01 October 2008

The Sacred Character of Jesus Christ

I mentioned in the previous post the recent attempt to characterize Jesus as a community organizer. Again from the encyclical against the French Sillon, Pius X states:

We wish to draw attention to the distortion of the Gospel and to the sacred character of Our Lord Jesus Christ, God and Man, prevailing within the Sillon and elsewhere."

As soon as the social question is being approached, it is a fashion in some quarters to first put aside the divinity of Jesus Christ, and then to mention only His unlimited clemency, His companion of all human miseries, and His pressing exhortations to the love of our neighbour and to the brotherhood of men.

True, Jesus has loved us with an immense, infinite love, and He came on earth to suffer and die so that, gathered around Him in justice and love, motivated by the same sentiments of mutual charity, all men might live in peace and happiness. But for the realisation of this temporal and eternal happiness, He has laid down with supreme authority the condition that we must belong to His Flock, that we must accept his doctrine, that we must practice virtue, and that we must accept the teaching and guidance of Peter and his successors.

Further while Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but he instructed them in order to convert them and save them. While He called to Himself in order to comfort the, those who toiled and suffered, it was not to preach to them the jealousy of a chimerical equality. While He lifted up the lowly, it was not to instill in them the sentiment of a dignity independent from and rebellious against, the duty of obedience. He was as strong as He was gentle. He reproved, threatened, chastised; knowing and teaching us that fear is the beginning of wisdom . . .

Finally, He did not announce for future society the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth and of perfect happiness in heaven: the royal way of the Cross. These are teachings that it would be wrong to apply only to one's personal life in order to win eternal salvation; these are eminently social teachings, and the show in Our Lord Jesus Christ something quite different from an inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism.

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