From Ave Maria Meditations
Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
Crown Him the virgin’s Son, the God incarnate born,
Whose arm those crimson trophies won which now His brow adorn;
Fruit of the mystic rose, as of that rose the stem;
The root whence mercy ever flows, the Babe of Bethlehem.
Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.
(Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring)
To Jesus Christ, our Sov’reign King,
Who is the world’s salvation,
All praise and homage do we bring,
And thanks and adoration.
Christ Jesus Victor, Christ Jesus Ruler!
Christ Jesus, Lord and Redeemer!
?Thy reign extend, O King benign,
To ev’ry land and nation,
For in Thy kingdom, Lord divine,
Alone we find salvation.
? To Thee and to Thy Church, great King,
We pledge our hearts’ oblation,
Until before Thy throne we sing,
In endless jubilation.
The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man’s thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ’s royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations.
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
to his feet thy tribute bring;
ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
evermore his praises sing:
Praise the everlasting King.
Angels, help us to adore him;
ye behold him face to face;
sun and moon, bow down before him,
dwellers all in time and space.
Praise with us the God of grace.
( Henry Francis Lyte )
And even though we do, from time to time, offer hymns of praise to Our King, many times there seems to be doubt as to His Sovereignty and so the words of Pilate also echo through the ages: “Are You a King?”
I will speak for myself when I say that so many times instead of acknowledging Him as King of my life and heart, I have rather contributed to that crown that is of bitter thorns by my actions and sins.? Yet Our Lord is King of Mercy! And I trust in that Divine Mercy of my King.
The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty victor’s brow.
The highest place that Heav’n affords
Belongs to Him by right;
The King of kings and Lord of lords,
And Heaven’s eternal Light.
The joy of all who dwell above,
The joy of all below,
To whom He manifests His love,
And grants His Name to know.
To them the cross with all its shame,
With all its grace, is given;,
Their everlasting theme.
The Eucharist is the glory of the Church:
Jesus Christ, her Spouse, is King. He is the King of glory. His Father has placed a dazzling crown upon His head. But the glory of the Bride?groom is the glory of the bride; the Church, like the beautiful orb of night, reflects the divine rays of the Sun of glory.
In the presence of the God of the Eucharist, the Church is beautiful on the feast days of her Spouse; she is decked in festive vestments, chants solemn hymns, and invites all her children to gather and honor the God of her heart.
She is happy to give glory to her King and God; her words and appearance almost give us the im?pression of our having been transported into the heavenly Jerusalem where the angelic court glorifies the immortal King of ages in an everlasting fiesta.
The reign of the Eucharist is the reign of Church. Where the Eucharist is neglected, Church has none but unfaithful children, and she will soon have to deplore fresh ruins.
St. Peter Julian Eymard
OUR EUCHARISTIC KING REIGNS!
Excerpts from the ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI ON THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING
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.
Christ himself speaks of his own kingly authority: in his last discourse, speaking of the rewards and punishments that will be the eternal lot of the just and the damned; in his reply to the Roman magistrate, who asked him publicly whether he were a king or not; after his resurrection, when giving to his Apostles the mission of teaching and baptizing all nations, he took the opportunity to call himself king, confirming the title publicly, and solemnly proclaimed that all power was given him in heaven and on earth. These words can only be taken to indicate the greatness of his power, the infinite extent of his kingdom.
This kingdom is spiritual and is concerned with spiritual things…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.
That blessings may be abundant and lasting in Christian society, it is necessary that the kingship of our Savior should be as widely as possible recognized and understood, and to the end nothing would serve better than the institution of a special feast in honor of the Kingship of Christ. For people are instructed in the truths of faith, and brought to appreciate the inner joys of religion far more effectually by the annual celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any official pronouncement of the teaching of the Church.? When reverence and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament had grown cold, the feast of Corpus Christi was instituted. 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.
Moreover, the annual and universal celebration of the feast of the Kingship of Christ will draw attention to the evils which anticlericalism has brought upon society in drawing men away from Christ, and will also do much to remedy them… It should be remarked also that much has been done for the recognition of Christ’s authority over society by the frequent Eucharistic Congresses which are held in our age. These give an opportunity to the people of each diocese, district or nation, and to the whole world of coming together to venerate and adore Christ the King hidden under the Sacramental species. Thus by sermons preached at meetings and in churches, by public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament exposed and by solemn processions, men unite in paying homage to Christ, whom God has given them for their King.
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… Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ. It will call to their minds the thought of the last judgment, wherein Christ, who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected and ignored, will most severely avenge these insults; for his kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.
The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls…If all these truths are presented to the faithful for their consideration, they will prove a powerful incentive to perfection
Given at St. Peter’s Rome, on the eleventh day of the month of December, in the Holy Year 1925, the fourth of Our Pontificate.