Starting tomorrow in earnest, I shall unpack the great encyclical on the Mystical Body of Christ by Pope Pius XII. I believe he is speaking to our times, as he did in to Catholics in 1943. Here is a tidbit to get you interested in this mini-series.
2. For We intend to speak of the riches stored up in this Church which Christ purchased with His own Blood, and whose members glory in a thorn crowned Head. The fact that they thus glory is a striking proof that the greatest joy and exaltation are born only of suffering, and hence that we should rejoice if we partake of the sufferings of Christ, that when His glory shall be revealed we may also be glad with exceeding joy.
4. And it is to be hoped that Our instructions and exhortations will bring forth abundant fruit in the souls of the faithful in the present circumstances. For We know that if all the sorrows and calamities of these stormy times, by which countless multitudes are being sorely tried, are accepted from God's hands with calm submission, they naturally lift souls above the passing things of earth to those of heaven that abide forever, and arouse a certain secret thirst and intense desire for spiritual things. Thus, urged by the Holy Spirit, men are moved, and, as it were, impelled to seek the Kingdom of God with greater diligence; for the more they are detached from the vanities of this world and from inordinate love of temporal things, the more apt they will be to perceive the light of heavenly mysteries. But the vanity and emptiness of earthly things are more manifest today than perhaps at any other period, when Kingdoms and States are crumbling, when enormous quantities of goods and all kinds of wealth are being sunk in the depths of the sea, and cities, towns and fertile fields are strewn with massive ruins and defiled with the blood of brothers.
Can we not see that this encyclical gives us hope in these darkening times? The phrase "calm submission" with regard to lifting souls "above the passing things of earth to those of heaven that abide forever, and arouse a certain secret thirst and intense desire for spiritual things."
Unless we are totally focussed on Christ and His Church, and the Mystical Body of Christ, we shall be overwhelmed by the same-old, same-old and refuse to move out of the idea that what we see is normal. This encyclical will help us all get our minds in a place to accept the new times.
"...when Kingdoms and States are crumbling, when enormous quantities of goods and all kinds of wealth are being sunk in the depths of the sea, and cities, towns and fertile fields are strewn with massive ruins and defiled with the blood of brothers."
This is not poetry or exaggeration. The Pope was noticing that people in the middle of the war were turning towards Christ the King and His Kingdom, as the "vanities" of the world were disappearing from their lives. Should we not take heart from Pius XII and this document to see where the focus of our lives needs to be today?