27th October – Feast of Christ the King!editor
We are reflecting upon, and discussing, the shocking state of the Church on various threads; We have noted that Our Lord, Christ the King, is being abused and insulted at the highest levels in His Church today. The human element in the Church is all but obscuring the divine. Let us, therefore, use this Feast Day thread as a small means of reparation, as well as celebration. Take a few minutes to share your favourite hymns and prayers, devotions, novenas, pilgrimages etc. as a means of reminding ourselves that, despite the scandalous outward appearances, Christ is remaining true to His promise to be with His Church right to the end: “…And behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matt 28:20)
Real faith is required of us today – we cannot merely, as some put it, “cling to a tribal identity”. Perhaps a short extract from the life of St Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, will point us towards the attitude of soul which we might most profitably embrace at this time – the saint is writing (to her Superior) about the affliction of her “dark night of the soul”:
From the time of my childhood I felt that one day I should be set free from this land of darkness. I believed it, not only because I had been told so by others, but my heart’s most secret and deepest longings assured me that there was in store for me another and more beautiful country—an abiding dwelling-place. I was like Christopher Columbus, whose genius anticipated the discovery of the New World. And suddenly the mists about me have penetrated my very soul and have enveloped me so completely that I cannot even picture to myself this promised country . . . all has faded away. When my heart, weary of the surrounding darkness, tries to find some rest in the thought of a life to come, my anguish increases. It seems to me that out of the darkness I hear the mocking voice of the unbeliever: “You dream of a land of light and fragrance, you dream that the Creator of these wonders will be yours for ever, you think one day to escape from these mists where you now languish. Nay, rejoice in death, which will give you, not what you hope for, but a night darker still, the night of utter nothingness!”
Dear Mother, this description of what I suffer is as far removed from reality as the first rough outline is from the model, but I fear that to write more were to blaspheme . . . even now I may have said too much. May God forgive me! He knows that I try to live by Faith, though it does not afford me the least consolation. I have made more acts of Faith in this last year than during all the rest of my life. (Chapter IX, The Story of a Soul).
Maybe we should compete with this great saint and Doctor of the Church, in making many acts of Faith, not just on this beautiful Feast, but every day throughout the worsening crisis in the Church. Here’s one – if you have a favourite, please share:
An Act of Faith…
O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.