strona do druku

August 23, 2009

One has life

     During my travels, when I was following our pope John Paul II, I ended up in India, south of Goa, in the town of Trivandum, in the monastery of Capuchins, all of whom were Hindu.  I was surprised to see that the inscription placed over the parish building said: “Production cooperative.”  I asked:  “Why not a parish?  Why not - a Catholic Church?”  I received an answer:  “For the Hindus don’t treat Catholic religion as a religion but as a charitable association which takes care of the poor.  And in fact we do manufacture simple furniture and provide employment for the poorest.”  I was surprised and astonished:  To treat Christian religion as a charitable association is a misunderstanding.  But I said to myself:  then again, it seems to be so; if we believe that God is Love and we worship Him with our lives, then one can say that we are an association of neighborly love.
     This particular memory came to my mind when I’ve observed what’s been going on here in Dębki this year.  I have to admit that, like never before, the number of children has been impressive – and I mean these little ones who are cared for by the parents.  Parents’ work becomes noticeable.  Children in one’s arms, children held by the hand, children riding “piggyback,” the youngest ones in mothers’ or fathers’ arms, in the carriers on the back, in the front, in various kinds of strollers, and strollers being pulled or pushed with great effort through the sand dunes by fathers or even mothers themselves.  This is a vacation supplement to the gigantic work which absorbs parents 24 hours a day.  Supplement to love which fills entire life of every mother and father.  This is this love which is given with joy and warmth every single day; hugs, caressing, and constant dialogue.  Flooded by the river of questions to which a child expects answers, flooded by requests, requirements, and colossal demands.  Focused to guess what the child wants, what the child does, where he or she is going, where to he or she is running, what he or she means, they try to understand shouts of joy, awkwardly pronounced or totally unintelligible words.  When child wants to eat everything or doesn’t want anything.  When his or her head is hot with fever.  When he or she cries without apparent reason.  This is the purest love connecting parents with a child but also with God Himself.
     What does that have to do with Holy Mass? Prayer? Adoration?  What does it have to do with contemplative life which ties us to God?
     Once St. Vincent a’ Paolo was walking down the hallway of the hospital which he had organized and in which he employed the sisters whose convent he created.  One of the sisters approached him and asked; “Do we have to participate in everyday’s Mass?  The sick are waiting for us and we are walking away to pray.”  The saint looked at her and pointing to the jug of soup which she was carrying he said:  “It’s so that this jug of soup wouldn’t become a burden for you.”  She did not understand.  He repeated:  “We go to church and participate in Holy Mass to strengthen our love which we then give to the sick.” 
     Maybe I shall hear an analogical question form a mother or a father:  Why do I have to attend Holy Mass on Sunday, if I am so busy with my child?”
     Here’s my answer:  It is so that your child doesn’t become a burden for you.”  For there may come a moment when you have enough – enough of work with the child, enough of his or her whining, crying, screaming, or fuss; when you feel that you are not going to take it anymore and you are ready to toss it all.  That’s why you have Sunday Holy Mass – to renew yourself, to refresh your sensitivity, so that your patience, forbearance, compassion, and love may come back; for neither you nor your child can live without it.