Philipp_Veit_006_OBNP2009-Y09908“There is no justice” Augustine tells us “save in that republic whose founder and ruler is Christ”. And yet the term republic sounds strange to us for the City of God on earth is the beginning of the Kingdom present already in mystery. The realization of that Kingdom comes in three ways: through the Heirarchy, through the People and through the Consecrated Life. Boniface VIII makes clear in Unam Sanctam that it is not the proper role of the priesthood to wield the temporal sword. “Both, therefore, are in the power of the Church, that is to say, the spiritual and the material sword, but the former is to be administered by the Church but the latter for the Church; the former in the hands of the priest; the latter by the hands of kings and soldiers, but at the will and sufferance of the priest.” Both laity and clergy are of the Church but the clergy act onPhilipp_Veit_008 behalf of the Church as a whole while the laity defend the Church from her temporal enemies. The clergy rule the Church qua Church and form the bridge between the objective and subjective redemption. They are the crown with which the Messiah’s Mother crowned Him  on His wedding day, on the day of the gladness of His heart. The laity must care for the those matters concern for which in fallen and redeemed man conflicts with the ministerial care for the supernatural end that is the business of the Sacerdotium. They are the warriors on the temporal frontier of the City of God, the Imperium, the Iron Sceptre of the Son of Man. Like Moses, the clergy raise their hands to heaven upon the heights while the armies of Israel prevail against the nations. Ideally, Christians have no earthly kings for as St Gregory teaches “the kings of the nations are the lords of slaves but the emperor of the republic is the lord of free men”. The name ‘king’ is hateful to the Roman People for they are not like the other nations for “the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king: he will save us.” The Church is the assembly of the first-born on earth but through the laity’s living in spirit of the life of the counsels, the incapacity of the sacramentally ordained to marry, the celebacy of the priesthood, the episcopal state of perfection but supremely through the vowed state of the consecrated life the Regnum itself breaks through into the dying world. Aaron and Hur take up the arms of Moses and the Church prevails. Conformed to the Master by His counsels the consecrated can like Him reach unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. “The high praise of God shall be in their mouth: and two-edged swords in their hands: To execute vengeance upon the nations, chastisements among the people: To bind their kings with fetters, and their nobles with manacles of iron.”

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