The feast of Christ the King occasions use of one of my favorite hymns: "To Jesus Christ our Sovereign King." The story behind this hymn is powerful, it needs to be better known, if only because it is likely to bear on our near future.
At one time, I'd found articles about the late Monsignor Martin Hellreigel, who wrote this hymn in 1941. But just now, attempting to find them again, I am coming up with blanks. So permit me to summarize both from memory and from what bits and pieces I found online.
Father Hellreigel was a German immigrant to the U.S. as a child. He was ordained a priest for the Precious Blood congregation in 1914. At one time, I mistakenly thought he was in Germany at the time he composed this hymn; in fact, he was in St. Louis! But it was composed in 1941, at the height of the peril from fascism that makes ideology a god. And of course, we know how many millions of lives were sacrificed to that god.
Monsignor Hellreigel was in anguish about what was happening in his homeland when he composed his hymn.
I invite you to read or listen to the lyrics of that hymn, recognizing in them a rebuttal to Nazism, Fascism, and every other "ism" that exults itself against God--and over humanity:
To Jesus Christ, our Sov'reign King,
Who is the world's salvation,
All praise and homage do we bring,
And thanks and adoration.
Christ Jesus Victor, Christ Jesus Ruler!
Christ Jesus, Lord and Redeemer!
2. Thy reign extend, O King benign,
To ev'ry land and nation,
For in Thy kingdom, Lord divine,
Alone we find salvation.
3. To Thee and to Thy Church, great King,
We pledge our hearts' oblation,
Until before Thy throne we sing,
In endless jubilation.
In our time, sadly our own governments in the United States are setting themselves against Jesus Christ. In two states and in several municipalities, the Catholic Church has been driven out of adoptions. The Obama Administration is seeking to force Catholic institutions to distribute contraceptives and provide early abortions, under the guise of so-called contraceptions. We have politicians in both parties who rename torture and advocate its use. Whatever it takes to defeat our enemies.
You and I, dear reader, are less and less treated as sovereign citizens, and more as subjects. If you fly anywhere, you have the privilege of being treated like cattle--but you better not object, or else worse will happen to you. When citizens take photographs or videos of the police, in many jurisdictions, they are arrested. The government wants to place tracking devices on our cars, without warrant. In various jurisdictions, the "Occupy" protesters--many of whom have behaved very badly--have been dispersed with high-handed tactics by the police. And our President is arguing, in our courts, for the view that the Constitution allows the regulation not only of economic activity, but the mandate of the same. No one has reasonably shown how, if the government can mandate you and me to purchase insurance, it cannot regulate virtually all our "economic" activity and decisions.
But none of them--neither party, no system, no government program, no function of the market, is the world's salvation. Only Jesus Christ! Viva Christo Rey!