Cross – the focus of Lent
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
Ash Wednesday has led us into Lent AD 2010. We have begun Lent with a deep reflection on the sign of the cross, which is the centre of Lent and will accompany us in our Lenten reflection. Since ‘Niedziela’ has taken the cross as the main theme of Lent this year. The whole of Christian faith focuses on Jesus’ cross. That’s why we should value this sign very much; we should love the cross, think about it and do our best to understand its deep message. Lent evokes strongly the ideas of salvation that are connected with the cross, with suffering Christ, the Saviour of the world. We must realise that Christ really lived, was among people and fulfilled his mission, sent by the Father as the Person of the Word, Someone who told people about God, about his inner life. This awareness makes us tremble. It is something extraordinary in the history of the world. So many of us have been able to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land or will be able to go there, where Christ’s presence is experienced in concrete places of his stay – in the mountains, on the hills, in the desert, in the places sanctified by the presence of Christian churches. These places strengthen our faith, evoke our best feelings and intentions, and create the possibility to understand man’s destiny that God gives.
Therefore, we are going to experience Lent in the spirit of Jesus’ cross. We will attend retreats, pray, do penance and the Way of the Cross, sing Lenten songs. Priests do a lot; they make so much effort to make people come to retreats, to have the confessionals full, to have the confessions good and then to make people receive the Holy Communion at Easter. These are important elements of our pastoral ministry that is to reach the essence of man as individual and also to the essence of the family, the essence of social and professional life, the essence of the upbringing of young people. The word of God was not given to stay in some vacuum but to be rooted in people’s memory, heart and mind. We are to live by this word and go with it everywhere. It must grow in our hearts and spread effectively. Even if someone is far from God’s truth and does not go to church when he meets a Christian he should experience longing for God. The Catholic press also evokes longing for God every day. The press includes our ‘Niedziela’, which experiences what the Church experiences in her deepest liturgical expression. Reading the weekly we can reflect on many matters that are important to the world and particular people. We will find out what the Holy Father Benedict XVI speaks about. We will learn about the teaching of the bishops. We will get to know the missionary activities and the charities of the Church. I thank God that ‘Niedziela’ has found its place in our society, that in the period of crisis of readership we do not experience a considerable decrease in circulation, that we have numerous faithful friends in parish priests, their assistants and laymen. Dear Readers, let us care for the promotion of our valuable weekly in our environments, among neighbours, in our families. I also invite you to be apostles of the word that can be expressed in the bulletins ‘Mater Verbi’ in which we present the teaching of the Church about the social communications, especially the Catholic press. We are preparing the third edition of this series that many environments appreciate very much. One of the works of ‘Niedziela’ is small albums concerning important issues. Recently, we have published an album about Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe and soon, fulfilling the request of the Franciscan Daughters of Mary, we will publish a booklet about St Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski, the Archbishop of Warsaw, who was canonised not a long time ago. I also want to remind you that on 6 June 2010 we will have the beatification of Fr Jerzy Popieluszko. We have a booklet about this new martyr. Faithful to the Church, united with our priests and numerous Catholic friends we want to grow in our faith. As a Catholic paper with a long tradition, we are trying to preserve our identity, not imitating the style and contents of other Catholic papers. Our readers appreciate that and show us their faithfulness. We thank you and count on your solidarity with ‘Niedziela’, which next year is going to celebrate its 30th anniversary of new existence. In the meantime we invite all of you to participate in the contest ‘My cross’, which ‘Niedziela’ is organising now.