Jesus, Shining Light in Trouble

25 February 2020

A memorial day gets its real meaning, if it is more than remembering the events long gone. A memorial day should be filled with useful meaning, with the lesson to be drawn while providing guidance for the future to the people of our day.

For two decades now on the 25th February, we remember the victims of the Communism. On this day in 1947 Béla Kovács, Secretary General of the Independent Smallholders’s Party was arrested. He was taken to the Soviet Union, where he was imprisoned for eight years. First on the Gulag, then in the prison of the Ministry of State Security in Moscow.

The Hungarian Catholic Church suffered many tribulations during the red dictatorship, the path of its witnesses was full of executions, tortures, humiliations and long years in prison. But the time of the intimidations and retaliations also showed what a strength and perseverance may come from the faith in God, resulting in a strong fidelity to truth and justice.

As last year in the Exaltation of the Holy Cross parish of Pócspetri His Eminence, Cardinal Péter Erdő said, we should always remember the sufferings to which our ancestors were bound by their faith. We should ask why they did this, or – to be even more precise – for whom was all this done. It was Jesus, for whom we have suffered through the centuries, and he is, who still has a message even today. “We have to ask what he wants from us today, and we shall be as faithful to him, as were the great ones of our nation!”

As faithful as the nun, Irén Szita – one of the witnesses of the series He and I – was to Jesus, who has spent years in the prison of the Communism. Her life teaches the people of today, both the faithful and the searchers that in the times of the great trouble God gives strength: “I have never had such a beautiful Christmas in my life then in the solitary confinement. (…) I always felt, that the way I live this, is not because of my weak will, but Lord gives strength to it. (…) I ask my dear fellow humans to never forget Jesus, because he is merciful and has a loving heart, and if we are looking for him, then he is always there , and never abandons us.”

Cardinal Péter Erdő’s words in Pócspetri serve as a guidance between the slipping intents of men and the plan of God: “Even in our days, history works on two levels. In the flow of events on the surface work the honest, or false, self-confident or malicious, generous or selfish endeavours. While in the deep, the plan of God is moving forward, which does not exclude human suffering and tragedies, but serves the eternal and full justice. Because our life surpasses time and space, because the trials and tribulations of the earthly life are dwarfed compared to the final justice of the eternal happiness.

Between 13-20 September, during the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress such a country will host the Catholics from all over the world, which owes its freedom from the Communism also to those authentic representatives of the Church, who – even in the greatest dangers – were strong enough to call Jesus for help in their decisions.