When I was a teenager, I was impressed by the idea—who knows where it came from—that each one of us is the ruler of a small kingdom composed of ourselves, our possessions, our time, our relationships with others, our use of our talents.
I think of that because [if yesterday had not been a Sunday we would have celebrated] the commemoration of Saint Stephen of Hungary, the king who introduced our holy Catholic faith to that country about the year 1000. In Budapest on one of our trips, I was able to visit two monuments to him and reflected upon the immense good that he accomplished for his people in introducing them to Our Lord Jesus Christ. There are other cases of good and virtuous rulers who did a great deal of spiritual as well as political, military, and economic good for their people. King Saint Edward the Confessor of England comes to mind, along with Saint Louis of France, Saint Margaret of Scotland, and most recently, the last emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Karl. He did all he could to prevent World War I, even to making a secret visit to the Kaiser of Germany to beg him not to proceed with his plans for war. The Emperor Karl has now been beatified by the Church and may one day be a canonized saint.
It has also been said that the former King Baudouin of Belgium might one day be honored by the Church in a similar way. He and his wife, Queen Fabiola, who is still alive, led lives of exemplary virtue and devotion to their people. When the Belgian parliament had passed a law legalizing abortion in Belgium, and it was to come before him for his signature, he could not constitutionally prevent its becoming law. But he refused to sign the bill, and left the country for a few days to express his extreme opposition to the legalization of murder. So now, the women of Belgium can kill the babies in their wombs, but the blood will not be on the hands of King Baudouin.
Back to the notion of our own rule over the small kingdom of ourselves: God has given each of us many perfections and powers. And by his revelation, he has shown us how he wants us to live and use what we have for the good of self and of neighbor. You might not be the king or queen of any country, but you ARE the ruler of yourself, and God expects that you will rule that little nation of one, wisely and virtuously. Only God knows how much good will be done for the entire world by YOUR and MY doing what we should. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you. Father Victor Brown.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.