Saving the European culture
Archbishop Jozef Michalik
August is the time of numerous pilgrimages to Marian sanctuaries. Each has its own specificity, history and pilgrims. There are various opinions about these pilgrimages. However, one cannot question this special presence and care of the Mother of God for our nation.
Daily news show bloody fights in various parts of the world. I am not wrong stating that Mary protects us, and we have not experienced any hecatomb of war for several decades. But a different war has been waged in the world and in Europe – cultural war, the war on values. Today we can see that in most cases the governments do not fight for good and full development of people but they want to sell them their ideologies so that they can win people’s votes, so that they can win people’s favour, manipulate and impose their laws, which people do not know and often do not want.
War on values
The natural law, God’s law inscribed in our hearts, is being fought against in Europe. Life is not respected and the right to destroy life is regarded as development. Innocent blood calling for vengeance vociferously is shed all over the world. Man has received reason and conscience so that the progress he creates may follow the natural law, so that we may learn mutual love. Yet there are many efforts to free man from responsibility, from sacrificial mutual love. The promotion of divorces, the number of which increases, the lack of preparation for marriage, in vitro fertilisation, crossing animal and human genes, interference into parents’ rights – actions that are very dangerous for humanity. Do we desire to bring up children in chastity, abstinence, to reach mature marriage? One must defend this desire and help it be fulfilled, realising that it is the right way to develop – moral way, care for the proper use of the power we have received from God.
Planned process to dechristianize whole societies
After having visited the Soviet Union the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci was fascinated by Marxism, saying that the state possessed full power there, and that’s why it succeeded to introduce the Marxist ideology and destroy churches. Since such a form of destruction of Christianity is impossible to be realised in democratic countries. This Italian atheist proposed a new conception of the state and new way to ‘form’ society. “The proletariat, to which Marx assigned an «honourable» role of the avant-garde of revolution, let the communists down – he claimed. – «Working people of cities and villages» turned out to be «thankless» and did not love communism sincerely. This Christianity that «dominated» the European civilisation became this «leaven of demoralization» of the working class. In order to make «ideas of socialism» win Christianity must be first uprooted from the soul of «worker». The working class – Gramsci tried to convince – must have patience, since the way to victory leads through infecting the cultures of particular nations with the «spirit» of socialism instead of using violence that is ineffective in the long-term. This slow revolutionary process is to lead to the emancipation of «people’s masses», i.e., to permanent change of the mentality of society so that it may consciously, without any pressure, reject the «old» moral norms, manners, aesthetic norms; reject the traditional values and identify itself with the new socialist norms, recognising them as its own. The process of the mental transformation of society should last quite long because the modern democratic states possess complicated defence structures resembling the «system of entrenchment and fortification» in the «positional warfare». [...]
The education of all levels and the Church are two most powerful cultural organisations in every country. Then there are dailies, newspapers, publications, private educational institutions, both those that are to complete state schools and cultural institutions of people’s university type. Other professions […] constitute a certain not indifferent fragment of cultural life. These include doctors, army officers, and judiciary officials. […] The most typical of this category of intellectualists is the clergy that monopolised the vast and important field for a long time: religious ideology, i.e., the philosophy and science of the epoch together with the school, education, morality, justice administration, charity, social care, etc. […] What can the novel class contrast with this gigantic complex of entrenchment and fortification of the ruling class? It can show the spirit of division, i.e., gradual fabrication of «democratic consent», «permission», «consensus» in society for the domination of the socialist ideas. This «fabrication of consent» is realised through «naturalisation» of the ideology of socialism when it became «naturalised», is perceived by the society as a set of «common-sense» and «transparent» views. However, emancipation cannot be realised by the «people’s» efforts alone. «Masses» without the participation of the intelligentsia cannot work out the revolutionary awareness themselves. […] These are people who have «directorial» posts in the key, taking into account the proper functioning of the citizen’s society, institutions. Namely, headmasters, university rectors, teachers, representatives of religious institutions, chairmen of foundations, representatives of the media, directors of cultural centres, owners of discotheques, presidents of housing communities, and even – allegedly – marginal «sections of ideological front» such as fishing associations, city libraries or beetroot purchasing centres. They are to control the selection and exposition of books in libraries or define the way to set the prices of agricultural products, which farmers deliver to the purchasing centres. The «collective movement» initiated by these «organic intellectualists» is to constitute «molecular process», which will lead to «intellectual and moral reform of whole society», i.e., to dechristianisation, and it will happen before the «working class» seizes political power in the state’ (cf. Tadeusz Rynkiewicz, ‘Rewolucja nowej generacji’ [Revolution of the new generation], in: Nasz Dziennik, no. 262/2009).
When we reject God the whole world falls apart
Don’t we witness today, in our streets, in our European cities, that God’s law is not present in public life? In one of our cities a certain new man, a member of a certain party, appears and his first order as a state official is to remove the cross from the wall of the office. Lord God has fewer and fewer rights to be present in public space because he said on the cross: you are to love your enemies, you are to give up your life for your enemy, which is inconvenient for politicians because it does not allow hating representatives of other political options. The drama of these days is that the state becomes a party-oriented and not state-oriented and it does not care for common good very much.
The important thing is to see the great value of our prayers in this situation and also the need to evoke social activities. The Catholic media, especially newspapers, Radio Maryja, Radio Fara and other diocesan radios, parish papers, which evoke activity and responsibility among people. This responsibility for the harm done to our neighbour, for what is going on in our environment, is indispensible. We cannot be indifferent and afraid of being good. We must evaluate the principles our candidates in the elections follow and must observe who cares for Poland, for our region; observe who does something for our common good. People should be ready to help, show solidarity in daily problems of our lives. Must everything go wrong? No. In the most modern states in the contemporary world, in the countries that have made a big civilisation progress, people seek God and they need God. Progress and welfare need not be connected with rejecting God and God’s law. On the contrary, the more we build our future on morality, the bigger our chances for permanent and safe development are.
The late poet Czeslaw Milosz, living as immigrant in the United States, in 1974 wrote the poem entitled ‘Oeconomia divina,’ in which he concluded that if we rejected God our world would fall apart since it had no justification to experience difficulty, to conquer our feelings:
I did not expect to live in such an unusual moment.
When the God of thunders and of rocky heights,
The Lord of hosts, Kyrios Sabaoth,
Would humble people to the quick,
Allowing them to act whatever way they wished,
Leaving to them conclusions, saying nothing.
It is a warning – let us not reject the hand extended to us that is the hand of the Merciful Father. Let us not pretend that we do not know who Mary is in God’s plan and in our lives. Let us thank wholeheartedly for the grace of faith and the gift of Mary, Teacher, Mediatrix and the best Mother.