if necessary, martyrs, and
this era in history will be transfigured into an era of grace and holiness.
To borrow from Pius Parsch, these are our ‘seasons of grace,
if we strive to embrace them and live them out, with love, not counting the cost.
And when the Leninists died of their own poison, the
exiles would be on hand to restore true Russian culture. Emotionally Berdyaev
and his idealist colleagues would take the spirit of Russia with them in their
suitcases. No customs man could ask them for a receipt for that. Nor stop them.
They would take with them the invisible and ineffable essence of Russia and
preserve it for eternity. 
When the protagonists of this culture of death, raucousness
and irreligion drink their own poison then will end the experience of the many
ways faithful Christians, Catholics and Orthodox in particular are exiles in
our own country. What we have to secure and bring everywhere with us is the
invisible and ineffable essence of lived Liturgical Faith, something none can
take from us. Because we are endowed with free will on our journey through life
in these days we can choose to leave by the roadside the life of grace, of
liturgy, of Gospel. Lord have mercy on us if we do.
I am not advocating Christians run off to a mythical
hideaway and turn inward. That some have tried before and what often emerges
are cults with disastrous consequences. Should there be from the Holy Spirit a
resurgence of the age of the Fathers and Mothers of the Desert or of an influx
of people into the religious life and Catholicism of the inter and post war
periods, that will be great. However, I believe mostly the transformation by
grace of the culture of disputation, blame, anger, death, division, will come
about through the radiant light of men and women living ordinary daily lives,
quietly loving their spouses, children, co-workers, neighbours in and through
the liturgy, that is to live the Gospel without compromise.
That is to live, joy!
That is to become the living medicine of Christ the healer as
we move throughout the culture of death radiating the Light of Christ, which
purifies, heals, converts, we will become seed, spread throughout the land of
It may be decades before the seed bears fruit, but it will
as surely as the sun rises.
Our vocation is to sow the seed with the same generous
abandon Christ does.
Love does such things.
That is the true liturgical dance: joyous generosity.
However, before we can live deep in and through the gifts of
liturgy and be all Christ invites us to as His disciples, which means we become
visible as Church, active as field hospital for the human family, with the help
of the Most Holy Spirit and with Our Blessed Mother we must contemplate and be
immersed in the mystery and gift of the Incarnation, not as a dogma to be
approached intellectually but as gift to be embraced and lived.
The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God's
love: "In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent
his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. "For God
so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him
should not perish but have eternal life." The Word became flesh to be our
model of holiness: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me." "I
am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by
me." On the mountain of the Transfiguration, the Father commands:
"Listen to him!" Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm
of the new law: "Love one another as I have loved you." This love
implies an effective offering of oneself, after his example. The Word became
flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature": "For this is
why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man,
by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship,
might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we
might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us
sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make
men gods." 
When we preface Communion with the word Holy we are speaking
of that sacramental intimacy of love and life when we receive the living,
glorified Christ into our beings, true nourishment for the journey, greater
than the mana in the desert, living in and through the grace given is the
ultimate process of divinization-apotheosis, the transforming effect of divine
grace, which is also the work within us of the Holy Spirit, all flowing from
the atoning passion death and Resurrection of Christ from whose pierced heart
flows the water and blood, Baptism and Holy Eucharist, the conforming and
sustaining sacraments of our truly living as St. Paul notes no longer as
isolated “I” but radiating Christ living within me. Galatians 2:20.
Thus filled with the Fire of Divine Love, we develop a true
passionate love for every human being, our true siblings, and a burning desire
that they too should meet and open wide the doors of their being to Christ, it
is to work tirelessly, by living the Gospel with our lives without compromise to
bring the light of the Gospel to the heart of the marketplace of human
encounter, and particularly to those regions of the human heart and soul most
alienated from Christianity…… and this alienation, is in these times the
fundamental paucity of the soild rock on which to build the home of society.
Indeed, without the rock of the Gospel we are building on sand. And as all the
raucousness of contemporary politics and social media conspiracy theories
reveal it is quicksand on which we are building.
And we are sinking fast. We need to cry out with the
psalmist: Save me, my God, for the waters have risen to my neck. I am
sinking in muddy depths and can find no foothold. I have fallen into deep
waters, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying out; my throat
is parched. [Psalm 69:1-4]
Momentarily I will insert a quotation from the Servant of
God Catherine Doherty, from the above referenced Ekaterina. In His Resurrection
and Ascension Jesus, in His living glorified Body is now the tabernacle, the
place of worship, that no human hands have made. Because Jesus Himself is the
true place of worship how we must treasure and spend time with Him in the Holy
Eucharist primarily through participation in the liturgy of Holy Mass and
receiving Him in Holy Communion but also through the ancient practice of
Eucharistic Adoration, that is being with Him, adoring and loving Him in the
tabernacle or monstrance. And also, being with Him in the hungry, the needy,
the stranger. That is the essence of Eucharist lived. 
How could we, without the incarnation, love as Christ
wants us to love?......”By this shall men know that you are my disciples, that
you are going to love each other as I have loved you.” Now here is where we
become sort of divinized…..The point is that the Gospel of Christ really
penetrates us to the very bellybutton of our soul…..we empty ourselves to allow
this Christ to grow in us and to take hold of us so that we become Him. That is
to say He becomes us in a sense, and we become Him. 
In the Little Mandate of the Madonna House Lay Apostolate
 Christ asks us and promises us: Be a light to your neighbour’s feet. Go
without fears into the depths of men’s hearts. I shall be with you.
As I am writing and praying today, as my youngest grandson
would ask – when his parents were away, ‘How many sleeps’, before they would be
back, I am “Two sleeps from being released from hospital” which approaching
reality after being in hospital six weeks already has me recalling something from
Vaclav Havel I read many years ago about how we as human beings imprint
ourselves onto the places were we dwell for any length of time and the
adjustment when ‘place’ is changed.
We imprint ourselves in the dwelling place of home,
municipality, nation, parish/religion, family, season, hour, day, week, year
etc., but all aspects of place these days are constantly disrupted by the
contentious of the times, by rancouress divisions, by other trying to shape our
personal space into their idea of what it should be. When I leave this place of
hospital and return to the place of poustinia there will be an adjustment,
perhaps painful, perhaps not, maybe lengthy, maybe not, His will be done. He
will imprint me where and as He wills, that is what Lovers do, gift and
receive. He is the Beloved and we are His beloved.
Today in Europe thousands of people in various countries are
violently protesting against lockdowns, Russia is massing more troops along its
border with Ukraine, gun violence continues apace in the US and the
ever-present pandemic disrupts everywhere.
Rather than fall into the quicksand of choosing sides in the
contentiousness of public discourse, much less into the evil muck of harshly
trying to control or emotionally overpower those who disagree with us, which is
so common these days and tears families, parishes, apart, we must ask the grace
to be radiant in the world and protected from being darkened by the world
To love one another as Christ loves us is to live out the
liturgy with our lives, animated by the Holy Gospel, moving about as living
tabernacles after Holy Communion and by our words and actions being living
flames enlightening, that is illuminating all around us: people, history,
cosmos, with the love of Christ.
Not easy to enter the hearts of others without fear, even
harder these days without rancor or a personal agenda.
We are not called to change or convert anyone, simply to
give Christ to everyone. Christ will do the changing and converting.
In our day people toss about the terms spiritual and
spirituality with abandon. Often we hear phrases such as “I am not religious,
but I am spiritual” or “I don’t belong to a religion, but I am deeply
spiritual.” God bless them that is pure fantasy. The only authentic way to be
‘spiritual’ and have ‘spirituality’ is by opening ourselves to the Holy Spirit.
Not far from this hospital, daily no matter the wintry
weather, a couple stand on the street corner loudly declaring the ‘end is nigh,
get ready, be converted to Jesus.’
Bless their hearts for undertaking such a challenge in this
day and age!
Truth is the ‘end’, the second coming of Christ, has been
nigh, is nigh, every moment since Pentecost and Jesus’ Ascension, we should all
strive to ready and the best way to prepare is by forgetting self, and my
agenda, and selflessly loving everyone, a matter of choice and not emotion.
The particularity of the Christian way consists of the
fact that the Christian spiritualization is simultaneously an incarnation. Paul
has splendidly formulated its motto: ‘Now the Lord is the Spirit.’ [2 Cor.
3:17] This distinguishes it from all other kinds of spiritualization, whether
philosophical or merely mystical. The Spirit into which it transforms all that
has come to pass is the body of Christ….To spiritualize means to incarnate in a
Christian way, but to incarnate means to spiritualize, to bring the things of
the world to the coming Christ, to prepare them for their future form and thus
to prepare God’s future in the world. In St. Irenaeus’ work we find the lovely thought
that the meaning of the Incarnation was for the Spirit – the Holy Spirit - to get used to the flesh, as it were, in
Jesus. Turning this around we could say: the meaning of ongoing incarnation can
only be the reverse, to get the flesh used to the Spirit, to God, to make it capax
spiritus* and in this way to prepare its future.  * capable of
I began this essay in part by noting: that this illness had
more to do with metanoia – that is conversion of heart - for myself and the
human family, thus it is not so much illness I am aware of as the grace of wee
suffering in intercession and atonement.
That was on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, now I have
just prayed first Vespers of the Solemnity of Christ the king. From which,
fully aware I am returning to the hidden life of intercession and atonement for
the human family in the urban environment, these intercessions, are very
appropriate in context:
Let us pray to Christ he King. He is the firstborn of all
creation; all things exist in Him.
May your kingdom come, O Lord.
Christ our king and shepherd, gather your sheep from every
land, give them pasture in green and fertile meadows.
May your kingdom come, O Lord.
Christ, our leader and saviour, form all men into your own
people, heal the sick, seek out the lost, guard the strong call back those who
have wandered far away, strengthen those who waver, gather all your sheep into
May your kingdom come, O Lord.
Judge of all ages, when you hand over your kingdom to the
Father, place us all at your right hand, so that we may inherit the kingdom
prepared for us from the beginning of the world.
May your kingdom come, O Lord.
Prince of peace, break the weapons of war and inspire
nations with Your peace.
May your kingdom come, O Lord.
Christ, heir of all nations, gather humanity and all the
Church which your Father bestowed on you, so that the whole body of your
people, united in the Holy Spirit, may acknowledge you as their head.
May your kingdom come, O Lord.
Christ, firstborn of the dead and firstfruits of those who
have fallen asleep in death, bring all who have died to the glory of the
May your kingdom, O Lord. 
Jesus and His kingdom are coming. Perhaps sooner than we
expect. Surely we can be ready to welcome Him if we answer as He knocks
constantly at the door of our hearts to be granted leave to enter.
What have I begun to learn after all these weeks to
contemplate the current human condition and pray for every human being, my
siblings? That only if I struggle to open the door to Christ will my prayer
have power and that it is not only okay to but important we feel the weight of
the pain of humanity.
And from the Encyclical of Pope Pius XI instituting this
feast in 1925: In the first Encyclical Letter which We addressed at the
beginning of Our Pontificate to the Bishops of the universal Church, We
referred to the chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind was
laboring. And We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were
due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy
law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in
politics: and we said further, that as long as individuals and states refused
to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect
of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the
Kingdom of Christ;……the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the
words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: "His empire includes not
only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging
to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by
schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly
the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ." Nor is
there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or
the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the
dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the
salvation of society. "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there
is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved." He
is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every
nation. "For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a
nation but a number of men living in concord?" If, therefore, the rulers
of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the
prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of
reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ……… The result is that human
society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid
foundation."…… If We ordain that the whole Catholic world shall revere Christ
as King, We shall minister to the need of the present day, and at the same time
provide an excellent remedy for the plague which now infects society…… This
evil spirit, as you are well aware, Venerable Brethren, has not come into being
in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over
all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself,
to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their
eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ
came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the
same level with them. It was then put under the power of the state and
tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went even
further, and wished to set up in the place of God's religion a natural religion
consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were even some
nations who thought they could dispense with God, and that their religion
should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals
and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable
consequences…….: the seeds of discord sown far and wide; those bitter enmities
and rivalries between nations, which still hinder so much the cause of peace;
that insatiable greed which is so often hidden under a pretense of public
spirit and patriotism, and gives rise to so many private quarrels; a blind and
immoderate selfishness, making men seek nothing but their own comfort and
advantage, and measure everything by these; no peace in the home, because men
have forgotten or neglect their duty; the unity and stability of the family
undermined; society in a word, shaken to its foundations and on the way to
ruin…….individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor
and obedience to Christ. 
 written in German and originally published in 2008, the
above is taken from the English translation published in 2014 by Ignatius Press
pps. xv, xvi: Joseph Ratzinger, Collected Works, THEOLOGY OF THE
Liturgy=Italics and underlining are mine.
 op. cit. p.xvi
 EKATERINA, Catherine Doherty and the Russian Religious
Renaissance, Robert Wild, editor; Madonna House Publications, 2021, title page.
 Catechism of the Catholic Church: https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P1J.HTM
 Ekaterina, op. cit. p.81
 see THELOGY OF THE LITURGY, op. cit. pp. 25-30
 Ekaterina op. cit. p. 92
 see THEOLOGY OF THE LITURGY, op. cit. pp. 285,386
 First Vespers of the Solemnity of Christ the King,
Intercessions; Volume IV, THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS, according to the Roman
Rite, Catholic Book Publishing Corp., New York 1975 pp. 569,570
© 2021 Fr. Arthur Joseph