November 18, 2016

Announcements

•Please remember that students will be dismissed at 2:30 PM on Tuesday, November 22, for Thanksgiving Day Break.
•The yearly Advent Lessons and Carols service will be on Sunday, December 11, at 7:00 PM, in the abbey church.  All students are required to attend.
•There will be a meeting for all going on the Rome trip on Sunday, November 27, at 7:00 PM, in the St. Norbert classroom.

Athletics

•The Winter Sports Award Ceremony is this Sunday, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help Room.  All football players and cross country members should be present.  All others are heartily welcome to attend.  Please be on time!
•Soccer and basketball fees are due ASAP.

Sermon by a Norbertine Priest

Jesus is the ruler of the kings of the earth…all peoples, nations and languages serve Him…His Kingship shall not be destroyed.

These words taken from the readings of today’s Mass sum up well what the Church celebrates today, namely the Universal Kingship of Jesus Christ.

In 1899, Pope Leo XIII [Testem Benevolentiae] wrote a letter to Cardinal Gibbons, the Archbishop of Baltimore, regarding a very serious heresy, which at that time was threatening the Roman Catholic Church in America.  This heresy is called—interestingly enough—“Americanism.”  There are some among you, Pope Leo wrote, who conceive of and desire a church in America different from that which is in the rest of the world.  The Holy Father continues in that letter to outline the chief tenets of this “Americanism”:  a desire in the name of liberty to make the Church more of a democracy and to break down the divinely instituted structures of the Church; and to make the Catholic Church more like all other religions so as not to offend those with whom we share this country—to water down our Catholic identity, in other words.

 

Needless to say this heresy of Americanism was condemned.  Democracy as a possible form of government for individual countries was not condemned (in fact Pope Leo XIII spoke well of democracy), the desire for true liberty was not condemned.  What was condemned was the attitude that, we here in the “Land of the Free” can fashion our own church, one which would fit nice and easy with our desired way of life.  You know, the “Bing Crosby-Bells of St. Mary’s” kind of church:  one which smiles a lot and says nice things which make us feel really good, but which will never demand from us complete and total submission of our hearts and souls, one which we can turn off if it gets too bothersome—a church made by man and made for this world, as opposed to a Church founded by God which leads us to the next world.

My Kingdom is not of this world, our Lord tells us in the Gospel.  Christ’s Kingdom is chiefly concerned with the next world, though it does have its door, so to speak, here below, in the one Church which He Himself established.  And if He set up His one Church to act as a guide to heaven, endowing it as He did with His saving truths, it makes perfect sense that He should bestow on it a share in His own power and authority as well, so that the Church might teach in His name, guide by His wisdom, rule by His might.  Christ the King has left us one Vicar, the pope, the successor of St. Peter, to speak in His Name.  Christ left His Church a monarchy, not a democracy.

My Kingdom is not of this world.  We should not be surprised that God’s one true Church does not act like the man-made religions out there.  We should not be surprised that God’s one true Church does not change its teachings every 25 years in order to suit the latest desires of the world.  And yet, so often we find Catholics acting like little children nagging their parents, “But everyone else is doing such-and-such, why can’t we?” We even find members of the Church’s hierarchy in this country—the ones who should be most obedient—acting similarly.  Some have to insist that we here in America refuse to kneel after the Lamb of God or for Holy Communion.  Others insist that we here in America don’t want to keep the Holy Days of Obligation anymore.  Still others try to go even further, claiming that we should have married clergy, allow contraception and homosexual unions.  And the list goes on and on, and with every step they try to throw off the sweet yoke of Christ the King, a King Who loves us more than we could ever imagine.

This fact, that Christ our King loves us so much, is something we need to call to mind more often.  When we in this country hear the term “king,” we usually picture some horrible tyrant issuing unjust decrees, burdening the people with heavy taxes, treating them all as slaves.  But in Christ we have a most loving King, one Who demands that we submit to His rule in order that He might lead us home to His Kingdom.  Someone recently observed that “a king takes a proprietary view of his kingdom because he owns it and wants to increase the value of the estate…” [Hoppe].  Christ owns all, both the Church and the entire universe, and wants to increase our value, so to speak, that is He wants to sanctify us.  If we would only let Him be our King.

Pray that all Catholics will recognize Christ as their King and not as their elected president.  And pray for all people, that Christ will forever reign in their souls.  And now pray the following Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus—the recitation of which the Church has attached a plenary indulgence when said on this day, the Feast of Christ the King.

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us, humbly prostrate before Thine altar.  We are Thine and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy Most Sacred Heart.

Many, indeed, have never known Thee; many, too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee.  Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.

Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee, grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.  

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one shepherd. 
Be Thou King of all those who even now sit in the shadow of idolatry or Islam, and refuse not Thou to bring them into the light of Thy kingdom. Look, finally, with eyes of pity upon the children of that race, which was for so long a time Thy chosen people; and let Thy Blood, which was once invoked upon them in vengeance, now descend upon them also in a cleansing flood of redemption and eternal life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church, assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry:  Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation: to it be glory and honor forever.  Amen.

Prayer Requests

•For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.
•For all the students and families of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
•For all faculty and staff of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.