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Christendom: God’s beachhead in a rebellious world

December 28, 2006

Thomas Storck writing in Homiletic and Pastoral Review:

Christendom is sometimes used to mean those countries in which the majority of the population is Christian or at least has Christian traditions, or is used roughly to describe the totality of Christians existing throughout the world. But it really means something much more majestic than this. Christendom is nothing else but the attempt to make real, even in this fallen world, the social reign of Jesus Christ the King; to make every part and aspect of human life subject to his authority; to shape public life; and, as far as may be done in private life, to reflect the reign of Christ the King.

(…)

How brief was the pinnacle of the Catholic Middle Ages. And how often in the course of history has the attempt to establish or preserve a Christian civilization proven elusive! How often has the “prince of this world” defeated the best attempts to organize or maintain a Catholic social order on this earth.

(…)

Christendom, then, whenever and wherever it has been established, has been a heroic attempt to reclaim a part of the world from the Devil’s power, to make effective even now the Kingship of Jesus Christ, a Kingship that in its fullness will not be known till after the Second Coming. Since men have a constant tendency to sin, the clerics and statesmen who in the past have ruled over Christian social orders were facing an uphill battle to maintain that happy state of affairs. And one wonders whether God had not given extraordinary graces at one period of the world’s history that for his own reasons he has withheld at other times.

(…)

It is not possible to understand entirely God’s purposes in history. The best we can do is sometimes to get a glimpse of them. But our duty always remains. Whether in favorable or unfavorable times, we always have the duty of trying to make Jesus Christ King of both our own lives and of the life of our social order and even of the entire world. Even though the social reign of Jesus Christ the King will never rest upon secure foundations in this world, still we must do all we can to achieve a Christian social order. As St. Paul wrote (1 Cor. 15:25), Oportet illum regnare: He must reign!

Read it all here.

See also:
Michael Davies: The Reign of Christ the King
Arthur M. Hippler: Did Vatican II Reject The “Social Reign” Of Jesus Christ?

Related Posts:
Daniel-Rops on the origin of Christendom, Part 1
Daniel-Rops on the origin of Christendom, Part 2
Daniel-Rops on the origin of Christendom, Part 3

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From → On Christendom

2 Comments
  1. “And one wonders whether God had not given extraordinary graces at one period of the world’s history that for his own reasons he has withheld at other times.”

    Sorry, this is sadly only human perception of the concept of grace as an ebbing and flowing river from God.

    God makes the same graces available in every age, in every possible manifestation. The difference between the apparent flow of grace into society at large is simply the predisposition of a given age, indeed even a given person, to RECEIVE such graces and to act in accord with Gospel revealed truths.

    As your blog relates, we are on the cusp of a geopolitical reality *or* a spiritual reality. The general European trend toward capitulation to those deemed minorities is startling. Only grace literally rather than figuratively *accepted by* ***and*** *made manifest in* God’s people will turn the tide.

    SD

  2. Please note I do understand the author’s conclusion points in the same direction as my comment.

    It is of the utmost importance to be as clear as possible about this.

    You need to promote your work here as widely as possible.

    I could say a lot more, but you know what I’m getting at.

    SD

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