Have You Abdicated Your Throne?


In just a few days, the Church will celebrate the feast of Christ the King.

I never used to be good at remembering feast days or even knowing about them before they happened, but now it’s kind of my job — which has been a huge blessing for my own personal prayer life. I have to look ahead in the Church’s calendar to make plans for feast days and the novenas my husband & I will discern to pray in our ministry. Doing this has made me that much more prepared to fully celebrate the feasts – and that has made a world of difference for me.

So as the Feast of Christ the King approaches, I’ve been thinking about what it truly means to me, today — that Christ is my King.

My husband and I have prayed a lot of novenas, and most of them are usually oriented towards praying for some very specific intentions — like looking for a job, praying for better health, praying for a spouse, or for peace and an end to abortion. Those are very specific intentions, and we’ve invoked special patron saints for each of them.

The Christ the King Novena, on the other hand, is a little different.

Instead of praying for some outward change, the novena is much more focused on praying that God may work within us – within our hearts, our minds, and our bodies as our King. It’s about recognizing Him as our leader, and renewing our efforts to solely rely on Him.

We have three tasks as Catholics, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: to know our Catholic faith (CCC 429), to live our Catholic faith (CCC 2472), and to spread our Catholic faith (CCC 905).

Essentially, we want God to reign supreme around the world — for all nations and all people to recognize Him as the King. To do that, we have to first recognize that ourselves — and I mean to truly recognize it, so that He may permeate every part of our lives, and so that every breath, every word and every action done glorifies Him.

This novena may be a little hard to get excited about, because it’s a prayer that sort of requires putting our own desires and wants on the side, and submitting to God; asking Him, instead, to show us what He wills in our lives, and then allowing Him to work.

St. Josemaria Escriva once asked, “How would we reply if He asked us: “How do you go about letting me reign in you?”

In other words, are we truly living our lives recognizing Him as our King? Do we obey Him? Do we seek out His will in our lives? Do we share His commandments with others?

Or how about this — picture a throne in your heart. Are you sitting there, or is God?

As we get closer to the start of a new Liturgical year, this is the time to ask ourselves those questions. Just as many people make new year’s resolutions, this is a good time to make some new (Liturgical) year’s resolutions — that we may re-order our lives to glorify our King.

The Feast of Christ the King was actually created in 1925 during a time when the world was becoming increasingly nationalistic and secular. Governments were claiming more and more allegiance from their citizens and attempting to replace God. Pope Pius XI created the feast day, then, to help the faithful remember that allegiance to Christ is above any allegiance to government of a nation; that He is the King of Kings.

Pope Pius XI wrote about the significance of this feast in his encyclical Quas Primas (In the First). He said that the evil in the world was, “due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives.” As long as people refused to submit to God’s rule, he wrote, there would be no true, hopeful prospect of peace.

What Pope Pius XI wrote back in 1925 still rings true today.

Too many people don’t know Jesus Christ today. Too many people think they know Him, and say they don’t want Him to reign over them. They don’t like His teachings, or more accurately, what they know about them.

So we must show the world who Jesus Christ really is! We must bring Him to the people around us, and introduce Him — in our words and maybe more importantly, by our actions. We must show them His beauty, His love, His passion and mercy.

Our efforts to do that, though, no matter how great, would be hollow if we did not first give our hearts to God completely — because for Him to overflow in our actions with others, He must first overflow within us.

If we really want others to believe in Christ the King, we must show them how He reigns in our lives — and the fruit of His reign.

St. Josemaria Escriva said, “If we let Christ reign in our soul, we will not become authoritarian. Rather, we will serve everyone.”

This is exactly our calling and task here in this world: to make the Kingdom of Christ a reality, and to serve. We have to remember Christ’s Kingdom is not just a figure of speech — Jesus Christ is alive today, and He reigns.

Which brings me to this: the feast day of Christ the King is just a few days. I want to challenge you to do something — I’ll do it too; pick something in your life (maybe something that you like having control over). Take that, and ask God to reign in that area of your life — for Him to come first, for your will to be aligned to His. Pray that He will reign, truly, within you (not that you will live, but that He will live).

Need some ideas?

How about your finances? Ask Christ to reign within you with how you spend your money and with how you tithe.

How about your fertility? Ask Christ to reign within you and your spouse as you discern your call to be open to life.

How about your vocation? Ask Christ to reign within you in your vocation.

How about your politics? Ask Christ to reign within you in your political ideology.

Christ should reign first and foremost in our soul, and He cannot reign supreme within us if we don’t will that ourselves — and pray for it.

Remember this question: “How would we reply if He asked us: “How do you go about letting me reign in you?”

How would you answer?

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16 thoughts on “Have You Abdicated Your Throne?”

  1. Over time, the teachings of Christ were captured in civic laws that reflected His vision. Central was the elevation of pagan marriage to a portrait of man’s relationship to God, that is, permanent love. Central also was Christ’s love for the poor, in the establishment of an economic system that prevented wholesale predation on the population and established private ownership as the norm, so that over fifteen hundred years European people passed from a condition of slavery to one of enfranchisement and ownership of their own land and their own living. That land could not be made into a commodity for sale, nor could profits nor concentration of capital be allowed to dominate the community. Profits and ownership were kept wide-spread by law, wages, holidays (one third of the calendar were paid holidays for all) were regulated. It was this that was overthrown by the demand for ‘freedom,’ freedom from the strictures of Christianity that had reigned over many centuries, until the sixteenth when all hell was unleashed. Protestantism and its emphasis on personal liberty was in fact an economic revolution disestablishing the benign balance enforced by a state in agreement with the Church. We see the results of that experiment now, five hundred years later. We are disappropriated of our land and our way to make a living on it, marriage is a dog license, our markets are destroyed by sterile sexual activity, and all power resides in the hands of a few whose manipulation of information deprives us of democracy. We are now slaves, as Belloc warned us we would be in The Servile State. That is what ‘freedom’ means. Freedom for a few to control us.

    No state whose schools and courts lack coherence with its faith, with its morals, can stand. We get no information on what ISIS wants, only the repeated drum beat of war, but we do know what Muslims want, the Gallop poll of 2008 was very thorough. They want their state to reflect their beliefs, and it so happens that their beliefs reject the western model of economics and democracy. But in the same poll Gallop asked Americans what they want, too, and they also want their Christian beliefs to be reflected in the law, in the morals taught at school, and in the judgements rendered by their courts. More than fifty percent of us want a religious state. This is normal human thinking because the agreement results in a sustainable and resilient society. If we don’t achieve this soon, with a movement tending toward a Catholic religious state beginning with cooperation among Christians of all persuasions on fundamental matters like life and money (such as Hungary is achieving now in a coalition), we are going down. Our love of rebellion is killing us.

    Simple justice requires that we owe our Creator honor and Christ who died for us the title of our King, here on this Earth. All other justice flows from that, as Pius XI taught in Quas Primas, and no justice is possible until that first justice is rendered. Those who insist on their freedom to be their own little god will not prevail, and they have done enough damage already.

  2. My goodness! What a wonderful, uplifting article! How true the message! I guess that’s precisely why it is uplifting: truth always is! Thank-you! God bless you! I have joined in order to receive the novena prayers by emai! Again, thank-you.

    1. No, only God who is Creator must reign supreme. Everything else (including human reason & human desires) must be subject to God our Creator; when we do this, human Reason flourishes to greater levels. Christ Jesus is the Risen King who reigns supreme. As someone whose Spanish grandfather survived the Spanish Civil War (where militant Communist Atheists were attacking & killing faithful Catholics) & whose Mexican great-grandparents on my mom’s side survived the Cristero Wars (where militant Atheistic President Plutarco Calles killed Mexican Catholics & outlawed the Catholic Church), I say to you “Truth Seeker”, Viva Cristo Rey! Que Viva Cristo Rey. He is the King of Kings who became the greatest Servant by willingly, passionately, & freely dying on the Cross for us. The Innocent One who is put to a humiliating death of crucifixion as punishment for our sins. The High Priest (Jesus) who becomes the Sacrificial Lamb (Agnus Dei). The King of Kings who commands us to Love our Enemies. Love your Enemies, Christ our King commands. His Kingdom is like no other.

    2. John 18:36 “Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”

    3. Viva Cristo Rey on this day to you, Phil, & peace be upon you. Yes that’s what I was implying in my post when I said “His Kingdom is like no other.” The Kingdom of God that Christ Jesus of Nazareth established is one based on only Love. The kingdoms of this world are based on violence, wars, deceit, division, greed, & desire of power; they hate the light & love darkness. In the end, all these wordly kingdoms will fall & only the Kingdom of God based on eternal love will stand. As it says on the beautiful Handel’s “Messiah: Hallelujah chorus” (based on the Book of Revelation): “the kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of our Lord & of His Christ. And He shall reign forever & ever…”

    4. This is an ill translation. ‘Of this world’ meant ‘of this neighborhood,’ of Judaism only, it did not mean that the teachings of Christ should not end up being the morality taught in schools and enforced by courts. They were, across Europe, and the spirit of that wonderful society was captured by the vision of Merry England. Oh, we were, when Christ reigned or societies and our hearts!

    5. Catholics are not against reason, unlike Martin Luther who believed that human reason should be discarded and that faith alone should be the basis of belief. In fact the most influential Catholic theologian of all time used reason to as a basis for his proofs of the existence of God. His name was Thomas Aquinas.

  3. “Essentially, we want God to reign supreme around the world — for all nations and all people to recognize Him as the King.”

    Actually, that is what ISIS and all Muslims also want. I don’t want any people who think they represent a deity ruling any part of my life. No Jesus. No Allah. No god(s).

    1. Catholics are not asking to rule your life, Bill. They are asking you to let Christ rule your life. And Christ is asking you to love other people by willing their true good even if it requires a sacrifice from you. Is that bad?

    2. You’re so wrong Bill S. Christ is our Risen King of Kings. His Kingdom is like no other. In His holy Gospel, Christ COMMANDS us to LOVE our Enemies. What other king/president/khan/emperor has said something so gloriously compassionate yet demanding as that? The false “prophet” MuhamMad (who was indeed Mad) said hate your enemies & bring them the sword. Bill S, Christ the King (who is completely Innocent & free from sin) became the lowliest of Servants by freely & willfully accepting a humiliating death (Roman crucifixion, reserved for non-Roman-citizens like the foreigner Jewish Christ Jesus), a death He did NOT deserve. What other king/emperor/khan/president in human history has become as lowly a Servant as Him (who while being King of Kings became the lowest of Servants), Bill S? Love your ENEMIES, our King commands, & He actually lived & embodied this message. He never even cursed anybody (not Gov. Pilate, not the angry, cruel bystanders/mob, not the cruel Roman soldiers, not Pharisees, not even the hateful murder/criminal who was hanging in the other cross cursing at Him) as He was carrying that Cross on Via Dolorosa to death on Calvary. Did the Islam’s Founder Muhammad (630 yrs later) do that? No, he led his bloody, sword-yielding Arab buddies on to battle. When they arrested Him in Gethsemane, Christ REBUKES St. Peter for using his sword on the guard’s ear & then He heals the guard’s ear (St. Matthew’s 26:51-53). Christ the King of Kings COMMANDS “Love your Enemies” & embodied this message. Christ the King of Kings becomes the greatest of Servants. The Kingdom that Christ established is like no other. Don’t engage in what we scholars call the fallacy of “generalizations”. Why would you do that, Bill S? Viva Cristo Rey.

    3. You and the Muslims both want your god to reign supreme over me and the rest of the world. If Jesus had some good teachings, I will live by those. If what he said or is reported to have said doesn’t make any sense to me, I’m not going to adopt it as part of my worldview. Same goes for Mohammed, Buddha, Confucious and anyone else. Jesus is not a king of anything.

    4. Christ Jesus of Nazareth (born of a poor Jewish Woman) is indeed King of Kings, King of the Universe, & the Eternal Logos/Word of God made Flesh. Viva Cristo Rey to you, Bill S, on this our King’s Feast. “Me & the Muslims” are worlds apart as far as religion & ideology are concerned. I think Islam is one of the 5 biggest dangers & falsehoods in human history. Despite of this, because Christ is my King (who commands us to love all our enemies), I love Muslims & when I come across one, I treat him/her with utmost respect. Secondly, I don’t want anything of you (it ain’t all about you, btw). God our Creator has given all free will & as recorded in the holy Gospels & epistles, Christ (the eternal logos) came to establish the “Kingdom of God” (which is why Jesus mentions this phrase incessantly). Jews especially of the Pharisee & Zealot persuasions & parties wanted a Christ/Messiah who would destroy the Roman rule of Judea. In His holy teachings, Christ made clear that He did not come here to establish a worldly, violent kingdom to fight off the Romans (much to the disappointment of many ardent Jews) but rather a Kingdom based on LOVE alone. Bill S, Christ taught that by His life, death, & Resurrection, this Kingdom (which implies the word “King”) would bring the defeat of the 2 greatest evils: Sin & Death (which is the wage of sin). Bill S, I don’t care what you do or believe, all I’m doing is repeating the holy Gospel. You can accept the Kingdom of God where Christ/Love reigns supreme as King & where sin, evil, & death are defeated forever. Or of free will, you can chose to reject this & rejection of something as purely good & infinitely awesome as God’s Kingdom brings about a state of being called Hell. Hell which is a freely chosen eternal separation from our moving Life source (God) is a state of being called Hell. On this feast day, enjoy this sung piece of Handel’s “Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus”

    5. Also, Bill S, want to know what Christ the King’s message was to His Killers who put Him (the holy Innocent One, the unblemished Lamb of God) on the Cross to die in a humiliating way (naked, btw)? He slowly looks up to Heaven as He hangs on the Cross & quietly says, “Abba/Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” And then He dies. Please, never compare the crazy, bloody Muhammad (who even though he came 630+ years AFTER Christ, still taught the old, tired, ancient garbage of “an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth”) with Christ the King of Kings (who commands us to Love our Enemies). It’s very offensive to actual Christians (member of the suffering Body of Christ) who are being put to death by Islam all over the world (Iraq/Syria’s ISIS, Boko Haram, Africa, Muslim Brotherhood, Indonesia, etc., etc.). Bill S, here you are sitting comfortably in your nice little American suburban house holding McBurgers & coffees in your hand with the TV in the background (spouting boring Atheistic creeds on computers) while on the other side of the globe human beings are being persecuted & put to death (even beheaded) by Islam for the crime of being lovers of Christ. And you’re comparing Christ the King (Prince of Peace) to crazy, bloody Muhammad??! Not fair for them, & very insensitive of you. I hope you & your family never have to suffer what Eastern Christians/Catholics are going through. You’re better than that, Bill S.

  4. Pingback: Fr. Jean Buridan & the Birth of Modern Science - BigPulpit.com

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