51. My Kingdom Is not of this World
1. The Phalangist’s one thought is to recognise the sovereign and all loving empire of Jesus and Mary over himself and his family, and to please Them in every service rendered. For this, he wishes to live in charity, justice and peace with his neighbour, without any ideology, envy or cupidity leading him into opposition or conflict with the ideal of the evangelical beatitudes.
He has no political prejudice, ambition or demands. He regards passion for politics as impure, as do the great majority of mankind who have no interest in it and whose main wish is that “ the Church should not go in for politics. ” Indeed, he has no wish to advance his religion by means of political manoeuvre, conquest of power, class warfare, uprising of slaves, or the rule of armed force.
2. This indifference to politics finds its source in the Gospel and in the Church’s immemorial tradition, according to the words of her Lord : “ My Kingdom is not of this world. ” She leaves political science to students thereof and the art of politics to those who govern. The madness of everyone meddling in politics and claiming a competence and responsibility therein is something modern, abnormal and detrimental.
The disciple of Jesus, in politics as in religion, submits to the authorities, in accordance with the maxim : “ Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s. ” Theocratic, racist and imperialist politics are forever abolished, as is messianism. Religion and morality cannot be invoked against any legitimate political order, for Caesar must be obeyed even when he is unjust, violent and persecuting. The Kingdom of God, established by Jesus Christ, conquers all mankind by divine grace and by the free response of individual persons, and not by overturning princes or through the power of States. “ Seek first the Kingdom of God and its justice and all these other things will be added unto you. ”
3. The wisdom of those who govern and the prudence that they show in their policies are nevertheless divine benefits for peoples aspiring to live in security and peace amidst the dangers of this bad and difficult world. Only the saints have a mystical faith and a moral strength great enough to contemplate fearlessly the ills that a badly governed society draws down upon itself. Yet the saints themselves are not indifferent to these ills, inspired as they are with love for their neighbours who are overwhelmed thereby and threatened with ruin. Thus all Christians pray for their temporal leaders, for their country’s peace and prosperity, and they strive to contribute to these causes by their obedience to the laws.
The Phalangist knows how important it is for peoples to be well governed, but he does not claim to govern himself nor to govern others, unless such a role is given him by birth or profession from Above.
Points 52 to 100 are presently being translated.