LENT WITH A BLESSED VISIONARY
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
Lent is the time touching spiritual life of the man – a sphere which has a significance not lesser than the physical and psychological sphere, which stabilizes psychophysical human functioning and gives it a direction. Lent is for a Christian time of a kind of effort connected with work on oneself, taking control of one’s weaknesses, with a kind of renunciation, etc., and everything for Jesus feeling his great God’s tragedy in this liturgical time.
Understanding the essence of the Great Lent from his point of view, it needs to be said clearly that here it is all about our salvation. The man who succumbs to a sin and its consequences, is called to salvation. Jesus who came to the world in order to redeem the man, appears in the time of the Great Lent in a liturgy, in reflection and a prayer of the Church. He appears to us as a Man of Sorrows, suffering because of our sins. Yes, the great human mystery is engrossed in the mystery of suffering of Jesus Christ, in the mystery of His Cross, and also in the mystery of His resurrection.
The Great Lent which we are beginning this year has a particular significance for us, because at this time we are also getting prepared for such awaited canonization of blessed John Paul II. We remember very well when during the funeral of the Polish Pope, which was the greatest assembly of the Christians in the history of the world and the biggest of funerals in history, thousands of believers were chanting: ‘Santo subito!’ – Saint immediately! Certainly, it did not happen at once but as for such serious matters John Paul II was very quickly raised to the glory of altars. And it took place after an exact investigation of signs of his holiness, among the others, miracles which took place through his intercession.
The universal Church and the Polish nation owe to John Paul II a lot. Therefore, each of us, Poles, would like to get prepared for the canonization as best as possible. The Church in Poland suggests here various pastoral programs and actions. The aspect of Calvary prayer is inscribed in these preparations – John Paul II worshipped suffering Jesus a lot- in the times of childhood of the Pope, his father had opened him his eyes to the value of the prayer, and, later he was often seen on Calvary paths and in other places where he used to reflect on the mystery of Lord’s Passion, till the memorable Road of the Cross on 25 March 2005, which he was experiencing with believers in the Coliseum in his private chapel, while being cuddled to the crucifix. It was a significant feature of piousness of John Paul II.
And here the editorial office of ‘Niedziela’ is glad to enclose the book entitled ‘Passion’ to every issue of our weekly dated 23 March 2014, which describes Lord’s Passion in the visions of blessed Anna Katarzyna Emmerich. On its basis an excellent film of Mel Gibson was made under the same title. The book consisting of over 350 pages is a gift for the Great Lent of an unordinary sponsor, there are only little costs of transport. So, within the ordinary edition of ‘Niedziela’ we will also receive this valuable book, which will undoubtedly give a particular tone of our reflection of the Great Lent – we will be close to Jesus who ‘was suffering from his wounds for us…’
So, let the spirit of connection with suffering Jesus so loved by John Paul II, not the spirit of triumphalism, accompany us on the path to the day of canonization of the Polish Pope. The Holy Father – this man of Lord’s Passion, engrossed himself into the cross of Jesus completely, and although his life was proceeding in different conditions and in a different culture – how similar it was to the life of the Master! And, all in all, how much wisdom there is in the cross of Jesus, how much wisdom also our crosses include, if, certainly, we will subject them to reflection. Pope Francis formulated it in the form of the phrase: ‘wisdom of tears’.
Dear Readers and Friends, please, buy willingly our weekly (no 12 of 23 March), uncovering a beautiful book in it, told by Katarzyna Emmerich. Let’s be prepared for Easter and on the great day of canonization of blessed John Paul II. Let Lord Jesus, who was suffering so much, bring us salvation, be with us also in our everyday life, like he was accompanying John Paul II, crowning his life with the glory of the earth and Heaven.