Patriotism, family, immigration

Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIƚ

On 11 November 1918, Poland regained its independence after 123 years. Although our homeland was physically destroyed and seized to exist on Europe's maps, the political decisions did not manage to destroy the nation, its history and culture. Poland remained in families, schools and people's hearts. One should emphasize that the biggest development of literature and art fell on the years of partitions. The struggle for the Homeland was waged in the souls and minds of the enlightened people. Therefore, Pope John Paul II could say in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in 1980 that he was a son of the nation, which was reborn through family and culture.
Poland, who was revived in 1918, had its hard experiences in later years. In 1920, we drove back the Bolsheviks, which threatened Poland and the entire Europe. Thanks to God's help Poland became truly 'antemurale christianitatis'. In the 1920s there was an extraordinary growth of the country, Poland's economy and culture were immediately restored. Unfortunately, World War II broke out and we experienced a period of Nazi occupation. We were again crushed and impoverished. Five years of horrible torment, camps, human tragedy and underground movement - this was the Gehenna of that generation. Although the war ended the situation did not improve. There were times of communist hardship, which enslaved the country and poisoned souls. How many people decided to collaborate with the communists, destroying national values, to save themselves and their families!
The word 'internationalism' began to supplant the word 'patriotism' (naturally, internationalism in the communist, Bolshevik version). The free election of 1989 made us breathe differently. Today we must revive the extremely important and valuable term of patriotism, which was as if shadowed by the difficult past and present. Of course, we are speaking about true patriotism, not about nationalism. Love for homeland, brothers and sisters, love for all that is connected with our upbringing, life; everything that has formed our personality - cannot contain anything evil but will always be something beautiful, good and natural, and will tell about man's sensitivity. And it seems that the one who does not respect his country and its values, the one who does not love his countrymen cannot be in power. Man cannot be indifferent towards the fate of his brothers and sisters.
Today, when Poland is within the economic structures of Europe and must take into account things that concern its members, when we witness mass immigration for economic reasons, one should pay attention and reflect on this concept. Are our decisions well thought out and will we regret them in future? Who will secure living standards of our retired parents? Do we not owe our homeland anything for our education? Is the saying, which we hear more and more often, that 'where bread is, the homeland is' really true? After all, homeland is always homeland, has its place, value and significance. It is like fresh air that gives health and saves life many a time.
Therefore, let us look forward and learn national culture and history as well as teach them to others because they testify to the identity of the nation. I mean right upbringing, including upbringing at home, and education of children and young people as well as imparting moral values to them. We cannot permit cosmopolitism to obscure real patriotism. These values must be dear and indispensable to every person. And you should see you country in every corner of the world and you should see your Polish brothers dispersed all over the world because they constitute our country as well.
Today, on our Day of Independence, our national holiday, we look at the example of a true Pole, our beloved Holy Father John Paul II who understood love for the Homeland in a right way. And although he was a universal Shepherd all humanity respected his attitude towards his homeland and learnt patriotism from him...
We thank God and the Holy Virgin Queen of Poland for the protection of our nation and we join the whole Church in Poland to pray for our Homeland.

"Niedziela" 46/2006

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • Translation: Aneta Amrozik • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl