The cross – symbol of Love
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
Sometimes our eyes can see the pictures of the saints of the Church holding crosses in their hands and looking at the crucified Jesus. They were called worshippers of Jesus the Suffering; they contemplated the King of the universe; they loved the cross. These pictures played a very important role. They showed that the cross of Jesus was a sign of the highest love, a reminder that Jesus gave his life for each of us for he loved us very much. The teaching of the cross is based on the commandment of love. To love your neighbour means to forgive him not only seven times but seventy-seven times, i.e. whenever he asks for forgiveness. Man that is completely open to God and others is the essence of the Christian religion. And there are the recent events: in Strasburg the tribunal issued a verdict against the Italian state because there were crosses in Italian schools and one family whose children attended some Italian school did not want that – the cross makes them suffer, their children cannot look at them. The seven judges of the Tribunal in Strasburg voted against the cross and the Italian state was fined and naturally ordered to remove the crosses. This is some big misunderstanding. In Christian Europe we are in such a strange situation now!... I got to know the reasons for the sentence and they are very weak, practically speaking, without any foundation. Where are we?! What tribunals are we to deal with? Politicians are astonished and so are the Church and Christians. Since we do remember the German Hitlerism and the Bolshevik communism – the systems that hated the cross. And it seems very dangerous that such Europe, wanting to be a secular continent, wanting to remove the cross, wanting to reject the values that were the most important ones to it, the values that are the basis of our existence, is a terrible vision that becomes a fact thanks to such spectacular verdicts. Then what values are we going to build on?...
We are shocked. But we cannot be satisfied with our irritation and astonishment. Europe must strongly fight for its normality. If the opinion of the clergy is ignored lay Christians must get involved. We must remind ourselves of our roots and culture that will be meaningless and dead without the cross. Europe will stop being Europe. Since the cross is the cornerstone of the inner life of the Old Continent. If we reject the cross we will destroy the long heritage of Europe and will not only reject ourselves but also this part of the world will face self-degradation. That’s why the very important thing is that we all reflect on the European culture, on the great values that are in it, the values that are evangelical and which the cross of Jesus constantly reminds us of. Because it is God himself, the King of the Universe died so that we could live good and wise lives and reach eternal happiness!
Almighty, everlasting God,
Who in Thy beloved Son,
King of the whole world,
hast willed to restore all things anew,
grant in Thy mercy that all the families of nations,
rent asunder by the wound of sin,
may be subjected to His most gentle rule,
Who with Thee liveth and reigneth
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
God, world without end.
(From the Litany of Christ the King)