“Christ Conquers!” Says Bishop Athanasius Schneider
Bishop Athanasius Schneider reminds us that Christ has already conquered the world and its annihilative forces.
Once in a great while, you come across a book that feeds your soul like manna falling from Heaven. It gives you the inner strength you need to carry on, and nourishes your famished spirit with the wellspring of Truth. Such a book is Christus Vincit, a book-length interview featuring the ineffably profound insights of Bishop Athanasius Schneider.
Perhaps no one could state it better than Cardinal Raymond Burke when he endorsed the book, saying: “No other bishop in recent memory has so tirelessly given himself in the service of the of the truths of the Catholic Faith... This book will be of great help to the faithful, and to all people of goodwill, in navigating the grave confusion, division, and error prevalent in our times. It reveals the heart of a true shepherd of souls, after the Heart of Christ, the Good Shepherd.”
At the opening of the book, Bishop Schneider describes the extraordinary Catholic experiences of his childhood, including growing up in the midst of the persecuted Church in the Soviet Union and witnessing his devout parents hide Blessed Fr. Oleksiy Zarytskyj, a Ukrainian priest in exile. In the following chapters, he offers pastoral advice in dealing with the diabolical enemies the Catholic Church is now confronting, which he claims are mainly embodied in relativism, secularism, modernism and indifferentism. Beautifully surveying the scene of the present sufferings of Mother Church, he helps the reader to comprehend them more acutely, and approach them with a deep devotion to Our Lord.
He writes, “As Christ's Mystical Body and His Bride, the Church must pass through the mysteries of her Divine Spouse. The current crisis is without any doubt the deepest suffering for the Church, of her most intense participation in the Sacred Passion of Christ. The greatest Passion of the Church is not persecution by her enemies from the outside, but persecution by her enemies from within: ruthless people without faith who have managed to reach high and influential ecclesiastical offices.”
As an authentic pastor of souls, Bishop Schneider shows us how we can offer up our sufferings to help bring forth the victory of the Truth of Christ, which can never be demolished, despite the ruthlessness of the Prince of Darkness.
“However, even in the midst of so many clerical Judases inside the Church today, we have to maintain always a supernatural vision of the victory of Christ, who will triumph through the suffering of His Bride, who will triumph through the suffering of the pure and little ones in all ranks of the members of the Church: children, youth, families, religious, priests, bishops and cardinals. When they remain faithful to Christ, when they keep unblemished the Catholic faith, when they live in chastity and humility, they are the pure and little ones in the Church.”
As children of God and Mother Church, we can then go forward with confidence, enlightened by eternal wisdom and inspired by charity. As Bishop Schneider reminds us, Christ has already conquered the world and its annihilative forces.
“St. Alexander of Alexandria, the immediate predecessor of St. Athanasius, left us the following precious statement on the invincibility of the Church: 'The only one catholic and apostolic Church will remain always indestructible, even if the entire world wages war against her. Because the Lord strengthened her, saying: ‘Take heart! I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33). On the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square are inscribed the words, Christus vincit, and the tip of that obelisk retains a relic of the true Cross. The Roman Church, the Apostolic See of St. Peter, is crowned, so to speak, with these luminous words Christus vincit, and the power of the Holy Cross of Christ. Even during the present spiritual crisis and spiritual obfuscation one might have the impression that the enemies of Christ and His Cross have to a certain extent occupied the Holy See, Christ will defeat them. Christus vincit!”
In the midst of the current crisis in the Church, God continues to feed His faithful children, illuminating us with supernatural light and touching us with divine grace. As the Sacred Scriptures promise, He will not even abandon us or leave us orphans as we journey through this world, trekking through the valleys of tears, and climbing up the mountains of confusion. As dismal as the landscape of Mother Church looks at this time, we cannot lose sight of the ubiquitous reality that, Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat — Christ Conquers, Christ Reigns, Christ Commands. The fight is on, and we should be honored to be chosen to do battle for the Almighty One, who will always be victorious, world without end.
- bishop athanasius schneider