On the threshold of the year 2012
Fr. Ireneusz Skubiś
Here, somehow unexpectedly and more quickly than last year, we have found ourselves in the year 2012. Time will show - what year it will be for us, our family and our society. However, it seems that the experiences of last year and previous years filled us with more wisdom, they explained a lot, and revealed what is false and hypocritical and freed more energy to act in the direction of good and the truth. In this New Year's thoughtfulness I will let myself for some priestly reflections which are my participation in these special days connected with the passing time. The reflections which will not probably discover anything new but which will let us realize the fact more that so much depends on us, our 'Christianity', on the fact whether it is only in name or characterizes our life. And here: we are a baptized nation, 90% Poles are Catholics who use the ministry of the Church and its priests more or less. Most of us are surely people who go to church and accept the holy sacraments. Most of us pray everyday, are aware of the truths of our faith, make an act of contrition, considering our moral behavior and our responsibility towards God. This all is included in the religious culture of a Polish Catholic. Whereas we often commit the so-called common sins and the system of national repressions has got hands full of work thanks to us. We are not saints. We must admit it - we are sinful people. Considering, for example, the marital and family life, we see how it has been destroyed recently. The number of divorces is growing massively in Poland, and they are preceded by, among the others, the marital betrayal, egoism, alcohol abuse, drugs. A lot of educational and priestly work is also required to prevent a phenomenon of the so-called free couples, and which are often useful even for practicing Catholics. The culture is disappearing, which used to characterize us and resulted from our awareness of the importance of God's commandments, among the others, common shopping on Sunday, lack of respect towards elderly people, women (a young man sitting on a seat will rarely give it to an elderly person, woman or a girl), dishonesty and cunning (which is seen, among the others, on our roads). Apart from our ordinariness, there is also a promotion of another value system, an advertisement of the so-called modern way of life, included in the information coming from media, especially TV or internet. It is the world in which the young man often moves and who is subjected to the pressure of different strong influences. This influence on the man is often caused by different international structures which are hostile to Christianity and which want to create the human awareness in their own way. Let's note, for example, how small children absorb advertisements and not without any success, or how the sale of advertised products is growing. Similarly, internet influences young people - probably the most effective medium today. Different party centers know about it well and they are using it to build their image which is sometimes far from the reality. Certainly, these media are surrounded by the whole mass of centers whose purpose is not the truth at all, but manipulation of the receiver and to gain a particular purpose. It is also a demoralization which people may not always realize. So, today the society lives under a large pressure of advertisements or image, which is supposed to cause a particular effect. We must be aware of it. Unfortunately, at the same time, the religious influence, moral formation or a Christian example are not enough. Our communities often reflect on the essence of God's Revelation, analyze the Decalogue and remind that the believing man is obliged to have a well-formed conscience. Let's remember how John Paul II spoke about it in Skoczow and how journalists present at the meeting responded to it reluctantly. It is so because teachings are not welcome and they are not associated with any attractiveness. Therefore, we submit ourselves to the propaganda more and various kinds of advertisements. Unfortunately, it concerns also us, the Catholics. We do not have to wait long for the effects. We have already seen then in the parliamentary elections where one of the leaders based the advertisement of his undertaking on the fight against the Church and religion and, in this way, introduced 40 parliamentarians of his party into the Seym. Adding to it parliamentarians of Democratic Left Alliance (Pol. SLD), who also oppose the Church and the catholic religion through their program and postulates, we also see that a large anti-religious and anti-Catholic option is appearing in Poland. It surprises and shocks very much, because the Church does not bring any harm to anyone, or does not make any pressure on anybody. If somebody considers himself a Catholic, he should fulfill his duties. The catholic should not accept a word coming from newspapers which are hostile to his faith - for example - 'Facts and myths' which cooperated, among the others, with the murderer of Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, or 'No' newspaper by Jerzy Urban who mocks at all the holiness. There is no good word or a good example there. In this way one can build only the reality, which is based on absurd and spreads hostility.
Dear readers, on Christmas Eve, we were sharing the wafer with each other, saying good wishes in the spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we were feeling well together. So, do not trample on what is really beautiful, good and real, what serves to the man and does not ruin him. And as the Catholics we should be more solidary, first of all, solidary with people in poverty or tragedy; similarly as the Polish Caritas is doing it, while working with great consideration, wisdom and perspective. Let's also be solidary in the fight for what some people want to take away from us, drown out or mistreat. However, we will not build this opposition movement without a good system of the Catholic information. Thanks to the circulation of the Catholic weekly 'Sunday' (ab. 150 thousands editions) we notice that it is not so high when compared to what should be. After all, every Catholic family should use such a newspaper. Whereas, it is often so that in a parish numbering about a thousand of the faithful, about 10 editions of the weekly 'Sunday' are distributed, that is, one edition is per 100 inhabitants, and there are often less. So, how, in this situation, can the public opinion be built? As far as the Catholic radio stations are concerned, we must note that, unfortunately, they are not listened to, well, maybe except for Radio Maryja, which is very popular among many listeners. Believe me that in the epoch which is so wide and full of much information, the Sunday sermon is not enough. It also seems to me that there is a need of the reformation of the pastoral ministry. It should include media today. There are documents of the Church on this issue but, unfortunately, the essence included in them, is rarely discussed. However, the Church loses the Catholic community because of this negligence. We all lose, because the reason of state in our Homeland means behaving according to the Decalogue and with the commandments of love towards God and our neighbor. So, Dear Catholic, think over yourself. Do you really believe in God? What is the Church for you? Is it a home in which you move and you feel well or is it an institution towards which you feel reluctance or maybe hatred? Note that Christianity educates people in love and to love, that it is air for the man who wants to realize love which gives him power and wings; and which brings salvation. And we all want it. Being a Catholic in a genuine way lies also in the best-understood interest of the state, which is also based on the teaching and the activity of the Church, because besides the charity work, the Church cares about good education of the society and brings in a new contribution in its culture and development. So, the useful cooperation with the Church, a real, not only by name, friendly country and friendly attitude towards the man should manage our life and awareness. The reflection of this awareness was seen in the times of the Polish 'Solidarity' or during national pilgrimages of John Paul II when we could do so much….We need such a solidarity today whose base - also a base for the happiness of our Homeland - will be the Gospel of Jesus Christ.