The Courage of Being a True Polish Catholic
Privilege and responsibility are kissing cousins! The leading attribute of responsibility is courage. The great British wartime leader Winston Churchill once said: “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” Moral courage to proclaim and practice God’s truth in the face of ridicule from an atheist, secular world is the hallmark of responsible leadership. Great leaders understand that truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Lastly, it is accepted as being self-evident.
The antonym of courage is cowardice. Cowardice is a failure to accept responsibility in the face of danger or pain. Some cowards run away from fear and let danger, suffering and pain defeat them. Yet many cowards also overcome fear in their quest to perpetrate evil. Nobody likes being a coward. In times of war, cowards are shot like animals. Cowards are losers.
Thus the reason for overcoming fear also distinguishes the coward from the hero. Evil outside the Church is easy to identify and defeat. More sinister is the enemy attempting to devastate the Church from within. Just before his election as Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger denounced this fifth column of filth rotting the Church from inside. Sometimes quislings are surreptitiously planted as part of an organized infiltration to deliberately weaken and subvert Holy Mother Church. Other times, proclivity to sin poisons the mind of the individual. Every time a Catholic sins, he makes Christ suffer in his own Church.
Cowards like to lurk in the shadows. The way to defeat them is by turning the spotlight on them and exposing them with the potent weapon of truth and reason. Only courage will defeat cowardice. Being a coward is easy: being brave is difficult. Courage accepts the challenge of pain and suffering needed to defeat fear, in order to do good. The warrior most feared by the evil Nazis during World War 2, General George Smith Patton said courage is fear holding on a minute longer.
Everybody loves a hero. Heroes are celebrated in society. A courageous person is a winner. The greatest example of courage the world will ever know is the Life and Death of Jesus Christ. As God, Our Lord knew the greatest suffering His Life and Death meant, but He accepted it all so people could go to Heaven. Yet God is the fount of all good and truth. So, the greatest good one can do is to love God and to do everything for the Love of God. God the Son, Jesus Christ is the founder of Holy Mother Church.
As expected, it takes courage being a true practicing Catholic. But God showed us the way. Catholics have a long history of being ridiculed and violently opposed by ignorants. The martyrology catalogues the multitude of people throughout history who distinguished themselves by sacrificing their lives to defend the goodness of Christ and His truth from persecution by the agents of evil. Holy Mother Church grows and thrives through the blood of Her martyrs.
God, Honor and Fatherland. Polish people have a distinguished heritage of defending God’s truth. A real Polish person loves Jesus Christ to death. History is strewn with the names of Poles liberated by pain, suffering and death to promote the cause of good. In the Middle Ages, when Jews were persecuted throughout Western Europe, Poland opened its doors to them. Poland was the only country in Nazi-occupied Europe where a death penalty was mandatory for assisting a Jew in any way. To help a Jew during the war in Poland was act not just of “mere” courage but of the greatest heroism. Yet Polish people make up the greatest number of “Righteous among Nations” at Yad Vashem. Polish Priests and nuns were very prominent in hiding fugitive Jews during the entire occupation. Martyrs like Irena Sendler, Saint Maximilian Kolbe and not forgetting the famous Polish Dr. Janusz Korczak of the Old Testament, Jewish faith. More recently, Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko was ruthlessly tortured and killed by murderous atheist communists for proclaiming Christ’s truth and love for His suffering people and Blessed Pope John Paul II the Great who was the spiritual inspiration behind the peaceful downfall of the Cold War.
Culture cannot be confused with its eternal enemy: barbarism. Responsibility to sow good around the world, awareness that doing good is heroic and that good stems from defending God’s truth is welded into Polish culture at a very early age. Polish grandmothers inculcate the Sign of the Cross to their grandchildren, as the indestructible foundation of civilised behaviour, at an early age. The centre of Polish Family life is Holy Mother Church. Courage, therefore, comes naturally to a practicing Polish Catholic. Our Lady of Czestochowa Queen of Poland Catholic Church at Marayong is the Champion in actively promoting the goodness of Polish Catholic Family Culture and its heroic love of God.
Now, click the twitter, facebook and like buttons, below, if you think that the world would be a better place if there were more courageous people to proclaim God’s truth. Also post a comment to share with us your stories of how God helped you to act with courage in your everyday life that inspired people around you.