FR. JAN KOCLĘGA
The tragedy of the last assassinations in France awakened many politicians and people of various professions to take an attitude towards barbarism of the assassinations. However, optimism of some journalists about awakening of Europe is too far-reaching – we can only speak about a reaction, not awakening
Europe is again in shock after the assassinations in Paris. Can this attack change the attitude of Western Europe? Will it awaken reflection, and, finally, a change?
Prof. Bogusław Wolniewicz on pages of the portal wPolityce.pl states that ‘we cannot hope for such a change. These attacks will not change anything. Europe will not get awakened from it. This attack was too weak to change something. It is already seen after the first reactions to the assassinations. In the West there is just an action ‘a minute of silence’ initiated. These are reactions which reveal weakness of Europe. It is very sad, but it is another time when the European Community has been behaving as if it was a nobly born, richly-dressed elderly lady touched by sclerosis and schizophrenics of various kinds. She does not know who she is, where she lives and, although she has got a noble pedigree ring, she cannot find herself. The elderly lady Europe, torn by mongrels, trailed by accidental passer-bys, makes a grimace on her face, but is inwardly confused, not knowing who she is and where she is going.
Terrorism in France is only the first fruit of losing its Christian identity by Europe. Born out of the French Revolution, new secular identity of the Old Continent is its spiritual loss. The elderly lady Europe beautifies her face with facial powder of tolerance and mottos full of humanistic references, but, in fact Europe requires spiritual finding itself and its Christian identity…in this place it is worth reminding that the French Revolution was a violent time of riots, uprisings and coups which led to the collapse of monarchy and the state system of France. The direct reason for it was the crisis of the country, and the indirect one was the development of rational philosophy of enlightenment and political aspirations connected with it, mainly bourgeoisie and the middle class. We must note that the notion ‘terror’ appeared very clearly during the French Revolution – it was the name of the reigns time of the Public Safety Committee, and the Jacobins belonging to the Committee were called ‘terrorists’. At that time the word meant a form of governments based on a practice of using bloody repressions. It must be said here that Europe as the community of heritage and culture, had been given grace of getting to know the Gospel of good news about salvation, so if it changes the Gospel into a ‘laicism gospel’, it sentences itself to extermination.
Europe rescue yourself – return to Jesus because He is the road, truth and life
‘You know the way where I am going’ Thomas said to Hiim: ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. So, how can we know the way?’ Jesus told him: ‘I am the road, truth and life. Nobody comes to my Father in any other way than only through Me’ (J. 14.4-6).
These words were said by Jesus to the Disciples while he was talking with them about the future world and was describing the reality in which every believer can participate. Jesus’ words give our life a particular sense but first we have to understand them.
The Road leads to the destination and, if we are following it, we can be sure that we will get there where we want to. The Road is full of road signs which inform us about the destination of the journey, a number of kilometers and a direction, etc.
Jesus tells us that the sense of life is in Him. For, God is sense, despite the nonsense of our life. We can even say that He is the only sense of life. So, if He shows us the road, it makes sense as it leads to happiness.
The truth is the lack of contradictions. The truth opens new horizons, shows new paths, possibilities of solving various situations.
Saying that He is the truth, Jesus gives new impulses to come out of life situations with a defensive hand. After all, He said: You will get to know the truth and the truth will liberate you’ (J 8.32). Jesus, as the Truth, brings liberation from what captivates us, which does not allow us to look critically at events of everyday life. For Europe, unlike before, a necessary remedy for finding sense of life is the Truth.
Jesus points to the fact that real life is only in Him. Outside this life there is no other life, because everything what the man gains are only substitutes of real life, the one which Jesus gives us. This gift does not end only with the finitude of human life, but is going on, although the home of the temporal pilgrimage will collapse.
Europe, beware of the illusion of Anti-christ
Who is this mysterious person? An old theological book said: ‘The prince of evil will arrive to rule the world at the end of its existence, before the final return of God’s Son will bring a new Heaven and new Earth’. The newest Catechism of the Catholic Church devotes two paragraphs to it (675-676), studying the essence of evil hidden in its dominance: ‘Before Christ’s arrival the Church is supposed to undergo the final test which will shaken faith of many believers. Persecution (…) will reveal ‘the mystery of irreligion’ in the form of deceiving religion which gives people only an alleged solution of their problems at the price of their departing from the truth. The biggest religious deception is deception of Anti-christ, that is, deception of pseudo-messianism, in which the man adores himself instead of God and His Messiah who arrived in body’ and became human for us and for our salvation.
Władimir Sołojow published his prophecy of the big crisis of Christianity in the Icon of Anti-christ for Passover 1900. The text of this prophecy was to concern the end of the XX and the beginning of the XXI century. The Anti-christ of Sołowjow is a man of a dialogue and a humanist. It will appear in the bosom of the modern western society in which the most important and final matters will undergo secularization. The Church will become a peace organization. In the place of distinguishing between the good and the evil, there will appear calculation of what is useful and what is unbeneficial. It will try to convince others that salvation comes through the social security and planning. Moreover, it will not be a materialist or an enemy of religion, but it will try to come out towards all human needs, including the spiritual ones. Speaking about spiritual matters, it will suggest a purely human religion, in which everybody agrees to everything, all kinds of divergence will be rejected, especially the dogma of faith understood as dangerous evil. Anyway, the whole struggle of faith will be reduced to humanitarian and cultural activity. The evangelical message for holy peace is included in the synthesis with all philosophies and religions. This religiousness is mixed and ambiguous and based more on the man than on Christ.
A small group of the Christians, who will feel the essence of the well-hidden danger, will be able to counteract the charm of Anti – Christ. They understood it well that here it concerns indulgent Christianity, with Christ put in brackets. According to Sołojow, the biggest danger is not materialism of atheism but insidious ‘humanistic’ spiritualism. Somebody who breaks his personal relation with Risen Christ for his existence in the world and finding good relations with others, puts himself on the side of Anti-christ.
Europe, trust Jesus – God’s Law before your laws
This ambivalence in relations Christianity – Enlightenment was symbolically expressed in a paradoxical person of Antichrist humanist. Antichrist: philanthropist, benefactor and also an anti-Christian rebel – new Prometheus, a philosopher and a dialectics, and, finally a thinker in human history. For, anti-christ is mainly an atheist of the heart, not intellect. He knows that God exists but he opposes to Him, believing that his own opinion is more righteous than the opinion of the very God.
The assassinations in Paris reveal not so much political or military weakness of Europe, but rather spiritual weakness. We got lost, by placing our human rights above God’s Rights, above the truth of the Gospel – media and virtual ‘ordered truths’…In fact the tragedy of murdered people and their families is a tragedy of our spiritually ill civilization of Europe, but it may – or should even be a reflection for conversion today.
One can meet people who say after their radical conversion that they have received a new chance. Hope wakes up in them which they have not had so far. The sense of human life is hope thanks to which one wants to live. Europe, you can find your hope only in Jesus Christ, God’s Messiah, you can uncover hope of the Gospel and then you will want to live…