For Many Catholics in the United States, today, not this past Thursday, is the day their respective dioceses have designated to celebrate Corpus Christi. (For those following the “Ordinary Form” the feast has been relabeled the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.) Though rarer today than they were in yesteryear, many Catholics still have the opportunity to participate in modest, but spiritually beneficial, Corpus Christi processions. In some areas, including the Diocese of Grand Rapids, processions more befitting our Eucharistic King will be held. Later this afternoon two separate processions, each starting at parishes on the opposite side of the downtown area, will make a three mile journey to a third parish, aptly dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, as part of both the celebration of Corpus Christi and in remembrance of the ongoing Fortnight for Freedom (FFF), which began yesterday.
Some Catholics, rightly critical of the FFF’s uncritical embrace of liberal tenets (specifically religious liberty), may be hesitant to participate in any event associated with the FFF, but I would encourage you to reconsider. The 14 days of the FFF can be given over to prayer, not for something as wobbly and dubious as libertas religionis, but for libertas ecclesiae and, above all, the social Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we process behind the Monastrance, we should call to mind that we process behind a King, one who must reign over not only our individual lives, but the life of society as a whole. The world today, blinded by the false light of its own unhinged rationalism, may no longer see the “utility” or “value” of recognizing Christ’s social reign, but this is about neither; it is about what our Lord has dictated to all men, at all times, and in all places to be right unto the consummation of the world. The nations may have come to reject God, but we, as Catholics, do not reject Him; and above all we take solace that He has not rejected us.
Let neither the FFF nor today’s transferred celebration of Corpus Christi be a time for liberal ideology to pervade our hearts and minds. If a priest or parishioner speaks such rhetoric, be polite, nod, acknowledge, and then pray. Pray that the present confusion in the Church, which inadvertently leads so many souls to assume that the doctrinal marching order of the day is an implicit, if not explicit, embrace of all religions as “generally” or “relatively” equal, dissipates quickly. Ask the Queen of Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, to protect those brave souls, whether in the hierarchy, the priesthood, or the laity, who continue to witness to the truth—the truth reaffirmed time and time again by such holy popes as Leo XIII, St. Pius X, and Pius XI, that all authority, just like all truth, comes from God. Democracy as a governmental form is not intrinsically evil; democracy infused with the liberal falsehood that authority rests solely in the “will of the people” is, however, pernicious. It places man on the throne established by and for God alone. We cannot capitulate.
If you should engage a fellow Catholic today or in the coming week on these matters, do not be prideful. Do not be disrespectful. Let them speak in the jargon of liberal rights while you respond in the vernacular of charity. The condemnations of the present errors which infect Holy Mother Church have already been issued by the proper authorities, the vicars of Christ who saw clearly the mounting storm that would eventually lay waste to the true foundations of Western society and, more distressingly, to the mission of the Church herself. It is our duty as faithful Catholics to witness to the truth, not wield it as a sword against our brothers and sisters in Christ. Things may get heated. False accusations may be made; and so pray to the Holy Ghost for His guidance and His gifts. Seek patience. Don’t be afraid of an unwanted and misguided rebuke, but don’t let fear and frustration become occasions for sin.
These are the principles of the pious fight for Christ and His Church. They are exponentially easier to set forth than to uphold. Remember, though, that in the eyes of God there is neither traditional nor conservative nor liberal Catholic; there are only those who in knowledge and truth are faithful to His teachings and those who, either out of ignorance or informed intent, are not. Those who fall into the former camp have a duty in charity to pray and witness, in love, to those in the latter. By participating in the FFF in a manner that does not betray the rights of God nor accepts falsehoods as revelations, we demonstrate our love for Christ, the Church, and those who along with us comprise the Corpus Mysticum. Today, our Eucharistic King, who is the universe’s one true King, will lead thousands, hopefully millions, of Catholics in procession. Allow Him, too, to lead you in every attempt, however modest, to restore all things in Him so that the world may enjoy the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ.
Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!