First – the Decalogue
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
Misereor super turbam – I feel sorry for all these people. This was the motto of the bishop’s ministry of Teodor Kubina of Czestochowa, who was also the founder of ‘Niedziela.’ The motto refers to the words of Christ spoken before the miraculous multiplication of bread. Bishop Kubina, taking over his new diocese, realised that he came to poor people who were often hungry and waited for compassion. What is the significance of these words today? It seems that the number of the poor does not decrease, e.g. the unemployed or those who earn very poorly, those living in the country who cannot afford heating their houses and who even use the grains (!), which are very cheap, and which they cannot sell, to heat their houses. But the media give us other stories, too: people crying in front of the cameras to justify their wrong actions, who say that they feel sorry, who wipe the drops of sweat off speaking about their experiences, their dramatic surprises because they have committed crimes and today they are brought to justice. And various reflections are born. But actually one could say ‘I feel sorry for all these people’ in any of these cases. Since we feel really sorry for those who must defend themselves, who must take responsibility for their difficult decisions, because they have lost their jobs and authority as well as good name. We also look at the political, social, financial aspects of these cases...
However, we would like to remind you of one thing. Asking many questions about the law one should also ask about God’s law. I remember talking to some bishop who mentioned that when he had been informed about his appointment he feared very much but he knew one thing: he would follow God’s commandments in his pastoral ministry. We all must know that whatever we do in our lives we should obey God’s law, God’s commandments. If people obey God’s commandments they will be no misfortunate, violence and other crimes. There would be no corruption, stretching the law in one’s favour, if people realise that they should be honest and follow the Decalogue. Our lives would look different if we knelt to pray in the evening and thought whether our conscience was not wrongly formed, distorted or whether particular elements of our lives were not marginalized, what God could praise us for and what we should change, etc. The key issue is conscience, morality. Regardless of our posts and which part of our globe we live in we must remember that there are certain requirements and borders that cannot be exceeded. Conscience reminds everyone of them – everyone: those who are very intellectual and those uneducated ones. Of course, the more educated you are you the deeper you should be aware of these moral truths. You are obliged to that both by your inner need to seek transcendence and the effects of wide scientific research that cannot explain some phenomena from the human perspective. Therefore, every Catholic should often read the catechism as well as Catholic newspapers or books to know why he/she is Christ’s child, which obliges him/her to certain behaviour. Sometimes being influenced by some secular idea people would like to remove the model of man that faces the Decalogue, God’s commandments. These people observe the law, are honest and friendly towards others. And it is good that they do so. But we, Catholics, cannot remove from our consciousness and experiences the fact that we are Christians, i.e. disciples of Christ and members of his Church. Christian religion should be reflected in our moral life as well as in our political life. And if a Catholic goes to church and belongs to some party that acknowledges Christian values he or she is in a comfortable situation and should fulfil all his/her duties in the Catholic spirit. One cannot be a Catholic only in his own home and stops being a Catholic in public like it was in the case of some minister who said that when she entered the office of the ministry she forgot that she was religious. That is not acceptable! Religion accompanies people everywhere they go since it is in their hearts, conscience and awareness. One cannot throw religious experiences and conscience out of the inner being of man. They lie in man and oblige him. Therefore, when we watch the above-mentioned TV pictures that make us feel sorry for the people we see we pity all those who experience troubles. We feel sorry for those who let others lured them but, as we can see, this brought misfortune to them. Let us remember then that God’s commandments inscribed in our conscience oblige all people and above all, they oblige believers who belong to the Church of Christ and for whom Jesus is the Lord, Teacher and Saviour.