Adveniat regnum tuum, Thy kingdom come!

Source: FSSPX News

On March 25, 1991, feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre breathed his last.  We publish here the transcription of the sermon he gave for the feast of Christ the King on October 30, 1988, in Ecône (Switzerland); it is the profession of faith of a missionary whose whole life was consecrated to extending the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ over souls, families and society.

My dear friends,

My dear brothers,

I think it is useless to insist with you to convince you that this feast of Christ the King is at the very heart of the combat we are waging.  If we have decided to wage this  combat and to resist all the pressure that comes even from within the Church to turn us away from this reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, it is because it has seemed to us indispensable for the defense of our faith to put into practice the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Is not this the very object of our faith: to make Our Lord Jesus Christ reign over us, over our families, over our society? Oportet illum regnare, says St. Paul: “He must reign.”  Yes, Our Lord Jesus Christ must reign!

Why a special feast for Christ the King?

And why did Pope Pius XI deem it good to add to the liturgical calendar a special feast for Christ the King?  Was it really necessary? Was not the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ sufficiently signified in all the feasts of the liturgical year?  Indeed, if we read the liturgical texts of the feast of the Nativity, of Epiphany, of the great ceremonies of Holy Week, and all the more those of the feast of Easter and of the Ascension, the royalty of Our Lord Jesus is constantly affirmed.  These feasts do nothing but manifest Our Lord Jesus Christ's reign and His kingdom.  Why then add this feast of Christ the King?

Well!  Because men wanted to destroy the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  After the rulers of States had, for many centuries, recognized the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the disciples of Satan – he who pursues Our Lord Jesus Christ with his hatred – resolved to finish off Christianity, the Christian order, the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ over society.  And they stirred up troubles, until they were finally able to destroy, in fact, the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ over societies.

They hoped thus to ruin the work of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  That is what Pope Leo XIII says in his encyclical Humanum Genus, concerning the Freemasons.  He says: “their goal is to destroy all Christian institutions.” Yes, all Christian institutions.  That is their goal!  And they could not succeed, so long as society was Christian, so long as the princes and governors were Christian.  They had therefore to destroy these governments, destroy those who defended the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Not only do they plan to destroy Christian institutions, but they also wanted to destroy the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ over souls and to create this climate of general apostasy.  The fact that the institutions are no longer Christian, the fact that Our Lord Jesus Christ no longer reigns over institutions, necessarily creates a climate of apostasy, a climate of atheism.  And this climate of atheism touches families through education, by all the powerful means that the State has at its disposal to ruin the faith in Christian families.

It is thus that we have seen apostasy spread little by little in society.  And if families themselves become apostate, if Our Lord Jesus Christ, His law and His grace no longer reign over families, then vocations, too, disappear!  And this is exactly what they hoped: to touch the Church, by means of Christian families.  To touch also the seminaries, novitiates, and religious congregations.

Religious liberty against the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Alas, they have succeeded. And now we can truthfully say that the Church authorities lend them assistance, that they help them in their apostasy by teaching religious liberty. For where there is religious liberty, it is no longer absolutely necessary that Our Lord Jesus Christ reign over souls, over society. It is an absolutely incredible thing to say, but it is true. Not only is it not expedient, it is not even possible that Our Lord Jesus Christ reign again over society, they say, as the liberals have always said. It was possible in the Middle Ages, it is no longer possible now.

And today this statement is no longer sufficient. We accept from now on the principle that Our Lord must not reign over society, because it would be contrary to human dignity, this “human dignity” according to which each man is to observe the religion that his conscience dictates. Consequently, to impose the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ over society would be to violate the right to freedom and liberty of conscience, and therefore human dignity. That is why the State must be secular, and profess no religion. That is what the Church authorities say. In Strasbourg, Pope John Paul II recently stated that the State must be neutral, have no religion. That is unheard of! If our ancestors had ever heard such things, they would have been astounded and appalled. But in our day, we are so used to this general apostasy that we do not even react any more.

That is why this feast of Christ the King is more appropriate and useful than ever. Yesterday we sang in the Epistle: Scelesta turba clamitat: Regnare Christum nolumus: the impious crowd cries, “We will not have Christ to reign over us.”

Te nos ovantes omnium regem supremum dicimus (Vespers hymn of the Feast of Christ the King). But we, on the contrary, we are glad to be able to say with joyful hearts: “Thou art the Lord, the King of all things.” Yes, we stand up against that cry of the impious crowd that says, “We will not have Christ to reign over us”, and we say, “We will have Our Lord reign, because he is the King of all things: omnium Regem supremum, the supreme King of all things.” We proclaim it and we want to proclaim it not only for us personally, that Jesus may reign in our souls by His law and His grace, but we also wish Him to reign in our families, in Christian families and in society.

The denial of original sin, the root of the apostasy of our time

You see, what is at the root of this apostasy is the denial of original sin. For if Our Lord Jesus Christ came to earth and if He wants to reign in all souls, in all families, in all nations, it is precisely in order to take away original sin and all its consequences, abominable consequences which lead to hell, to eternal death. He came to give us eternal life. If we deny original sin, Our Lord is not necessary. What did He come to do? Why did He come? He came to trouble our families. He came to disrupt the order of human liberty.

But if we really believe that there is an original sin that all men are stained with, with all the consequences of this original sin, and if we believe that only Our Lord Jesus Christ can heal us, give us life, purify us in His Blood, give us His grace, give us His law, then yes, we turn to our Saviour, to Our Lord Jesus Christ. May He be our King, may His law reign everywhere, may His grace reign in all souls! That is what we say and that is what we think.

People no longer believe in original sin. They deny original sin. Men are free. Men are not bad. Men are not born under Satan’s influence. Men are good. What they desire is good. Every one can desire what he wants, freely, according to his conscience.

Now, we also said in the anthem at Lauds, “Gens et regnum quod non servierit tibi peribit”: “The nation and kingdom that will not serve Thee shall perish” (Feast of Christ the King, fifth antiphon at Lauds). And it is true. All those who do not have Our Lord Jesus Christ in their laws, in their legislation, do not have the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ; they live in complete disorder, and are affected by all the consequences of original sin that corrupt souls and society.

We must react spiritually

So what must we do, my dear brethren, in this situation? We must, of course, desire the reign of Our Lord, pray with all our heart, with all our soul, especially today, to ask Our Lord to reign. May He help us, may He come to our assistance, He who gave us all the means necessary to save our souls. But faced with this apparently insoluble situation, what can we do?

Well, we must do what Our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to do, that is, work towards our sanctification, revive the grace we received on the day of our baptism in order to take away original sin and to heal all its consequences. We very well know that we still suffer these consequences of original sin, that we bear them within ourselves and that we must constantly struggle against them by the grace of Our Lord, by prayer, by the worthy and frequent reception of the sacraments, by assistance at Holy Mass, at the true Mass. We know that it is in this way that our souls will be purified, that our souls will be sanctified, and that we will bring the law and the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ to reign within them.

Taking responsibilities in civil society

But it is not enough do it for ourselves. We all have duties. We all have a vocation here below. We do not live by ourselves. We do not live in isolation. Consequently we have a responsibility to make Our Lord Jesus Christ reign everywhere in our everyday duties, and not only in our families. The reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ must not remain confined in our families only, and as soon as we get out of the family home, there is no place for Our Lord Jesus Christ any more, that is not Our Lord's concern any more! What we do at work, what we do in the city, outside of our family circle, would Our Lord have no part in it? That is wrong! We must always remain subject to Our Lord, in whatever we do, in every deed, therefore in our professional actions too, in the actions we have to perform with respect to the good of our municipality, the good of our village, to the good of our city, to the good of our country. It is time, my dear brethren, it is high time for Christians, especially for traditionalist Christians -- if we can call them that -- , the true Catholics, it is high time for them to realize what the situation around them is, a situation that is worsening month after month, year after year.
Our countries have not lost all of their Catholic Faith. There are still some people who believe, some people who still have Faith. They should be brought together; they should be awakened. And among us, all those who have deep Catholic beliefs should assume responsibilities.
It is astonishing to see Catholic regions such as the Valais and all those Catholic countries like France, Italy, Spain, and Ireland, all those countries that are 80 percent, 85 percent Catholic, being led by free-masons, by enemies of the Church. How is it possible? How could these people get to rule countries with a vast majority of Catholics, even though they are not Christians and want to destroy the Christian family, and introduce laws demolishing Christian teaching and the Christian schools, and introduce all the ignominious initiatives we see, such as these discotheques in every village. They legalize abortion, contraception, and support drug use, they refuse to prosecute pornography and accept those awful movies against Our Lord Jesus Christ. These are the small groups of people who are against Our Lord Jesus Christ and yet who rule Christian nations.
Is it possible? How can we account for that, how can we explain that, in a country that is 80 percent, 85 percent Catholic, people who are against the Catholic Church, against our Lord Jesus Christ, can rule and lead everyone?
I think it is because the Catholics imagine they must not go into public office. They are afraid of getting involved in public office. Certainly they are right insofar as they would have to participate in wrongdoing. But if they do it, on the contrary, to prevent that wrongdoing from happening, then they must step up; they must assume responsibilities for the good of souls, to make our Lord Jesus Christ reign in lawmaking.
It seems to me that there is a deficiency here, and maybe a lack of understanding of the duty of faithful Catholics. In villages that are still 80 percent Catholic and still have strong beliefs, there should be good Catholics leading the village, taking responsibilities for the community. Same thing at the State level. Do not be afraid of assuming responsibilities. That is not bad policy, that is not politicking, that is quite simply working for the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the social reign of Our Lord.

Impossible is not Catholic

Then we must pray for that and encourage all those among our friends, all our acquaintances who are able holding elective offices in the villages, in the cities, at the State level, encourage them to run for office. And since we have seen here a project, initiated by some of our friends, of publishing recently a small newspaper entitled Controverses, in which our brother priests also were involved in some way; well! That, in my opinion, is a very good initiative that may be very useful when it is time to vote, that could be distributed to the families, everywhere, in order to encourage them to vote well, to vote for the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Without creating any special party, but so that these faithful might belong, as St Pius X said, to God's party, to the party of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
This, it seems to me, is what this Feast of Christ the King reminds us of, asking us to act courageously. As St. Joan of Arc said: "We pray, we fight, and God will give the victory!”
Some say: Oh! It is impossible. It cannot be done. This is too difficult: we will never be able to get the upper hand over the people who lead our countries nowadays. We will never manage to unseat them. But we must rely on God's grace. The good Lord is with us. God wants to reign, since He wants the good of souls. And consequently if Catholics unite, pray, make sacrifices and fight for the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we must rely on the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the help of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary who is strong as an army set in battle array, on the help of the saints, of St. Michael the Archangel, of all the saints of the country, of St. Nicholas of Flüe, of St. Mauritius here in the Valais, let us call upon them and ask them to help us, so that Our Lord Jesus Christ may reign in our countries, in order to save the souls of future generations, to save our souls and to place our country under the gentle reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

(Transcription and subheadings DICI no. 232 dated March 19, 2011)

You can also read :

20th Anniversary of the death of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
Switzerland: 20th Anniversary of the Death of Archbishop Lefebvre in Ecône
Biography of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre