With a programme – like John Paul II
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
We are after the beatification of John Paul II, which the universal Church with Benedict XVI as her head and the Church in Poland as well as each of us, having a personal approach to this event, awaited. Since it is a big affair when someone is called blessed or saint, when someone is chosen as a patron. John Paul II is not only ‘Pope from a distant country’, having something to tell the world, but also a person in the glory of the altars; someone we can pray to and ask Bog through his intercession. He is our saint. We can choose him as a patron of our life, our matters, and ask God to grant us graces through his intercession.
Each man who awaited this beatification has some programme connected with it. Of course, each has his/her own patron and through his/her intercession can pray to Lord God. But John Paul II is a special patron. He lived in our times and knew all our circumstances as well as weaknesses of human nature. Like anyone else he understands our hearts, our needs. People have many problems concerning spiritual life and moral life: some want to keep wonderful friendship, some would like to have stable and strong families, some think of having children – John Paul II can become a beautiful and very ‘effective’ patron for all of them. Taking into consideration the pastoral care for marriage and family, which Fr Karol Wojtyla showed from the beginning of his priesthood, we trust that Blessed John Paul II will be also helpful now. Besides, the new Blessed can become, for example a model of a good teacher and educator, a professor… And what a wonderful example for priests he is! When he worked as an assistant in the parish he showed great care for the parish ministry. He was an excellent confessor, too. He knew how to listen to people and how to give them good advice – certainly every priest can have him as a great patron. Moreover, bishops can see in the Krakow bishop an example to follow and their great intercessor in Heaven.
John Paul II is also a whole area of such virtues as patriotism, civil behaviour, noble deeds and attitudes, respect for others, and therefore, an example for each man, believers and non-believers, for people of various races and cultures. He can serve our work, including the work of politicians and self-government officials – in all places where common good is concerned.
Blessed John Paul II is then a programme of individual and social work which can be undertaken. Commencing with children, students through adults of various professions all people can find similar elements which John Paul II shared and which can serve to follow him.
In my opinion one should think of a bigger general programme with John Paul II as its patron. Certainly, the Polish Church would need a post-beatification programme which would show ways we can follow in the national and parish formations, in the formations of Catholic associations and organisations, etc. The Holy Father John Paul II made people sensitive to the need of voluntary work – those who voluntarily, without any wages, want to serve certain ideas, dedicating their free time and efforts. Today this need is not smaller at all and does not only embrace activities in the Church…
Then we are facing programmes that we can work out and realise – with the guidelines and help of Blessed John Paul II. Since we cannot remain passive towards this beatification. It is too important and meaningful to be forgotten. It obliges us all, Poles, to a big moral renewal of the nation. It cannot focus only on emotions.