He who learns must suffer, and, even in our sleep, pain that we cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. - Aeschylus

Monday, May 23, 2016

Munera Sanctifica: King

The life of a Christian is to be a holy offering, a public service offered to God to show our love for His super-abundant gifts to us.  This service has three parts for each of us as we imitate the three services by which Jesus Christ fulfilled the roles of the people of God, the service of a priest, a prophet, and a king.

Priest - Prophet - King

In the Latin tradition, this is often referred to as the triple munera: the sanctifying, teaching, and governing offices of the Church.  Though these roles are performed in a special way by the bishops who are the successors of the Apostles chosen by Christ to serve His Church in a spirit of love as He served them in a spirit of love, we all have a call to participate in those roles.

This includes the kingly office of the Pope, the Patriarchs, and the Bishops, who govern the Church as we make the pilgrim's journey through this life, fighting against the snares of evil set by the ego.  They set the canons of the Church, the rules which are there to help us keep inside the green pastures through which the Good Shepherd leads us, the Christ who is also the King of Kings.

The Feast of Christ the King, implemented in the liturgical calendar in the early 20th century, is a recognition of a quite ancient Christian belief that Christ fulfilled the office of the King of Israel.  Jesus Christ is the King of Heaven who did not need the empty promises of Satan who offered Him power over the world in exchange for idolatry; He who was the eternal King had no need to trade the Kingship granted Him by the Father for a kingdom that was of this world because His kingdom is not of this world which will pass away.

Christ showed us the the King of Heaven was not here to bring death to many like other kings, but rather to die for us so that many can be saved from death.  Christ the King is not here to send us down to Hades, but rather to lift us up to Heaven.  Those of us who follow Him must also fulfill this role of lifting others up in love to Heaven rather than tearing them down.

Christ is the Icon of Love Himself, the Father who loved us so much that He sent His only-begotten Son to die for us that we might be lifted up to eternal life.  He sent His only-begotten Son who showed us how to govern ourselves and others with love, the love of mercy which is an expression of the Lord's divine justice eternally present in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Kyrie eleison!  Christe eleison!  Kyrie eleison!

Lord, please help me by Your grace to remember You always and follow Your example, to live the life of one who presides in love, rejecting the glamour of evil when it offers me the raw power to enforce my selfish desires across the entire world and instead accepting the cup of suffering so that all those across the world might share with me in eternal life, lifting up my brothers and sisters so that the grave might not hold them and Your face might shine upon them in the Beatific Vision.

Note:  The above is an icon of  the Resurrection of Christ.  I recently purchased this icon from the Paracletos monastery.


  1. Nicely written Sam! Glad I had a moment to check it out. Hope all is well!

    1. Thank you, Friar Paul! I hope God is blessing you with many graces, brother.