Rorate Caeli

God is Love, in past papal documents. III - Pius XI

After having read about the mystery of Divine Love in the person of Our Lord (I - Saint Pius X) and active through His Only Church (II-Leo XIII) in this special series of texts on Divine Love and Christian Charity as seen by the Popes of the past, it would be negligent not to mention the duty of every Christian towards the needy, a sign of justice but, above all, a sign of love. How many problems in the world are not caused by the excess of self-indulgence of all kinds?

In his brilliant Encyclical against atheistic Communism, Divini Redemptoris, Pius XI reminded Christians that the advance of anti-Christian ideologies is also caused by our own dereliction of the duty of Charity, a love that must be lived as the incarnate King of the Universe Himself lived, loving His friends even unto death; Divine Love acting, thus, through the members of Christ's Mystical Body.

How many of us shall be cast among the damned for failing to heed the Divine call of charity?

...When on the one hand We see thousands of the needy, victims of real misery for various reasons beyond their control, and on the other so many round about them who spend huge sums of money on useless things and frivolous amusement, We cannot fail to remark with sorrow not only that justice is poorly observed, but that the precept of charity also is not sufficiently appreciated, is not a vital thing in daily life.

We desire therefore, Venerable Brethren, that this divine precept, this precious mark of identification left by Christ to His true disciples, be ever more fully explained by pen and word of mouth; this precept which teaches us to see in those who suffer Christ Himself, and would have us love our brothers as Our Divine Savior has loved us, that is, even at the sacrifice of ourselves, and, if need be, of our very life.

Let all then frequently meditate on those words of the final sentence, so consoling yet so terrifying, which the Supreme Judge will pronounce on the day of the Last Judgment: "Come, ye blessed of my Father . . . for I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink . . . Amen, I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren you did it to me." And the reverse: "Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire . . . for I was hungry and you gave me not to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me not to drink . . . Amen, I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least. neither did you do it to me."

To be sure of eternal life, therefore, and to be able to help the poor effectively, it is imperative to return to a more moderate way of life, to renounce the joys, often sinful, which the world today holds out in such abundance; to forget self for love of the neighbor. There is a divine regenerating force in this "new precept" (as Christ called it) of Christian charity. Its faithful observance will pour into the heart an inner peace which the world knows not, and will finally cure the ills which oppress humanity.


  1. This is a beautiful series; thinking of it was truly inspired. I'm not sure it will get the traffic that some of the jazzier political pieces do, but it's good, nourishing bread and I'm sure God will smile on you.


  2. Thank you very much, Jeff. I am glad you are enjoying it.


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