The most valuable sign-post of the world
Fr. Ireneusz Skubiś
Among the most important ecclesiastical events of the year 2011, there are, undoubtedly, the Worldly Youth Days which took place in Madrid this time. The reliable television ‘Trwam’ has reminded us of them recently. A happy picture of young people carrying the cross of the World’s Youth Day stood out. The history of this significant cross reaches back to the year 1984 when the Church was experiencing the Holy Year – Extraordinary Jubilee of Redemption. At the end of that Year, Pope John Paul II entrusted this cross to the youth, which accompanied them till the celebrations of the Jubilee in the Basilica of St. Peter, saying these words: ‘Carry it through the whole world as a sign of love of Lord Jesus to the humankind and proclaim the truth to everybody that only in Christ there is redemption and salvation’ (22 April 1984). Since then, the cross has not only been travelling with the youth throughout all the Worldly Youth Days but also been present during pilgrimages in the world, reminding, teaching, raising the enormity of prayers and the most beautiful inspirations. For, the cross is the summary of what God demands from a man – the biggest love. We also remember how Pope Benedict XVI has asked us, Poles, recently: ‘Help Europe to find its Christian roots’ (August 2011). The cross is the roots of Europe, whereas Europe and the world are experiencing the drama of a fight for a place of the cross in the man’s life today. It looks as if all the strengths have gathered to tear the cross away from the heart of the Old Continent. We are dealing with an economic crisis here. But we see a crisis in the world which is much more serious than the financial one. It is a crisis of the basic moral values. It is visible, among the others, through a fight against the cross, and even against this little one worn by a stewardess on a plane. The cross disturbs the satan so much – the father of lies and hatred. For, the cross is an important sign and it is the most valuable sign-post of the world which concerns life of each man. It is a sign which does not undergo any modernization or changes. As the God’s servant and the Primate of the Millenium, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński used to say: ‘Stat crux dum volvitur orbis’ – The Cross does not hesitate, it is the world which hesitates. This hesitating world is still giving a man new worrying impulses, which appear, among the others, in the attacks against the cross. It happens so in education - crosses started to be a nuisance in schools; it happens so in culture – let’s look at performances of some artists who want to exist by the satan’s instigation and through causing mockery at Christ’s cross; it happens so in the parliament where, instead of the fight for the sake of the good of the nation, parliamentarians of some political parties take up the fight against the cross at every occasion. In every respect, the general prayer to Mary, Our Lady and Queen seems advisable so that she could ask for Divine Mercy for the world. The Cross in the Seym Hall of the Polish Republic is a very valuable sign for Poles. It arrived from Jasna Góra, visiting different symbolic places for us. It welcomed John Paul II and Poles look at him, both in Poland and in the world who are observing events in the Seym Hall. This cross is a guarantee for normality. The normality state of the social life is supposed to be considered by those who have been chosen in the parliament to guard it. The cross says that the life of the nation should exist in justice and truth, in accordance with the norms of law, ethics and the social teaching of the Church. However, some people take up a fight against this normality in a drastic way. They have built their small kingdom, by gaining a number of mandates and they do not respect anybody any more. Living in a Catholic country, we are obliged to react to the injustice and harm which are being done to us, through offending the Cross. The Cross of Jesus Christ has a right for presence among people as a sign of loving God. So, let’s be glad that the Polish society, including the Readers of the Catholic weekly ‘Sunday’, has reacted so deeply to the attacks against the Cross in the Parliament. Thousands of people wrote their letters of protest, the inhabitants of cities and villages, individually and in groups. Their authors are priests and bishops, politicians and ordinary citizens, older and young people. We deeply thank everybody who has replied to our appeal. Many people have supported it with the words of a great conviction and reference to the words of John Paul II. Let it be the most beautiful normality sign of our Homeland and let it remind those who sit in the parliament that they are obliged to respect the values which are proclaimed by the Gospel and are included in the sign of the Cross.