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The Alpha and the Omega

Christ the King, Author and End of Creation

Jean Ousset, RIP POSTED: 2/2/12
Translated by Father Paul McDonald  

Editor’s Note: The following is the first chapter of the crucial book by Jean Ousset, Pour Qu’Il Regne, (That He –Christ– May Reign), the ultimate handbook about the social reign of Christ the King and how to bring it about, what are the opposing forces, etc., etc. It was translated by Fr. Paul McDonald.

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

All things were made through Him

and nothing that was made

was made without Him. 1

But, if He is the principle or beginning of the universe, then the Word is also the End or goal. “This is nothing astonishing,” writes Dom Delatte 2. “The first efficient cause is also the last final cause; the harmony of things demands that the Alpha be the Omega, principium et finis, and that all things end and finally come to their first principle. How would He not be the Heir and end of the ages, by Whom the ages were begun?”

From the second verse of his Epistle to the Hebrews, Saint Paul vigorously teaches the same thing. “The terms have a rigorous precision; no one ever spoke like this: it is the same Son of God who made the ages and to whom the ages end and bring themselves, as to the Heir of their common work. They truly worked and do work for Him...” 3.

 “And that all things complete themselves in Him, that they find in Him their end and consumation, this is from the fact that the Father established Him as the Heir of all things and of everyone.  Filiation and Inheritance go together: the one is the consequence of the other. But this conception of inheritance does not mean only that souls and peoples belong to Him; it equally means that all of history is aimed at Him, that He is the end or goal of creation, but also of history, that the events make their way towards Him, that He is the heir of the long effort of the centuries, and that they all worked for Him. “Didn’t Socrates, Plato and Aristotle think for His sake? Didn’t the Church come, at her hour, to collect as her own good, as riches prepared by God for her, all the fruits of the ancient intelligence? Was it not for the Church that the law and the prophets spoke, that the Jewish religion developed, that the socratic schools discussed, that the school of Alexandria stuttered about its ‘Logos’, that the peoples were mingled, that the Jews were successively put in contact with the great monarchies, that the Roman empire acquired its powerful structure?

 “The Lord is the Heir of it all; it is to Him, the first in God’s thought, that all the works of God are ordered” 4. This is normal and this is wise. Because a perfectly ordered wish or willing of something by someone, wills the END. 5 Order consists then in the universe gravitating to the Word as to its term or end. And the Word is Jesus Christ our Saviour. God first wills His own glory. “God wills to create because He wills His glorification outside Himself. And, willing His external glorification, He wills, from the first and principally, what, in the actual history of humanity is the first and universal means of procuring that glory: the Redemptive Incarnation, work of Christ, done with the cooperation of His Mother. Thus Jesus and Mary are willed principally by God, as those upon whom depend all His other works... They have, over the entire Creation, the preeminence and true royalty... 6

 “One often presents the Creator in the work of the six days, working in view of man... that is all true. But the first man and first woman for whom He prepares the wonders is not Adam and Eve, it is Jesus Christ and Mary. “In the history of the world Adam and Even depend on Jesus and Mary, by whom, they themselves and their descendants recovered Grace. In fact, and in the actual order of things, Jesus and Mary are the first in the divine intention and are the true leaders of humanity.” 7


Jesus Christ is thus King. Bishop Pie writes: “There is not one prophet, not one evangelist, or apostle who does not assure us of His kingly state and qualities. ‘A child is born for us, and a son is given to us,’ notes Isaiah in his prophetic vision. ‘The government is placed on his shoulders.’ Daniel is yet more explicit: ‘I was looking into the visions of the night, and behold, on the clouds I saw one coming like a Son of man: he came up the Ancient of Days and was taken before Him. And He gave to him power and glory and kingship, and all peoples, nations and tongues served him. His dominion is an eternal dominion which will not pass away and his kingdom will never be destroyed.’ But all of Sacred Scripture could be called upon here, and all of Tradition. The unanimity is absolute. “‘Prince of the kings of the earth,’ so St. John names Him in the Apocalypse, and on His clothing, as on His person one could read: ‘King of kings, and Lord of lords.”


Jesus Christ is a king, then. King by right of eternal birth, since He is God. King by right of conquest, or redemption, of ransom. And it is understood that this kingship is universal. In effect, noting can be more universal, more absolute than this kingship, because Christ is Himself the principle and the end of all Creation.

Even so, so that there be no doubt, our Lord has made it precise: “Omnia potestas data est mihi in coelo et in terra.” “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”  In heaven and on earth... in other words: in the supernatural order as in the natural order. And so Bishop Pie writes: “Here we have the kernel of the question... Let us not forget nor allow people to forget what the great Apostle teaches: that Jesus Christ, after ascending into heaven, went there in order to fill all things:  ut impleret omnia. It is not a question of His presence as God, because this presence always was, but it concerns His presence as God and man at the same time. In fact, Jesus Christ is from now on, present to all things, on earth a well as in heaven; He fills the world with His name, with His law, with His light, with His grace. Noting is placed outside of His sphere of attraction or of repulsion; no thing and no person can remain totally indifferent to Him or estranged from Him; one is for Him or against Him; He is placed as the corner stone: a construction stone for these, a stumbling-stone for those, a touch-stone for all. The history of humanity, the history of the nations, the history of peace and of war, above all the history of the Church are the only the history of Jesus filling all things:  ut impleret omnia.8

“Neither in His Person, nor in carrying out His rights, can Jesus Christ be divided, dissolved, or splintered; in Him the distinction between nature and operations can never separation or opposition; the divine cannot be hostile to the human, nor the human to the divine. On the contrary, He is peace, coming together, reconciliation; He is, like the hyphen on the written page,  the factor that makes two things one... That’s why St. John tells us: ‘Every spirit that dissolves Jesus Christ is not of God, and belongs to him who is the antichrist of whom you have heard that he is coming and is already in the world...’. I hear certain noises get louder and louder. I hear certain sayings become more common day after day. Something is introduced that threatens the world, and it is introduced into the heart of societies. It must dissolve that heart. So I cry out: Be on your guard against the Antichrist. 9


Yes, all power in heaven and on earth was given to Christ. This truth is at the very beginning, and is a source, it is a principle of Catholicism itself.

We find it in the letters and sermons of St. Peter. We find it underlying all the teaching of Saint Paul. His formula, “non est potestas nisi a Deo” is basically, deeply, explaining the same idea in a more particular way.

Jesus Christ asked it of His Father and His Father gave it to Him. Since then, everything has been delivered to Him. He is the head and ruler of all, of all without exception. As Saint Paul wrote to the Collosians [10], “In Him, and redeemed by His Blood, we have received the remission of sins; He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creatures, since in Him, all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. And the Thrones and Dominations, the Principalities and the Powers, all were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things and all things subsist in Him, and it is He who is the head of the Church, His body. He is the beginning. He is the first-born from the dead, and so He holds the Primacy, because it has pleased the Father that all fulness reside in Him; it is through Him and in Him that He [the Father] has reconciled all things to Himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both that which is on earth and that which is in the heavens in Jesus, the Christ, our Lord.” Such is the teaching of the Apostle.

Msgr. Pie exclaims: “Make no exceptions there, where God has allowed no place for exceptions. The individual man, and the head of the family, the simple citizen and the public person, individuals and peoples, in a word, all the elements whatever of this earthly world owe submission and homage to the name of Jesus.”


Jesus Christ universal king... and thus king of kings, king of the nations, king of the peoples, king of institutions, king of societies, king of the political order as also king of the private order.

After what has been said, how could one conceive that He can be anything else?

If Jesus Christ is universal king, how could this kingship not also be a kingship over institutions and over the State? How could it not be a social kingship? How could it be called universal without that?

If the discussion becomes very heated here, it is because we arrive in the territory of him whom scripture calls “the prince of this world”. Note that we pursue the dragon, now with his back to the wall, right where he seeks and claims to take back what is his. Why be surprised if he re-doubles his violence, spewing out fire and smoke to blind us?

How many fall for it!

So, Bishop Pie already noted: “There are men of these times who do not accept the decisions of the Church and others who do so with difficulty... How can we give dogmatic value –so they say or so they think– to teachings which date from the ‘syllabus’ or to the preamble of the First Constitution of the Vatican Council [of a.d. 1870]?

“Calm yourselves –he continues– the doctrine of the ‘Syllabus’ and of the Vatican Council are as ancient as the doctrines of the Apostles, as the doctrine of the Scriptures... For example, to those who obstinately refused recognition to the social authority of Christianity, look at the response given by St. Gregory the Great. He is commenting on the chapter of the Gospels where the Adoration of the Magi is related. Explaining the mystery of the gifts offered to Jesus by the representatives of the gentiles, the holy doctor expresses himself in these terms:

“The Magi recognize in Jesus the triple quality of God, of man, and of king. They offer gold to the king, incense to the God, and myrrh to the man. Well –so the Pope continues– well, there are some heretics: sunt vero non-nulli haeretici, who believe that Jesus is God, andwho believe equally that Jesus is man, but who absolutely refuse to believe that His reign extends everywhere: sunt vero nonnulli haeretici, qui hunc Deum credunt, sed ubique regnare nequaquan credunt.

“You say, brother, that you have a peaceful conscience, accepting as you do the program of liberal Catholicism, since you intend to remain orthodox, counting on it, that you believe firmly in the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ. This is enough for an unassailable Christianity. Stop deceiving yourself! From the time of Saint Gregory there were ‘certain heretics’ who believed these two points with you; and their heresy consisted in not wanting to recognize at all that God-made-man has a kingship that extends everywhere, and to all...

“No, you are not irreproachable in your faith, and Pope Saint Gregory, more energetic than the ‘Syllabus’ inflicts on you the note of heresy, if you are among them who, making it their duty to offer incense to Jesus, do not wish at all to add the gold...” 12. That is, do not wish to to recognize and proclaim the social Kingship of Christ.

And more recently, Pius XI, with a marked insistence, has reminded the world of the same doctrine in two encyclicals, written on this subject: Ubi arcano Dei and Quas Primas.

And this is truly the constant teaching of the Church, and not the mere imposition of the detailed discipline of a particular historical situation, now passed away.12a

From the beginning of the Christian era, and later on too, the question of what to do and how to act could be joined with the question of what was true. Sometimes one could advance the cause and sometimes –for the moment– one could not.

But, notes Cardinal Pie, “But the right, the principle of the Christian state, of the Christian prince, of the Christian [civil] law, I do not of it ever being contested right down to these last times, or that any Catholic school of thought could even glimpse such a thing, as seeing in the destruction of the Christian State a progress and a perfection of human society.” 13

Of course today almost everyone calls this progress.


[1] Beginning of the Gospel of John

[2] Dom Paul Delatte, Les épitres de saint Paul, t. II, p. 288. He was a successor of Dom Gueranger as Abbot of Solesme, 1890 to 1921.

[3] Dom Paul Delatte, idem, p. 287

[4] Ibid, p. 287-8

[5] ... wills the end in the order of intention. The sick man wants to be healed. that is his intention. For this purpose, he takes the medicine.  Cf : “Finis primum in intentione, ultimum in executione”. “The end is first in the order of intention, and the last in the order of being brought about.”

[6] Saint Francis de Sales: God “chose to create men and angels to be th companions of His Son, to participate in His graces and in His glory, and to adore Him and praise Him eternally.” (Treatise on the Love of God, t. 2, chap IV)

[7] René Marie de la Boise, Etudes (a Jesuit periodical) t. LXXIX, 301

[8] Cardinal Pie,  Oeuvres, t. VII, pp. 110 and 111.

[9] T. IV, p. 588 (cit John 4:3)

[10] Col. 1:12-20... The Epistle for the Feast of Christ the King.

[11] An excellent occasion for showing how this passage perfectly illustrates the teaching of Pius XII in Humani Generis: “It must also not be thought that what is proposed in the Encyclicals does not of itself demand assent just because the Popes are not exercising their supreme teaching authority. To this teaching of the ordinary magisterium also applies the word: ‘Who hears you, hears me.’ and most of the time, what is written in encyclicals already belongs otherwise to Catholic doctrine.” [This applies to teaching on faith and morals in continuity with –to use Pope John Paul II’s expression– “Tradition and the constant magisterium of the Church”. Tr.]

[12] Op. cit. T. VIII, p. 62 and 63

[12a] So it is not a merely “prudential” teaching as Cardinal Ratzinger has suggested.

[13] Op. cit. T. V, p. 179-180.

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