WE ARE THE FELLOW CITIZENS BOTH OF ST PETER AND ST PAUL
“But for ourselves, to whom the Church is a supernatural family, not an international conspiracy, the reflection is worth making, that after nineteen centuries of existence she is still young, still making experiments. We are the fellow citizens both of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
REMEMBERING TO PRAY EARNESTLY FOR THE HOLY FATHER
Shall we remember to pray all the more earnestly for the Holy Father, in troubled times like these? If our critics were right, if the Vicar of Christ had no other office to perform than to be a drag on the wheels of history, forbidding this, repressing that, fulminating endless decrees against everybody who did something which had not been done before, said something which had not been said before, how unlabourious a life he might lead, how unexacting!
IT HAS NEVER BEEN AS THE CRITCS CLAIM
But it is not so, and it has never been so; in our day, perhaps more than ever, the popes have a wider and nobler conception of the duty they have undertaken; they will give the world positive guidance, they will initiate, they will spur us into action. They will not be content to criticise (no difficult matter) the false standards they see prevailing in an exhausted and disillusioned world.
THE PATTERN OF A CHRISTIAN WORLD-ORDER
They will set before it, instead, the pattern of a Christian world-order, of a civilisation penetrated with, and expressing, the mind of Christ. And if we are to be worthy, you and I, of those great pontificates under which the divine mercy has privileged us to live, we must not be content, either, with a merely negative Catholicism which forbids us to do this, discourages us from doing that, shuts us up in ourselves and reduces the Christian life to a treadmill routine of avoiding sin.
WE MUST REACT GENEROUSLY
We must react generously, and if need be heroically, to the conditions of our age, of a world which enjoys a precarious, and, if we fail in our duty, an ignoble peace. That is the lesson which the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul should have for times like ours; they bear the sword, as well as the keys, they were princes of the Church because they sealed their witness by martyrdom. They beckon us to glorious thrones, but through a hard apostolate. If they disagreed once, it was long ago; they have but one voice now, and it bids us go forward.”
– Monsignor Ronald A. Knox [capital headings added]