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to all men in general, but to each one in particular; so that Christ may appear before His Father in each one, and in each one in Christ. This is effected in the unbloody sacrifice in which our blessed Saviour daily offers Himself and is offered to His eternal Father as the property of mankind. But not only this merit of the Lord, but the fruit also of this merit is the property of the Church--the imparting of the divine Spirit and the reconciliation of man with God. This imparting of the divine Spirit, considering the nature of man, is effected also in a visible manner, partly under the guidance of the teaching Church, by which it is preserved in the constant possession of the uncorrupted truths of salvation, and partly in those gifts and graces which are adapted to all the wants and epochs of human life, and which, under the name of sacraments, are intended either to reconcile with God, through Jesus Christ, those who have been separated from Him, or to strengthen and to arm those who are united with Him. Now, as there is but one human nature, and, consequently, only one Christ, and only one way of life and of holiness through Him, how can there be more than one true Church? And this one true Church, how can it be otherwise named than that which alone sanctifies us, as there is but one Sanctifier, who is present in it, and in it imparts His gifts ?
When, therefore, we repeat the petition, “ Thy kingdom come,” we pray, not so much for the institution of the kingdom of grace, for this was founded more than eighteen centuries ago, as for the extension of the same over the whole human race in every region of the habitabļe globe; that our Saviour, who belongs to the human race, may belong to every individual, and that the continued work of the redemption in the Church may be applied to all men. Should it, then, surprise us that this great work of God has made but slow advances over the earth, that so great and extensive territories are still veiled in the darkness of Paganism, that the rude Deism and fatalism of the monstrous Alcoran should dominate in those countries where once the Church in all its glory flourished? The answer to this is found on the first page of the Gospel, “ The Light shone in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it; He came unto His own, and His own did not receive Him.” The second answer was given by the Apostle, that mighty conqueror in the service of Christ, who, with untiring zeal, and with a sacrifice at which we can never sufficiently wonder, travelled over Europe and Asia to bear the kingdom of God to men, when he said, “ How shall they call upon Him in whom they do not believe ; and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard ; and how shall they hear, if no one announce Him?” We pray, therefore, in the second petition, that the Lord would arm with the spirit of His love, patience, and selfdevotion, new heralds and bearers of His salvation, who, like the Apostles of India, Cochin China, and Japan, of Pera and Canada in the last centuries, may go forth to drive the errors of Paganism from the earth, and to open the way of the liberty of the children of God to the slaves of error and of sin. And, that our petition may not consist in mere empty words, but may be an invocation of the Divine assistance and blessing upon our undertakings, a not less easy than joyful oppor
tunity for effectual co-operation has been offered to zealous Catholics by the institutions of modern times.)
Instead of the ancient superstitious idolatry, we have now, in the west, south, and east, the new or modern idolatry, which, in the midst of the primitive doctrines of Christianity, rears its proud head and displays itself, in part theoretically, as pantheistical wisdom, and in part practically, in its apostacy from Christ, and consequently from the Church, as an idolatry of sensuality, and an abandonment of all the laws of morality. We must, therefore, when we repeat this petition, “ Thy kingdom come,” pray for the multitudes of those who contemn Christ, who belong to the Church in name only, but are not nourished from its source of life. They shall not, indeed, destroy this kingdom, to which has been given the promise, that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it;” but they do destroy the kingdom of God within their own souls, and stand therefore in great need of the prayers of their brethren.
But let those who earnestly endeavour to remain within this kingdom look up with confidence to Him whom it secures to them as a Father. “ Behold,” -thus they are instructed in the hundred and thirtythird Psalm—“ behold, now, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, who stand in the house of the
Namely, the Leopoldine Institution, a flourishing union for the Catholic missions in North America ; and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, founded at Lyons; in support of which the smallest assistance must be of even greater value than the two mites which the poor widow cast into the treasury of the Temple, and which our Saviour, estimating them by the charity of the donor, declared to be of more worth than the rich presents of others.
Lord, in the courts of the house of God. In the nights lift up your hands in the holy places, and bless ye the Lord. May the Lord out of Sion bless you, He that made heaven and earth.” “ The house of God is the Church of the living God, the pillar and the ground of truth” (1 Tim. iii.); the court of the house of God is the Church militant, the entrance to the Church triumphant in heaven. From the Church militant, in the night of this earthly life, we raise our hands to the holy places, namely, to the Triune God; and He who made heaven and earth, and who, by the Church, has founded a kingdom of heaven upon earth, blesses His people from Sion,—that is, in the Church and through the Church; for thus was it promised by the ancient Seer, “ The law shall go forth from Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
HILST the kingdom of God upon earth, as the visible militant Church, effects the intercourse of man with God, and strengthens the spiritually regenerated gifts of grace,
that he may be able to withstand his earthly trials, there is another kingdom of God—the heavenly kingdom above this earth, in which faith is exchanged for vision, grace for the fulness of happiness ; in which no trial can find entrance; until, at length, when this earthly time shall have closed, the eternal and perfect kingdom of God shall be founded, in which the entire man shall be admitted to glory and beatitude. “ For until now we groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body.” (Rom. viii.) Of this kingdom of glory we are taught to think when we pray to our eternal Father, that His kingdom may come ; for “ if we be sons, we are heirs also.”
We must therefore consider with what feelings we