Wednesday, January 04, 2006

January 5th The Vigil of the Epiphany
Jesus the universal King (from "Divine Intimacy" by Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen)

Presence of God: O Lord, Your greatness is unfathomable; unable me to adore and love You in a manner worthy of Your infinite Majesty.
1. Since Jesus is all things to us, it is fitting that we honor Him as our King. He Himself proclaimed, "I am a king" (Jn 18,37). "All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth" (Mt 28,18). In the Encyclical Quas Primas, Pius XI teaches that "Jesus is King by right of nature, "He possesses....power over all creatures, not that He seized it by violence nor received it from another, but He possesses it by His own nature and essence; His power comes from that wonderful union which is called by theologians hypostatic. For this reason Christ is to be adored not only as God by angels and men, but these angels and men owe submission and obedience to Him also as man". In fact, Christ as man participates fully in the royalty and sovereign majesty of Christ as God; since, as man and as God, Christ is one Person, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. He is at the summit of all creation: the beginning and end, the King of all things; he holds "the primacy in all things" (Col 1,18).
"What could be more pleasing and agreeable than the thought that Christ is our Ruler, not only by right of nature, but by a right of conquest, which He acquired when He became our Redeemer! O that ungrateful men would remember how much we have cost our Savior! We were not redeemed at the price of gold and silver.... but by Christ's precious Blood. We no longer belong to ourselves, because Christ has paid a precious ransom for us" (Quas Primas). Jesus has every right to rule over us; He must reign; oportet Illum regnare! (1Cor15,25).
2. From all eternity, God the Father beheld in Christ His only-begotten Son, made man for the redemption of sinful humanity-the masterpiece of His hands, and therefore He decreed that all should be created by Him, given to Him as His royal allotment. St Paul states that God the Father has set Christ "on His right hand in the heavenly places, above all principality and power, and virtue and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come" (Eph 1,20.21). Behold Christ the King set above the angels, above those pure spirits who also were created for His glory. As for mankind, we must repeat with the Apostle that we have been chosen and predestined in Christ, "that we may be unto the praise of His glory" (ibid. 1,12). Like the angels, we have been created for the glory of Christ, the universal King. By glorifying Him on earth, we unite our praise with that of angels in heaven. To glorify Jesus as our King is to acknowledge His sovereign rights over us, that is to say, to live in docile submission to His gentle rule. His reign is one of love: out of love for us and for us and to save us, He came down from heaven and became one of us. He died on the Cross for the same reason, shedding all His sacred Blood for us. Jesus reigns in the crib; He reigns from the height of the Cross. Behold the price He paid to win our poor hearts, He who by His very nature was already our absolute ruler. Let us not resist the gentle violence of His infinite love; let us give ourselves entirely to Him, allowing Him to reign in our minds, in our wills, and in our hearts.
"O my Lord and my King! If one could but picture Your Majesty! It is impossible not to see that in Yourself, You are a great Emperor, for to behold Your Majesty strikes terror. But my terror is greater, my Lord, when together with Your majesty I behold Your humility and the love that You bestow on such a creature as I. "When I have overcome the first feeling of terror which is aroused at the sight of Your great Majesty, I can converse with You, and speak freely about my interests....Although You are God, I can talk with You as with a friend, for You are not like those whom we call lords on earth, all of whose power rests upon an authority conferred on them by others. Your Kingdom, O Lord of Glory and King of kings is without end. How little we need any intermediaries to reach you. I have only to see You to realize that You alone deserve the name of Lord; Your Majesty is so great that You need neither guard nor escort to convince us that You are King" (St Teresa of Jesus, Life, 37).
O Lord, grant that I may always acknowledge You as the King and sovereign Ruler of my soul. Everything I have I have received from You; how then, could I fail to understand that You hold all rights over me? Yet You are a King who seems to take no account of His sovereign rights. Why did You have to abase Yourself to the obscurity of Bethlehem, to humiliate Yourself even to dying on the Cross, even to shedding all Your Blood in order to win my heart? My heart, my whole life, and all my being already belonged to You, because are my Creator and because I was created for your glory. But You willed to forget all Your rights and You came to me like a beggar, seeking my poor heart.
O Jesus, how can I still resist Your infinite love? Take my heart; take my whole being; and make ma a living praise of Your glory.

St Elizabeth of the Trinity to Canon Angels, August 1903 from "Elizabeth of the Trinity Her Message and Spirituality" CTS booklet Ed&translated by J.Moorcroft

'I feel such love within me that it is like an ocean into which I plunge and loose myself. It is my vision here on earth while I wait for that full meeting with him in the light, He is in me and I in Him, and I only have to love Him and let myself be loved at every moment, whatever happens: to wake up in Love, to work in Love, to sleep in Love, my soul in Love, my soul in His Soul, my heart in His Heart, seeing with His eyes, so that His Presence can purify me and set me free from my failings'.