Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in 1925. In his encyclical letter Quas primas the pope wrote,
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 (no. 32).
Jesus is a servant king. He came to minister to the poorest of humanity. As truly God and truly man, Christ is the Great Bridge to God the Father. The best kings unite and have the loyalty of their subjects. Unity can take place through force or love. Forced unity is not true unity—it is disunity masked under the guise of harmony.
People who live under the rule of a tyrant only obey the law because of penalty of prison or death. Lasting unity happens not in the form of forced government, but in the love of a family.
Through the sacrament of Baptism one becomes an adopted child of God. God rules through love not with intimidation tactics. Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the Cross was in obedience to the Father’s will and out of love for us all. Let us see Christ, not as a distant aloof king, but instead a brother leading us with love!
I’m excited to reintroduce a weekly series— “Showcase Your Sacramentals”
it’s a series where you can share photos of your crosses, medals, scapulars, rosaries and other sacred Catholic objects.
I started this series back in August but got off schedule in the fall. This week I started my part-time hours at my retail work.
I’m going to have Saturdays off to focus on this series and creating even better Catholic content!
These physical reminders of our faith hold such deep meaning and connection to God. Now is your chance to showcase the sacramentals that inspire you daily, have been passed down generations, or you just treasure.
Each week I’ll select a few of your photos to feature on the page so we can appreciate the beauty and diversity of Catholic sacramentals.
To participate, simply post a photo of your favorite sacramental(s) below and share the story behind it. Tag me on Instagram @thesimplecatholic and use #ShowcaseSacramentals so I can find your post!
Let’s create a place to highlight these beautiful signs of our Catholic tradition.
I can’t wait to see the sacramentals that help guide you to Christ. 🙏 ✝️ ♥️
Editor’s Note: Post originally published on May 3, 2023.
The Catholic Church has a teaching called the “Communion of Saints,” which is basically a fancy way of saying that all believers are part of one big spiritual family. To put in modern-social-media terms, it’s like a massive WhatsApp group chat, except without any annoying notifications (all the notifications are prayers of intercession!).
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 962, “the communion of saints is “all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church…in this communion, the merciful love of God and his saints is always [attentive] to our prayers.” The Communion of Saints is a vital part of Catholic theology because it offers support, guidance, and intercession for all the members of the Church, whether they’re alive or deceased.
Holiness Comes in Many Shapes and Spines
And speaking of devotion and admiration, I’m reminded of my oldest daughter’s (Amelia) obsession with hedgehogs. The girl is absolutely smitten with these spiky little critters. She’s got a hedgehog-themed tape dispenser, hedgehog toys, and even draws pictures of her imaginary pet hedgehog. It’s like she’s a walking, talking hedgehog-encyclopedia.
But here’s the thing: Amelia’s love for hedgehogs is a lot like the way Catholics feel about saints. Just like Amelia has a special devotion for hedgehogs, Catholics have a similar devotion to the saints, who are believed to have lived holy lives and to be in the presence of God.
Sacred Objects Prick Your Heart Open to God
Amelia’s hedgehog-themed tape dispenser reminds me of the physical objects Catholics use to help us in our devotion, such as rosaries or holy medals. It’s like a cute and fuzzy version of a saint medal. And just like Amelia’s pretend game of climbing a mountain with her hedgehog toy, Catholics believe that the saints can help us in our spiritual journey towards God.
Running the Race
The Communion of Saints is like having a group of friends who are always there to support you, like Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends Tails and Knuckles. My kids love the Sonic movie, and we even have a Sonic-themed board game that we can’t wait to play. In Saint Paul’s letter to Timothy, he talks about running the race and finishing strong. He wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 TImothy 4:7). Similarly, the Communion of Saints can give us the encouragement and guidance we need to finish our spiritual race with perseverance, just like Sonic and his friends run through obstacles to reach the finish line. And just as Amelia finds comfort in her love for hedgehogs, the belief in the Communion of Saints can bring comfort and hope to all Catholics.
In conclusion, the Communion of Saints is a significant aspect of Catholic theology that unites all members of the Church, alive or deceased. And while my daughter Amelia’s love for hedgehogs may seem like just a childhood fascination, it’s a reminder of the power of devotion and admiration. So, whether it’s a hedgehog or a saint, let’s all find something that brings us joy and comfort in our spiritual journey.