Making an effort with kindness


Reading the news one can notice that some journalists confuse the concept of freedom with the concept of lawlessness. Has freedom no limits and does it mean that man can do anything? I want to remind us of the Christian virtue in its Latin form longanimitas, which means 'good-natured tolerance, patience'. I remember the lectures of Bishop Stefan Barela given to the seminarians in the Major Seminary in Czestochowa. He said that longanimity meant certain sensitivity of people who try to make an effort to meet the needs, to help or please people. An expression of this virtue is for example the attitude of a wife who makes special dinner, decorates the house or the table for her husband's birthday. In our society we see many expressions of this virtue. Another meaning is the ability to foresee the effects of our deeds.
I remember little Luke who was battered by his peers and when some irritated member of his family asked him why he did not fight the boy answered: 'I would be hurt if I did so'. This is the gentleness of the child's soul and so should be the souls of adults.
However, we see a strange situation that journalists whose professions are connected with the beautiful and extremely important mission, connected with man's formation through information, journalists who talk to the Holy Father, to bishops, often show lack of longanimity and because of their activities people do not experience kindness, but on the contrary... it looks as if they planned some evil, as if they wanted to enjoy themselves at people's expense, to jibe at people, to misinform them. We have seen this attitude towards the PiS government (the Law and Justice Party) for a long time. Recently, some journalist has used provocation; he used the person of Fr Tadeusz Rydzyk, Director of Radio Maryja, and accused him of asking one of the ministers to send him the ministerial car. How can such a scenario, streaked with malice and deceit, serve the truth; how will it form the receiver of such journalist's news? Is it wrong that someone wants to help? How often do we deal with situations of urgent help? Must we check the documents in order to see what we are allowed to do and what we are not in order to help someone in urgent need? If the rescuers who were running to the site of the roof collapse in Katowice had had to check the documents what would the effects have been like? And people were killed there. Too many formalities and fear of punishment for failing to comply with formalities will make the world non-human. There is a great world of corruption - money disappears, we can hear about theft and misappropriation. Why do journalists not investigate such matters, why do they not investigate the truth if they claim to be the defenders of the truth? So, we witnessed journalist's malice towards the Minister, aiming at ridiculing him and his party. Fortunately, our society is aware of what is going on; our society is wise, we can see the malice, deceit and can think on our own. On the other hand, one should be very sagacious concerning various proposals and suggestions, which the media give. One should have a critical look at the news. One should not act with haste because sometimes the news is only prepared to ridicule someone, which we have just seen. In the above-mentioned event there was no corruption or misappropriation but there was willingness to help. However, when such kind reactions are not sagacious they can be used against both those in need and against those who want to help.
And another problem - profanation of the Image of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Again someone decided to play on the religious feelings of Catholics. The Jasna Gora Icon is a sacred thing for all Polish Catholics. During our visit to the United States and Canada we did not see a church or a house without a copy of the Icon. Poles in their homeland and abroad worship and love the Mother of God in the Picture of Jasna Gora. She is present in their lives, they pray to her and present her their petitions. We can see millions of pilgrims going to the Jasna Gora Shrine every year. If someone changes the Picture for commercial reasons, for advertisement in order to ridicule great and important things we should protest this. Let us not buy and read the vile press, offending our faith, the Church, priests and everything that is important and sacred to us. Referring to the above mentioned virtue of longanimity it seems that we are dealing with its opposite: making efforts to tease someone, to hurl abuse at someone, to offend someone.
This is a serious abuse of the sacred Image of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Let us notice how the Muslims protested publication of the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. We saw noise, boycott and cry all over the world. We can react in our own way and say 'no' to all that offends us and all that has false intentions. Blasphemy is liable to criminal responsibility; the law forbids people to show disrespect for other people's religious feelings.

"Niedziela" 8/2006

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