S. The fact that Jesus Christ's Kingship is spiritual must surely influence the case profoundly.
T. Quite true. Pope Pius XI leaves us in no doubt about the matter. He declares:---

"This kingdom is primarily spiritual, and concerned especially with spiritual things. That this is so the above [previous] 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 Messias 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 proclaimed Him King, He shrank from the honour and escaped from them by 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 exclusively 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 great 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. Nevertheless, during His life on earth He refrained from the exercise of such authority, and although He Himself disdained to possess or to care for earthly goods, He did not, nor does He today, interfere with those who possess them. 'Non eripit mortalia qui regna dat coelestia.' 'e taketh not away earthly kingdoms, Who bestoweth heavenly ones' (Hymn for the Feast of the Epiphany).

S. Very clear words indeed, but I fear they contain much more than I grasp at first hearing.
T. Remember what has been already said. In virtue of the hypostatic union and of His work of redemption, Christ possesses all authority over all created beings. Man must reach his final end, through Jesus Christ. Christ is the Way he must, follow to win salvation, the Truth destined to enlighten every man coming into the world, the Life Whose mission it is to give life to souls by grace.

In virtue of His sovereign power our Lord must act upon every man, so as to be for each individual, in all reality, the Way, the Truth and the Life. In virtue again of this sovereign power which gives Him full authority over every society and over all other authority, He must of necessity so act that, on the one hand, no human power may prevent or ever can prevent Him from being for each one the Way, the Truth and the Life; and, on the other hand, that all human society should work together effectively in making Christ to be for each one the Way, the Truth and the Life.

The social and spiritual character of the Kingship of Christ emerges very clearly from the above considerations. Jesus Christ is King. All power has been given to Him, even over temporal things. This power may of right be exercised in the temporal order as much as in the spiritual; but in fact, it is limited to spiritual intervention, to the furtherance of the interests of the Divine Life which comes to us from Him as priest.

S. To what degree does our Divine Lord intervene spiritually in social organisations?
T. There are no limits to His power of intervention. In right and in fact, Christ the King must intervene, of Himself and through His Church (that is, by Her teaching), in the fundamental constitutions of peoples and of countries, in all social organisms and even in the League of Nations. This is necessarily the case, because it is the sole means for the Divine King to accomplish the Divine mission which He has set Himself on this earth and which has been confided to Him by the Blessed Trinity.

S. From all of which it rigidly follows that Jesus Christ is the King of all nations?
T. He is in very truth. In the words of the prophet: All nations are given Him for an inheritance, and His empire, or more accurately His property, extends to the ends of the earth.
S. Then, does not the public worship that must be offered to Jesus Christ, God and Man, follow from the spiritual character of His kingship?
T. Your reasoning is perfect. Public homage of adoration and love, thanksgiving and reparation, prayer and petition, is in fact owing to Christ in His Godhead. This, homage is laid upon Christ as man, and upon all men by Christ as King. Christ the King exercises a spiritual kingship because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He exercises it also because He alone has the means of worthily adoring the most Holy Trinity and accomplishing in a fitting manner all His duties towards It. One of the ends of our Lord's earthly pilgrimage is the carrying out of these duties by man. It belongs then to His kingship to lay upon man and upon human society those various kinds of spiritual worship, for they are the only means, both for man and for society, to attain their final end union with God in Three Divine Persons.


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