The Cross teaches us love and sacrifice
Fr. Ireneusz Skubiś
During the Appeal Jasna Gora on 15 November 2011 I spoke about the defense of the Cross in the Polish Seym. I mentioned that about 40 thousands signatures in this issue had been sent to the 'Sunday' editorial office. It turns out that the number of signatures is increasing even like an avalanche and last week we announced that there were 100 thousand of them, and today (24 November) is already about 150 thousand of letters in the defense of the Cross in the Seym. So, it should not be surprising why our editorial office has decided to claim the Cross. The Cross, also the one in the Seym, is a readable sign of our faith and it bears a great essence of Christianity in itself. The redemption of the world has occurred through the Cross. On Good Friday a priest presents the Cross and thanks God for such a great love towards the man. Thanks to the Cross of Lord Jesus we see that the man is not alone and he is surrounded by God's love and mercifulness. The Cross is the deepest expression of Christianity.
This sign should also be present in the Seym where the matters of the nation are discussed, where parliamentarians pass a bill, where there are verbal quarrels (fr. 'parle', 'parler' - I am speaking, speak). So, we do not have to be surprised that different opinions are proclaimed from the Seym tribune. But it does not mean that we can reject the Cross so rooted in Poland, our history and culture, our upbringing and education. We undertake a fight for the Cross with a great pride. The environments which are in favour of the rejection of God have got their rooting in the leftist revolutions in Europe. We must not submit ourselves to them but we must defend our values which belong to our nation. And because the Christian political party in our parliament should receive a spiritual support from us in order to warrant the presence of the Cross in the Seym and, generally, in our public space, we have undertaken this social action which must not be ignored by parliamentarians.
I would like to return again to the circumstances which were accompanying the beginnings of the existence of the Cross in the Seym. It was in 1997. Parliamentarians from the Electoral Action 'Solidarity' (Pol. AWS) asked Jasna Góra for the Cross to the Seym room - Father Jan Pach has written about it recently in the article 'The Seym cross from the Jasna Góra Altar of our Homeland' in the Catholic Weekly 'Sunday' (edition 46 of 13 November 2011). The document of passing the cross was signed by the former Prior and the present Order General - Father Izydor Matuszewski on 16 October 1997. We read in it: 'Jasna Góra, connecting with the newly created Parliament of the Polish Republic of 1997, wants to assure us about its memory about a prayer before the Holy Picture of Our Lady and the Queen of Poland, and wish successful debates as well as strength for the reason and willingness in ruling over Poland, especially during the 'sanitation' system of proper understanding vital matter of the nation, here its spiritual and cultural heritage. Please, let me add a little gift to these wishes - the Cross. It is made from the oak wood, covered with ebony, the material which had remained and which had been used for the preservation of ebony and silver Jasna Góra Altar of our Homeland, the altar and the throne of Our Lady, the Queen of Poland.
I remember a day when parliamentarians of the Electoral Action 'Solidarity' (Pol. AWS) were transporting the Cross from Jasna Góra to Warsaw. I speak with a feeling of great satisfaction and pride that this Cross was present on my desk in the 'Sunday' editorial office for a short time. Then it was transported to Warsaw and deposited first at the Ursulines Grey and then at the Convent of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. On 19 October 1997 at 7 pm the cross was transported to the church under the invocation of St Stanislaw Kostka and laid on the grave of God's servant priest Jerzy Popiełuszko. Next, after the Holy Mass, the Cross was transported to the building of the Seym and was hung in the hall of plenary meetings, near the emblem and flag of the Polish Republic; after that a group of parliamentarians said a short prayer. It is the history of the Cross which appeared in the Polish Seym.
Today we are surprised by the fact that there are so many Poles who are aiming at the rejection of the Cross despite their national history and tradition. When we are thinking about saving our Homeland, about freeing ourselves from different difficulties, the Cross can be only our help because it suggests the importance of the highest values, leads to the truth, sincerity and reliability in the human behaviour. John Paul II emphasized that people of conscience are mostly needed by Poland. I remind these words to parliamentarians; because the Cross educates people of conscience. It teaches us love and sacrifice, everything valuable and good. The Cross gives the man a perspective. How important it is for a parliamentarian to see Poland in this most beautiful dimension and a far-reaching perspective.
When demanding the Cross, we also want to remind where the Polish society should direct their eyes and their desires. We want to remind us that we should express our care for the Cross every day so that it would be in the centre of our values with which we live and would bring up the society towards holiness. It is the most beautiful, the most natural and advantageous future for everybody towards which we all should aim.
We are gathering signatures till the end of this year.