AFTER BAPTISM – SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION, THAT IS, TIME OF TRIAL
FR. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
Thinking about homeland on the day commemorating one of the main patrons of Poland – St. Stanisław the Bishop and Martyr, it is important to touch on turbulent history of Homeland, as well as people, monuments of history. It is not easy to reflect also on the final time marked with tragic helplessness towards all this which could have been our victory… And, following St. Stanisław the Bishop and Martyr, the patron of Poland, we must about the most important issue: Do we have to listen to God more than people? Unfortunately, what the man says, often becomes the most important. Especially that throughout history of humankind we still see a fight directed against God, we see people for whom God is the biggest obstacle in their life, and the Church the biggest enemy. Therefore, for example, also religious education at many schools seems something unsuitable. God in hearts of especially young people is ‘persona non grata’, and generally they think that it is necessary to get rid of burdens connected with the Decalogue and live with the vision of the future, often full of drugs, promiscuity and moral chaos.
Let’s recall ourselves the first pilgrimage of John Paul II to Homeland on the 900th death anniversary of St. Stanisław (1979). Our Saint Pilgrim used to emphasize that St. Stanisław is the patron of moral order. He used to say: ‘As well as a baptized man becomes a mature Christian through receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, Divine Providence gave our nation the moment of the Sacrament of Confirmation after baptism at the suitable time. St. Stanisław, who lived nearly the whole century before the epoch of baptism, is symbolized by this moment in a particular way through the fact that he gave a testimony to Christ, by devoting his life. (…) The whole life which opens up in the perspective of this sacrament, takes on the character of a great basic trial. (…) Moral order depends on every victorious trial’ (homily of John Paul II on Błonie in Cracow, 9 June 1979). The Holy Father used to warn: On the basis of our history we know very well that absolutely, at every cost, we cannot allow for moral chaos. Instead, we paid a lot in history’. Moral chaos causes the collapse of life, family, distorted truth, perverse love. And hopelessness appears which is incited by media today which make it impossible to get out of the chaos.
So, today St. Stanisław is coming as somebody who is awaited and who reminds that the world is divine, that God exists and we have to listen to Him – not only in the moral sphere, but also in economic life – in looking after possession of the Polish house, in politics – so that the welfare of a citizen would be the most important issue, not political rivalries, in culture – so as to help human thoughts and all kinds of creative invention to develop towards a suitable direction.
The king who reigned at the times of St. Stanisław, was not able to cope with the remarks of the bishop which touched on his conscience. He was only aware of his sword and it led him to murder of the bishop. However, this death turned out to be the victory of St. Stanisław and the victory of the truth which he proclaimed. For, soon days of glory came to him, among the others, the canonization done in Assisi on 8 May 1254. And the king…? And here something important appears: the king experiences inner conversion and wants to repent for the committed crime! It is great lesson for all those who have the authority. Especially that the authority is a temporary thing. One is a president, prime minister, minister, voivode, governor only for some time. Is it worth being guilty of the authority abuse towards God and people in one’s own conscience for these miserable moments? Much humility and responsible are necessary for reigning. The word ‘minister’ in the Latin language means: a servant. Your fame in history depends on what servant you will be, how you will serve to the society.
The above text was written before the canonization of John Paul II, which was attended by many Poles, including people governing the country. And just after the canonization the Ministers’ Council passed a resolution about submitting convention to ratification by Poland, preventing and fighting violence towards women – a legal anti-family act of the Europe Council Conference, contradictory with the teaching of John Paul II about marriage and family. Don’t Polish politicians understand anything of it? I dedicate the above text just to those governing the country, including MPs and senators of the Civic Platform party and the Polish People’s Party. Besides St. Stanisław the Bishop and Martyr, the patron of moral order, we should notice the new patron of moral order – St. John Paul II. Truly, he said in Skoczów: Poland needs people of conscience the most!’.