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Call To A People

One of the Chicago Newspapers had an article that addressed the reaction of the Polish Community to the airplane crash killing the Polish President and a number of other Polish Government officials.
The reaction was something to the extent of, “It seems like we’re cursed.” I have known that feeling. In my life I am absolutely no stranger to tragedy. My family has known tragedies that I really couldn’t even begin to list. They have challenged our ability, severally and together, to stand strong in many ways.
I’m partially of Polish descent. My grandmother was Polish. I can remember hearing her speak a few words to the next door neighbors in Polish. I studied various Slavic Languages in college, and tried to do my best with the Polish language during the time-period after my mother had a stroke and various Polish women served as caretakers for my mother. They are wonderful people.
It’s important when we go through tragedies as individuals, or as families, or as an entire culture of people to realize that Jesus said, “The Son of man is not come to destroy mens lives, but to save them.” He said this to James and John, whom he nicknamed, ‘the Sons of Thunder.’ It’s in the gospels. Times of tragedy are times to evaluate our relationship with God. When my younger sister was killed while away at college, I found that I had to look deep into my soul and inquire with persistence to God. I needed to know certain things. I needed to change certain things. The same is true of families. The same is true of cultures.
The papa, Pope John Paul II, that great lover of life, was the great promulgator of Humanae Vitae, On Human Life, written by Pope Paul VI, and John Paul II was the tireless opponent of abortion and other forms of genocide. The Polish people, no doubt have a great love and feeling of joy to know that this marvelous man accomplished his mission in love and with unwavering devotion to the truth. This was not a man who would compromise for expediency sake. We too, must not compromise. So often we find ourselves saying, ‘well, if I do this, it’ll bring this good, or… if I vote for this person, even if he is a pro-choice candidate, and even if he does favor partial-birth abortion, still, he will accomplish this other good…’ There is no compromise. Our ‘childhood’ in Christ under that great man has taught us that.
No, Jesus didn’t come to destroy us, to punish us for some indiscretion, for some deep dark secret. He does however call us, through tragedy, to come up higher, to become a more mature people, a fuller embodiment of what his child, Pope John Paul II clarified in his unwavering and gentle way.

-copyright April 2010 John P. Schumake


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