JMC : The Christian Mind / by Dom Anscar Vonier, O.S.B.


On the Sunday after the Epiphany the Church has the following Introit for Mass:

"Upon a lofty throne I saw a Man sitting, Whom a multitude of Angels adore singing together: Behold Him the name of Whose empire is "For ever more".

This chant is not taken from any book of the Scriptures, but is a composition of unknown origin. No words could be a more fit finale to this book, whose aim is solely to further the enthronisation of the God-man in the minds of men, as He is enthroned in the intellect of the Angels, and also to foster confidence in the final victory of the ideals of the Christian Mind.

These pages have been written during the great War. One of the chief sorrows of the hour is the realisation that even with men who hold the Catholic faith with true loyalty their vaster outlook on things is practically uninfluenced by a directly Christian philosophy of things. Their minds are carried away by merely secular politics, and even then when they practise their religion, as the phrase goes, they are quite devoid of that humility and reserve of judgment which a living faith in the role of Christ as the Judge of the living and the dead ought to produce in our minds.

Let them open the book of St. John's Revelation, and they will find there terrifying descriptions of world cataclysms. It matters little what are the special events there prophesied. The gloomiest pen-sketches of St. John are not gloomier than the events of our own days. But what is for our instruction above all things is this, that the seven last plagues, with all the other events described in the Vision, are contained in the Book whose seals the Lamb alone can break.

Whichever way we read the Apocalypse, one thing is in no need of special interpretation: it stands out as clear as the noontide sun. The history of the world is a judgment done by the Son of God. Through all the upheavals of heaven and earth, one scheme is carried through with absolute inerrancy, the Kingdom of Christ.

"And the seventh Angel sounded the trumpet: and there were great voices in heaven, saying: The Kingdom of this word is become our Lord's and his Christ's, and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Apoc. xi. 15).

The power of the Son of God, ruling nations and overruling the politics and diplomacies even of upright men, and leading them on to higher purposes, is surely a most direct and most practical derivation of the Incarnation . Yet few even amongst the devout give that power the place in their minds which belongs to it.

They are devout in Christ, but not powerful in Christ. Yet if the Son of God is anything. He is the first and greatest World Power.

In this great and sanguinary debate of men, in which there is no man to lead his fellows to peace, it is the privilege -- and an unspeakably great privilege it is -- of the Christian Mind, to see "a Man sitting upon a lofty throne, whom a multitude of Angels adore", and the name of that Man is Jesus.

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