Quas Primas - a very contemporary call to arms
The decree of Pius IX instituting this feast, Quas Primas, could have been written yesterday - certainly our current Pope regularly echoes its sentiments. Take this line from the opening paragraph for example:
"... these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics.."
Or this, from para 25:
"While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights."
In Australia we are losing the battle...
The point of the feast is to counter secularism, and promote the spread of the Church throughout the world. The Kingdom, Quas Primas points out, is spiritual and concerns spiritual things. Nonetheless, society must be built on the solid and secure foundations of Christ in order for peace and harmony to prevail, and that requires that all acknowledge Christ's Kingship.
And it has to be said that in Australia at the moment, the feast is particularly important given that the forces of secularism seem to be winning, as witnessed by the appalling Victorian Abortion legislation.
I have to admit that suggests to me we need to consider changing tactics.
One of the things that has struck me over the last few weeks when debating people from the other side on abortion has been just how gaping the chasm between our worldviews is. Many in our society have simply lost the ability to perceive truth, even when they are led logically through the arguments.
In those circumstances, some serious rethinking seems to me to be needed, and perhaps even more importantly, some active engagement by more people!
I don't think the answer lies in things like more people on vigils outside abortion 'clinics', for example - praying in public for life is certainly a valuable thing to do and keeps the issue visible, but in terms of saving lives, even if they could be manned all day long, waiting until people arrive at the clinic is generally going to be too late.
Somehow we need to reshape the discourse, and challenge people act not just in their own short-term selfish interests at the expense of others lives, but in the interests of others and the future of our nation and world. A challenge to ponder as you celebrate the feast.....