Fr. Homer Rogers: On Christ the King (Letter to Parish 11-29-79)
Throughout history, and up to the first year or two of the civil war, line officers were expected to lead their men personally into battle. One can hear the bugle blow the charge, and hear the captain saying to his men, "Follow me," and going out to die.
This is what Jesus says to his disciples. Follow me -- gallantly, bravely, heroically, sacrificially, to death itself if necessary. We are one army which cannot be demoralized by the death of our commander, because Jesus has passed through death and cannot die, death hath no more dominion over him, or over us. At our baptism we were signed with the cross and told to fight bravely under this banner as Jesus' faithful soldiers and servants until our life's end. Every one of us. It may be our lot to give our lives as martyrs; probably not. But we are called to be willing to die, to give our life itself to Jesus to use as he sees fit. This is the measure of our obedience.
And if we are willing to die, then surely we must be willing to hold our temper, to sacrifice our pride, our convenience, out of love for the brethren, to tithe of our income, to fast, to spend more time on our knees in prayer, to practice chastity, to discipline our appetites -all the little excises in daily dying in preparation for the challenge of martyrdom if it come to us. If our lives are already given up, and given over to Christ, we should not be afraid to love the unlovable, to serve humbly the unappreciative and ungrateful, to mortify our sensuality, our luxury, our leisure -- for the sake of so great and good a king. And we do this not just in obedience to his commands, but so that his own life may live in us and shine out through us, so that we may be totally conformed to his character -- in short, to be holy, to be a saint.
This is what is meant when we own him as Christ our King. Faithfully,