January 5th, 2003

“In the beginning”

   Did you get older during this year? Or did you get younger?
Did you get older during this year? No matter how old you are. And how much older did you get? You turned sad. You turned bitter. You turned sulky. You scowl at the world. You do not see good future, only bad. Day by day your conviction is confirmed; we are going towards the precipice --all of us, our country, Europe, the world. Humanity is sinking in the mud.

Did you get older? That means – you turned sad. That means – you turned bitter. That means – you turned sulky. That means – you see black clouds on the horizon. You see thieves, crooks, bandits and murderers everywhere, in all social categories, no exceptions. This confirms your theory that we are going towards a chasm, that it is bad, that it’s worse and worse, worse than last year. And last year it was already tragically bad.

You did turn older. You did turn sulky. You go into your shell. You keep standing still. You are not waiting for anything good. You do not expect any improvement, any solutions to difficult problems. You avoid people. You consider them fools, all of them. You know very well what is happening, you know everything, you know better, you know the best. Nobody can convince you otherwise. You have your unshakable arguments. The only thing you expect is catastrophe.
* * *

But maybe you got younger during this year? No matter how old you are. Are you cheerful?
Is your attitude optimistic? Do you see the good, even an insignificant one? As if someone found a daisy in the middle of a frozen meadow and felt very happy because of it, so are you when you find at least the smallest trace of the good, of wisdom, of beauty. You build your faith in people on that. Not only faith in people, but faith in yourself, too.
After all, there are honest people. There are wise people – in our nation, as well as in the world. There are good people, loving people. There are disinterested people. Whenever you find a trace of such unselfishness, you get happy like a child.

Did you get younger during this passing year? Did you learn how to ask still better questions? You think that you do not know everything yet, that you are not a know-all. You consider it necessary to learn something from other people, from books, from lectures from the press. You are curious. You are inquisitive. You are looking for answers.

Did you turn younger? You are full of ideas, initiatives, attempts, improvements, small inventions of your own. And you are sure that someday one of them will work, will be effective.

Did you get younger during this passing year? You were restless; you did not let your surroundings take a rest. You were searching for people to work with. You were explaining, persuading, you tried to make them move, to wake up, to make them grow enthusiastic over your initiatives.

Because youth means new ideas, new thoughts, not stopping at what we have already achieved. Youth means openness, looking around – what else can be done better, what else wiser, what else more perfect.
* * *

But, let your youth be founded on God. Let it take roots in God. For it was He, who created us longing for beauty, for wisdom, for freedom.
Did you turn younger this year? Then ask God may also this year, the one we have just begun, become the same road of youth, which you followed during the previous year.
                                                                                       Fr. MIECZYSŁAW MALIŃSKI

translation Monika Darron