What shall we do with our independence...


The older generation will certainly remember the poem by Wladyslaw Belza, entitled 'Catechism of a Polish child', which begins with the following words, 'Who are you? - A little Polish boy'. It is a poem that asks the question about the identity of the inhabitant of this land; about who he is and to which group he belongs. It is a common question, certain organisational question, but at the same time it has a much deeper meaning. It has a special sense in contemporary Europe, which is said to be in the process of unification, strictly speaking, Europe has already been united. I ask myself this question today when we celebrate the Independence Day, i.e. the sovereignty of the country in its external and internal affairs, independence, freedom... That is what the definition says.
It has happened that many people who follow slogans related to the movements that originated in the 1960s have assumed the governance of Europe. Then this generation was called 'flower children'. Now they seem to be ruling people's hearts and minds in Europe and we have found ourselves in a very strange situation. Europe embraces 80% Christians, i.e. people who believe in Christ, who belong to Christian culture, a high percentage of Catholics - today they are slowly leaving their Christian identity - in the name of comfort, growing rich easily or holding posts. We have seen this process in Poland, too. It even embraces Catholic elites that yielded the temptation of materialism. And although the response of Polish people to the Holy Father's pilgrimages to Poland is magnificent and we applause all his talks very loudly, it seems that we miss the content of his talks or we put it aside, yielding to the moral chaos, which the present time brings. Certainly, communism has wreaked great havoc in our consciousness, manipulating and using intellectual blackmail on people in order to enslave them and to destroy the Christian tissue in people's thinking and activities. It is very sad and sometimes even terrifying that so many otherwise open-minded people did not resist the temptation to possess, to possess things at all costs. Therefore, we do worry about Poland; we worry about the nearest time because we do not know what will the majority of society be like. We look at media today; we look at everything that is happening in the life of our elite - the people who are to represent us. And this makes us sad, makes us reflect on what has happened with Poland, what has happened to so many generous people, who seem to have forgotten certain values, which are so important to every Pole, for example the matter of honour, responsibility before God and history, people who have sometimes forgotten about common human honesty, solidity of their jobs, etc. Unfortunately, one should say that we have failed in many aspects and our Christian conscience failed the exam. The Polish industry has been destroyed, the Polish banks have been sold, the media have been in foreign hands - these facts speak for themselves. And it seems that this process is deepening. We are learning how ethically and morally weak our nation is, how much it has been corrupted - how little love for our homeland we have. And what does our patriotism in the light of Belza's poem look like? What do our freedom and independence, which we are enjoying so much, look like? Do we defend - do we want to defend at all - the values, which have defined our identity so far, for which so many Polish generations died? Are their sufferings to remain senseless because of our feeling of comfort, our sluggishness or even mindlessness? We all know well - even if one is not a Christian - what is most important to our nation, what can strengthen the state and people. Today everything is, my dearest, beginning to turn upside down. And paradoxically, in the name of freedom new 'values' are forced upon us, but why we cannot think critically, we have not got a minimum of imagination to see what all this is aiming at...
It is the Holy Father John Paul II who for the last 26 years has been giving us a beautiful and clear example of a Polish contemporary patriot, serving his country with his heart and mind, and making its good name famous till the ends of the earth. I think that today - in the period of open borders and great migrations of people - he is the best example for us how to work for the country so that the word 'Polish' arouses kindness and wins respect in the world, and in our country it gives the feeling of what is valuable, what is of the best quality, what is revived with mind and heart. John Paul II also tells us that we should care for Poland. The way we do care for the person we love should be the way we care for our mother - our homeland, the country we owe so much to.

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl