For Part II, “Christ the King Possesses Dominion Over All Creatures”, please click here.
…But, nevertheless, a kingdom of this nature, in a certain special manner, is both a spiritual one, and also pertains to spiritual things, as these words, which we have quoted above from the Bible, most distinctly indicate, and moreover as Christ the Lord confirms them by reason of his own actions. Inasmuch as, on more than one occasion, when the Jews, indeed, when even the apostles themselves, erroneously imagined that it was imminent that the Messiah would set the people at liberty and would restore the Kingdom of Israel, he himself both dispelled and destroyed the fond hope.
Disclaiming the title of King from an encompassing multitude of admirers, he refused both the name and the honour by fleeing from them and by lying hid. In the presence of the Roman governor, he declared that his kingdom was “not of this world.”
It is such a kingdom, indeed, as is represented in the Gospels, into which men prepare to enter by doing penance, but they cannot enter except by faith and by baptism, which, although it is an external rite, nevertheless denotes and produces an interior regeneration. It is opposed in a very special manner to the kingdom of Satan and to the powers of darkness. It demands from its followers not only that, with their souls detached from riches and from worldly affairs, they display mildness of character, and hunger and thirst after justice, but that they deny themselves, and take up their cross.
But since Christ as Redeemer has both purchased the Church with his own blood, and as Priest offered his very self as a sacrifice for sin, and so offers himself in perpetuity, is it not evident to all that his kingly office assumes and participates in the nature of both one and the other office? On the other hand, one errs in a most unseemly manner if one takes away from Christ as man all authority over any kind of civil affairs whatever, since he obtains from the Father such a highly absolute jurisdiction over created things, that all things are placed under his power. Therefore, by our Apostolic authority, we appoint the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ the King, annually…to be observed everywhere in the world. Likewise we enjoin, that the dedication of the human race to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be annually renewed upon that self-some day.
– From the Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas, December 11, 1925, from: An Approved Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964.