We gave this world too willingly to the forces of the anti-Gospel (sermon from the Solemn Mass on the third day of the workshops)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Let me begin with the confession of Jim Caviezel, the actor in the role of our Lord in the film „Passion” by M. Gibson. It appeared a few months ago on the internet. Let’s listen to the actor’s words to American youth, and indirectly also to us:
„The name Saul means great one. The name Paul means little one. By making this film, I learned that by changing one little, one tiny letter, we can become great in the eyes of God. It requires us to be little, if we wish to be great. This is the way of the saints. / … / Some of us have adopted false Christianity, where everything is based only on cheerful conversations. There was a lot of pain and suffering there. Your path will not be different. So embrace your cross and follow your goal. I want you to leave this pagan world. I want you to have the courage to go to this pagan world and express your faith in public without shame. The world needs proud warriors! Warriors like Saint Paul and Luke — who will risk his name and reputation to bring faith and love to the whole world. God calls each one of us to do great things. But how often we fail, rejecting it as some mental blur. The time has come for our generation to accept this call. /…/ but first you have to begin prayer, studying and meditation on the Holy Scriptures. And take the holy sacraments seriously. Our culture is now in decline. We are people in danger of succumbing to excesses. This entire world is immersed in sin. And there, in the silence of my heart, God calls to us. And how often we ignore him. We ignore this sweet call. / … / Indifference is the greatest sin of the 20th century. It is also the hardest sin of the 21st century. We must break this indifference. This destructive tolerance of evil. Only our faith in the wisdom of Christ can save us. But for this you need warriors ready to risk their reputation, their names and even their own lives to stand on the side of the truth. Cut yourself off from this broken generation. Be saints. You were not created to adapt yourselves. You were born to stand out. In our country we are happy only when we do what others do. Now we all have a free choice regardless of the consequences. Do you really think that this is true freedom. / … / Every generation of America must know that freedom is not about doing what you want. But doing the right things. This is the freedom I wish you. Freedom from sin, freedom from weakness, freedom from the enslavement that causes sin. This is a freedom for which to die. / … / We must all fight for real freedom. / … / Everyone will die, but not everyone lives real. We must live with God! And with the Holy Spirit as your shield and with Christ as your sword. Join Saint Michael the Archangel and all the Angels and send Lucifer and his minions back to where they belong.”
Listening to these words full of fire, I recall the words of Cardinal Ratzinger from the Way of the Cross in the Coliseum. It was only a few days before the death of St. John Paul II. He then spoke at station VII about Christianity, which has „grown weary of faith, has abandoned the Lord: the great ideologies, and the banal existence of those who, no longer believing in anything, /…/ have built a new and worse paganism.” At station IX, the future Pope continued: „Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them!” What happened to the Church, the Bride of the Lamb? Where is the passion of faith coming from the words of the actor mentioned yesterday? Where are the ardent preachers calling things by their names without grunting and lofty words? What happened to Europe, Europe created by the martyrs of the first centuries of Christianity, what was reminded in Włocławek by St. Pope John Paul II. Or maybe this is the wrong question? Maybe it should rather be: „What have we done with Europe?” Or „What have we allowed to do with Europe?”. Without the Church, there would be no Europe as we know it, or rather as we knew it. And there will be neither Christian Europe nor Christian Poland, if all of us do not revive the passion of faith, making a sign of opposition of us, forbidding us to deal with the world’s nobles and apostles of neopaganism, cherishing them and accepting in the salon. „Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers…”, „What accord has Christ with Belial?”
Today’s Europe from the religious side in no way resembles the Europe of the era of cathedrals, nay, in no way resembles even Europe of the 50s of the last century. The epoch of „Enlightenment” („Age of Light”), named so as to oppose a „dark” period, supposedly the Middle Ages, gave rise to organized attempts to eliminate religion as an obstacle to true human freedom; this was particularly true of the Catholic Church. A man freed from the shackles of religion was to create a „new wonderful world.” These attempts to eliminate religion and build paradise on earth once again took on a violent and bloody character, to mention only the French, October or Spanish revolution. There was an ideological struggle alongside. The Holy See repeatedly exposed the activities of Freemasonry, indicating its true goals and methods of action, which was and is to replace the revealed religion by its natural form, without dogmas and without Christ the Savior. This type of action was also taken by influencing the doctrine from within the Church, which was unmasked directly by the encyclical of S. Pius X „Pascendi Dominici Gregis”.
In spite of this, the Church, in its struggle against hostile ideologies, remained strong both thanks to the decisive attitude of successive popes and bishops, and to the devoted work of clergy and lay Catholics. Quite a sudden change occurred immediately after the Council, and after the student revolt of May ‘68 that took place among the youth of Western Europe, and questioned the current norms of behavior, customs and values of Western societies. It is not the right time or place to deal with the causes of this revolt, whether it was spontaneous, whether directed and prepared. It is important for us that people formed on the ideals of this revolt rule Europe today, or rather the entire area of the Euro-Atlantic zone. They are trying once again, this time with peaceful methods, to accomplish the dream of building a paradise — here on earth and without God, without the Decalogue, without all that what was poured into the bloodstream of Europe by the Gospel, and what was decided to radically challenge. Before our eyes, a superstate is being built, whose principle is to be a lack of principles, and the Decalogue is to replace a kind of anti-decalogue, promoting moral anarchy and promiscuity in all its varieties. This lawlessness became the law of a man freed from the commandments and norms of a non-existent God. The mass propaganda of pornography, contraceptives, unlimited liberty and everything: abortion, euthanasia, divorce and even sex change at somebody’s own discretion, are today the main „acquisitions” of European civilization. A civilization that suddenly began to hate itself: its culture and its roots. A capture by so-called „swordsmen of the progress” of university chairs, media, parliaments has allowed and allows to shape the desired ways of thinking and the patterns of behavior resulting from it. That’s how „society” was raised. Unimaginable financial reserves were and are being spent on that.
There is but one goal: to destroy Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, except that if the Church can not be destroyed (and perhaps it does not have to be completely terminated?), it should be transformed, so that his voice would harmonize with the melody of „this world”. In a word, it is necessary to change civilization that grows on Christianity into debris and to build this „new wonderful world” on it. In the world, a man becomes the sole master of his own choices without having to take into account the will of the Creator. Advise Satan „you will be like God” from paradise was accepted by the people of our time as the right recipe for life. Man decides for good and evil. It is necessary to ask: What about God’s law for the world he created? Does anyone think that sooner or later He will not claim this law? The basic question is: is it right to engage in any dialogue with the advocates of this lawlessness, playing with marked cards and having impure intentions and a clearly defined goal? What about our virtue of prudence?
The question we have to pose now is simple: where was (and where is it now) the Church and the forces associated with it? What was done to defend the law and honor of God? Can we talk about the strong opposition of the Catholic community, as it was in the times of Blessed Pius IX? Unfortunately, none of these things. Many Catholic environments, including the university, became feverish in May ‘68 and could be carried away by the trend of contesting everything, often only for the very contestation. It was possible to feel the powerful influence of Marxism also on the sphere of theology. In the second half of the 1960s the Netherlands became an audience of a powerful disciplinary disorder and a conflict with the Holy See. This was caused by the questioning of many basic dogmatic truths by the Dutch Catechism, issued against the will of the Holy See. Internal divisions, a departure from Catholic orthodoxy, meant that during the life of almost one generation only pathetic leftovers remained of the once resilient and vital community. This disciplinary and doctrinal confusion has led to a sharp decline in religious practices, moral confusion and, as a result, to the launch of violent secularization processes. Like neighboring Belgium. And what about Germany? One of the authors notes that „until the early 1960s, the Church in West Germany was socially accepted, morally and politically reliable and effective” (R. Staffin, Church, sail to the depths, Tarnów 2007, p. 24). Since the mid-1960s there has been an increase in negative processes, participation in the Mass began to lose its significance, there was a loosening of ties with tradition, distancing itself from the Church, progressive pluralism and individualism in religious matters, selectivity of faith. The author adds that in other European countries situation was similar, or even worse, which means that „Europe becomes a continent of empty churches” (ibidem). I am talking about this to remind of what happened at the beginning of the present cataclysm — as it is not a crisis anymore.
The today’s situation is not better and probably worse and progressing. The recent example is the rapidly laicizing Portugal, the country of Fatima; and Ireland, the homeland of the Hiberno-Scottish monks, who were evangelizing once the pagan Europe. Today, societies considered until recent times as Catholic ones vote for en masse abortion on demand, same-sex marriages, have nothing against euthanasia, etc. 16.2% of German Catholics profess faith in a personal God, but shepherds of the German Church seem not to care this „detail”. They agree en masse to give Holy Communion living in a non-sacramental relationships, 2/3 of them support Holy Communion to Protestants, without requiring a „detail” such as Holy Confession. Vice-President of the German Episcopate Conference says that it is time to start a discussion about blessings of same-sex relationships, and the Central Committee of the German Catholics supports it strongly. This is the actual „spring” of the Church! Let’s get down to earth! We are conducting a dialogue with all and about all, and we do not even notice how it turns into this Paul’s „idle tale”, and meanwhile a boy in Berlin looking at the cross asks a friend who this INRI is and why he hangs on the cross! Souls perisch !!! Does anyone care? Doe a view of a bulldozer ruining a neo-Gothic temple in France, where the denunciation of the truth about abortion is threatened with draconian punishments, move anybody yet??! We can get used to everything.
The current situation is a painful drama and the attitude of those who belittle it or try to overlook it, and those who can deprecate anybody mentioning it or „honor” them with irritation or invectives, or disrespect, can only amaze. One can tell oneself and others that these are inevitable processes, a post-industrial society, inevitable social processes, a change in mentality, etc. Is this, however, a full answer? Or maybe too easily and too quickly, I would even like to say: willingly, we gave this world to the forces of the „anti-gospel” and „anti-church” which were already observed in 1976 by then Cardinal Wojtyla? Did anyone care about the words of the pained Bl. Paul VI about the Satanic smell that has penetrated the Church of God? No, there are too many of those by whom the Church ceases to be seen as a „sign of opposition”, as the „salt of the earth” and the „light of the world”. The opposition to Bl. Paul VI for „Humanae vitae” was eager and en masse. And today, how strong an opportunism, neo-language, the language of this world and attempts to name sin differently, its dilution through constant justification and psychologisation is? The dictatorship of relativism, Benedict XVI warned us so much about, unfortunately, seems to triumph. Is this how we want to save the world? Have we not started to fear the world more than God? Will not the strict Judge ask the shepherds, where their herd went, and why did they think that it was not worth collecting, enlarging or defending? Indeed, it is more convenient to „dialogue” than to preach, to nod than to make demands, to smile at everyone than to frown when it is needed? It is easier to enter into the world of illusion and, by copying the vision of the „open Church”, position yourself in opposition to the Church supposedly „closed”, closed in itself, fanatical and timid, which supposedly was the Church of the previous era. If the Church of the previous era was just a frightened ship flowing down the stormy waves, what is the Church now: a sinking boat taking water in, as Pope Benedict sees it, or a frigid frigate wandering in calm waters, as advocates of the „open” Church want? It is easier and more convenient to stick ideologized visions instead of standing in truth. Or maybe it is the Church of our time which has become timid and polite; do not you get this impression? Did we go out to the world through the „open” gates of the Church and change it according to Christ, or did the world flood us with its dirt, here and there eagerly received?
Let’s not reform the church in the way of Luther and let us not glorify him, because he does not deserve it! We have unprincipled models of reformers — it is a Poverello from Assisi, or Dominic Guzman and Ignatius of Loyola. They are waiting today for their faithful followers, simple and unambiguous and therefore convincing in their testimony. We can not become them, but we can try to be like them. Each of them is a knight in his own way — a defender of God’s honor. In the case of God, the knight does not accept compromises, because there is no place for them. Yes — and I will say it again — we need to restore the ethos of the knight of Christ in the Church. Yes, Christ the Lord was not a pacifist! He brought the sword to the world! He dismissed a son with his father and a daughter-in-law with her mother-in-law, brought a ferment against the background of himself. He demands total devotion and intransigence, until hatred of the world. So why do the praises of the world do not worry us anymore? They are not a sign of its reconciliation with Christ. So what do they mean?