On the Catholic Priesthood

Wednesday June 19, 2019

Christianize Marxist Doctrine

 In times past the priests who served in the synagogue made the mistake of looking forward to a Messiahship entirely of this world, as though the Messias intended to found an earthly kingdom with Israel as the ruling power. At the present time a similar danger seems to exist, a danger which has been noticed by many bishops in different parts of the world. Men and women are eagerly awaiting another earthly “messianic kingdom” in which the workers are to be completely free. This is a very different situation from that which existed some years ago when little notice was taken of the apostolate amongst the working class. Although this apostolate is now under way it is in danger of being inspired by a purely naturalist spirit, a mistake already made by Lamennais, who imperceptibly lost sight of the true mission of the Church – the guiding of men towards eternal life- and began to preach more and more in the vein that the true goal of the Church was the temporal happiness of mankind freed from the yoke of oppression. (…)

Recently many bishops have expressed their fear of a similar danger arising amongst those who are anxious to “christianize” Marxist doctrine in their desire to remedy present-day evils. In so doing they are laying too much store by the temporal happiness of the people and neglecting their eternal welfare, which is their true final end and ought to be their dominant intention, something they earnestly desire, not merely the object of an ineffective wish. Above all must it be true of a priest that he constantly renews this primary intent of striving for the final end, if he wants his activity to be supernatural and fruitful. On the efficacy of that intention will depend all his other intents, decisions, and actions. That is why Christ said: “Make it your first care to find the kingdom of God, and his approval, and all these things shall be yours without the asking”; that is to say, food, clothing, and a certain amount of temporal well-being for mankind but in due proportion to their final end. But he never promised to relieve man of the daily carrying of his cross. The Catholic priest must remember this if he desires to attain to a genuine union with Christ our high priest and victim, and to make his apostolate supernatural and fruitful.

Source: The priest in union with Christ, Rev. R. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. 1954