Dominica Septima Post Pentecosten

 

Clap you hands, all ye nations:  shout unto God with cries of gladness.  For the Lord is most high, a great King over all the earth.

 

     These words from the Introit of today’s Holy Mass are quite timely for us Americans,

 

as we continue to celebrate Independence Day Weekend.

 

     It's a great shame that, nowadays, the moment one even attempts to speak of God, the

 

Great King and the all the nations, he is sharply rebuked with an appeal to, "Separation of

 

Church and State," as if this phrase were meant to be a great wall, built to keep God's nose

 

out of man's affairs.  How unfortunate it is that this teaching has come to be the motto of all

 

card-carrying atheists, since, when understood correctly, actually has its roots in the very

 

words of Christ Himself.  It was Our Lord Himself who said, "Give to Caesar what is

 

Caesar's, and to God what is God's."  At that moment He sanctioned forever the limits of

 

Caesar's dominion--fully acknowledging man's need for a temporal government, with its

 

own ends, laws and rights, and the reverence and honor due it; and, at the same time, He

 

claimed absolute power for Himself.  For, any just authority which the state possesses

 

comes ultimately from God; and, though it has the power to establish its own particular

 

laws, such laws must be in conformity with the natural law--written by God on the hearts of

 

every human being.  The temporal order must always be subordinate to the eternal, the

 

secular to the divine.  Pope Pius XI summed it up quite well when he said, "Anyone would

 

err gravely who would take away from Christ as man the rule over civil affairs, since He has

 

been given by the Father such complete power over created things that all are subject to His

 

will."  

 

     Hence, Our Lord's teaching regarding God and Caesar must be accepted as a whole.

 

History supplies us with many examples of what happens when it is not--when people give

 

to Caesar, i.e. the state, but fail to render unto God what is His: the Masons in 18th century

 

France, Nazi Germany, Communist Russia.  In all of these cases God's dominion was denied

 

and absolute power was given to the temporal rulers. The result?  Freedom, liberty and

 

justice were stripped from the common man and society fell apart at the seams.  The

 

moment a nation casts off the sweet yoke of Christ, it becomes a slave to Caesar, who

 

himself is ruled by his own pride and passions. 

 

     By coming to Holy Mass this morning you have shown that you are willing to render to

 

God what is God's; but when you walk out those doors you must fulfill your duty to Caesar

 

as well.  As Christians, redeemed by the Cross of Christ, nourished by His Body and Blood,

 

strengthened by His grace, you must bring His love, mercy and truth to this nation of ours,

 

which is so desperately in need!  The greatest way that you can pay reverence and homage

 

to your country is by living in it as a Christian: by respecting its just laws, praying and

 

performing acts of penance for its leaders and citizens, promoting the Catholic Faith at every

 

opportunity, in short, by building up a Christian culture.  This is your duty.  This is what it

 

really means to be patriotic.

 

     The Early Christians resurrected Rome by rebuilding it on Christian principles.  If our

 

own country is to have a future, a Christian culture must be established--one based on the

 

love of God and neighbor.  The right to life, the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage, the

 

freedom to worship the God Who created and redeemed us, the liberty to provide children

 

with a sound Christian education--all of these must be protected at all costs; for they are

 

priceless gifts placed in our hands.  The thousands of white crosses which fill the Arlington

 

National Cemetery and line the Coast of Normandy are so many reminders of just how

 

precious such freedom is.

 

     Therefore, as we continue this Holy Mass, let us pray for God's blessing upon our nation,

 

that, while giving to Caesar what is Caesar's, we will not deny to Our Lord, the Great King,

 

His supreme dominion; for, it is only by allowing Christ to rule our hearts that we will be

 

truly free.