Poland at a turning point
Cardinal Stanislaw Nagy, SCJ
We can still hear the solemn voice of the Sigismund Bell, the words of the papal delegate, Primate Muszynski, the stylised solemnly uttered speech by Parliament Speaker Komorowski, who is the acting president, and the inspired, zealous and appealing speech of the Trade Union ‘Solidarity’ leader Janusz Sniadek and soon we will hear the calm, pierced with pain, words of ‘Hail, May Morning Star’ with the Queen of Jasna Gora in the background.
How many motives! How many themes to comment!
However, this reflection will not contain an analysis of single motives, no commentaries on the established, painful facts experienced by the Nation. It will be an attempt – I repeat emphatically: attempt – to give a perspective synthesis of the national tragedy with our eyes fixed on the national Feast of 3rd May, the Feast of Our Lady, Queen of Poland.
On the way to the Katyn Golgotha the President with his Wife, the flower of the Nation – 94 victims – lost their lives in the bloodcurdling catastrophe. The Nation keeps asking about the causes and will do it until people get a sincere answer resulting from the thoroughly analysed factors of this macabre crash.
This Nation cried authentically and is still in inconsolable pain – the exceptions are islands on the ocean of the national, painful reflection. And the national tears spoke of responsibility for Poland, for Poles inhabiting this land, from the Baltic to the Tatras, and also those that roam from place to place in the ends of the earth. This painful cry of the Nation has been so loud that it has reached the ears of this entire strange world of ours.
With its solemnity and dramatism this moaning is something more than only shaking feelings that overwhelm the mood and other banal commented sources, as it was seen and presented in the unserious means of communication – it was a dramatic cry of the Nation, having the characteristics of a national plebiscite, obliging all, regardless of the official rank of responsibility, members of the big Family of Poles.
Indeed, big Family of Poles. Since in the national sorrow and sadness this Family, whose name is Poland and Poles, have suddenly found their place. Poland has been united and wants to be united and does not want to act alone, in the name of some blurred interests. And the world saw such a picture of Poland and was astonished. A weird Nation – thought the people on the Dark Continent, in Asiatic India, in spontaneous South America and technologised North America. The nation does not resort to violence in extreme despair but goes to churches and sings ‘Lord, bless our free Homeland’, stands in a several kilometre line, pierced with silent pain, with flowers and rosary beads in the hands.
This Nation has not only been noticed but has become a teacher of the contemporary world, saying that it is worth struggling for the truth till the end – even the most painful truth, which is Katyn – and in defence of the values briefly expressed in the motto, ‘God, Honour, Homeland.’ The late President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczynski showed such a picture of Poland to the Nation. The good of the Nation, real independence and identity of Poland, the truth, God, Christianity in theory and practice of life, family and social solidarity – these were the standards of his life and political activities.
During these several days of national mourning the rags of rubbish, in which they dressed him, have been sent to stores. The viperous clamour of hatred and disdain has silenced, although not completely. The Nation, the majority of the Nation, has not allowed being deceived. On the contrary, people decisively opposed the irresponsible lampooners with respect and love expressed in masses. In this context a question arises: what will it be like tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and later on?
One thing is certain – one will not be allowed to appropriate Poland, make her a property of this or that social, or by no means political, group. Poland must be governed according to the interests of the Nation, i.e. in truth and honesty, real honesty.
Poland is waiting…
First of all, Poland is waiting for the whole civilised world to recognise the full truth about the unimaginable and horrible reality of Katyn. The Nation is waiting to have access to the documentation wherever it is – in London, Washington or the Kremlin. The fresh spot of Polish blood shed at Katyn, Miednoje, Starobielsk, Ostashkov, Charkov and other sites of the massacre of the Polish citizens. How many such sites are there in the huge territories of Russia?
And we, contemporary people, will carry pain and passion in our souls. May the alien and our own citizens not try to feed us with their poisonous venom of lies or try to punish us for this pain we are experiencing! And not a long time ago this was the case in Poland, then called the Polish People’s Republic.
Today, tomorrow and in the nearest future Poles are expecting to get to know the truth about the second Katyn, i.e. the tragic morning at the airport at Smolensk. It is known that the process to reach the truth is exceptionally difficult and complicated in this case. And it must be thoroughly conducted, without any shadow of manipulation and attempts to even the uncomfortable edges. One should realise that prolonging the explanation of the crash or any attempt to camouflage it will cause a stream of guesses and suspicions poisoning this mood of national ‘togetherness.’ Finally, Poles are waiting for the living to show exemplary wisdom, noble generosity and due respect for those who passed away; respect without any official and private hidden interests.
‘Crossing the Threshold of Hope’
Rescued ‘Truth’ and rescued ‘Values’ constitute the foundation of Christian ‘Great Hope’, as Pope Benedict XVI notices in his encyclical ‘Spe salvi.’ This hope constitutes the sense of human and above all, Christian form of man’s life.
In this perspective, for believers the hecatomb of Smolensk means a meeting of its victims with Merciful God and in this ontologically new distance it reveals itself as new lives of the victims first of all in the Father’s House. Based on the holy solidarity in the Mystical Body of Christ, the chance that is opening for those who stay here, on earth, is to help through prayer, the economy of the sacraments and good deeds so that they could surely enter the courts of the Father’s House. But the mystery of the mystical and supernatural solidarity has an opposite direction: from up, from the areas of life with God towards us, towards earth. And it is another path of Christian hope. Those that passed away can constantly help those who are staying here, on earth, in the mystery of the Community of Saints. Those that are harmed by the pain of departure can expect support and care of those tragically dead that love with even purer love.
The intercession of those that passed away in God is a modest path of our earthly hope. The Queen of Poland, the Heavenly Mother of our Nation with the mystery of the Divine Mercy, constitutes the main road of this Polish, Catholic hope of ours. Our national song, ‘Beloved Mother, Protectoress of the people, may the cries of orphans evoke your compassion. We, Eve’s banished children, implore you, Queen of Poland, grant us the graces.’
Heavenly Mother of Poles is Our Lady of Katyn, and since 10 April Our Lady of Smolensk, who cares for those that passed away and for those that are alive. May no one dare to blur the contours of the holy image of this tragedy, which is supported by the concern of ‘The One that defends Czestochowa and shines in the Gate of Dawn.’ Do not leave them and do not leave us. ‘Mother, do not leave…’
Mary, Queen of Poland, we, Poles, from the crying capital of Warsaw, from the solemnly reflective royal city of Krakow and all Polish towns and villages, immersed in pain, have human hope that the matters of this Nation will not be put on the cursed paths of revenge and hatred but on the roads of brotherly solidarity, authentic care for the good of this Nation and beloved Homeland. Since this tortured, and yet admired by the world, Nation wants it and demands it. And the Nation has the right to expect and demand because it is the sovereign of this land. And as a sovereign the Nation spoke with such a strong voice that only the deaf could not hear. And all these things demand a historical verdict in people’s conscience, verdict of these national ‘Lenten sorrows’ we are experiencing, verdict that Poland should change since this was the dream of those that passed away, Poland dedicated to the Truth, God and Homeland. Since only in this way the Nation will successfully come out of the turning point it was put as the consequences of the events, come out from the experiences of this new Golgotha of the East, which is and will be 10 April 2010.