“Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5: 8)
For Polish Catholics, 28 May 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński’s departure to the House of Father. Cardinal Wyszyński is commonly known as Poland’s ‘Primate of the Millennium. His death took place about a fortnight after Pope John Paul II was shot in an assassination attempt.
Wyszyński is credited with helping to preserve and strengthen Catholic faith in Poland in spite of the communist regime’s religious and political persecution from 1945 onwards.
Although the Ven. Servant of God Cardinal Wyszyński is very little known in the English-speaking world, his teaching seems to be timeless and universal. He was totally convinced – as was John Paul II – that purity of heart and of body go together, because chastity is “the custodian of” authentic love.
Happily, in distant South Africa, some parents appear to agree with the close correlation of these two factors, since they openly disapprove of CSE which is being taught in certain provinces in public schools, behind their back. At times these parents voice the slogan – “Our children don’t NEED comprehensive sex education. Keep that out of our schools!”
They are deeply concerned that multiple UN agencies, federal and local governments, and school administrations are implementing, promoting and/or funding highly controversial CSE programs that destroy innocence and corrupt children. Regrettably, numerous appeals to the Education department to do away with sex education in schools fell on deaf ears.
In 1958, Cardinal Wyszyński, expressing grave concern about the threat to the dignity of a woman directed to Polish girls a famous letter “Only pure heart is able to love truly” which still can constitute a useful moral compass for young adolescents in Pretoria, Baltimore, Edmonton or Perth. Here are seven ways that he presents to live purely:
1. Purity is your treasure
”You will bring yourself … your heart primarily to family, engagement, marriage. What you will bring will be the way you are: pure and innocent, or defiled… To have a happy engagement and marriage depends on yourself. If you enter an engagement pure, your marriage will be pure. The doorstep of your house will be holy, children will be born from a pure mother. If you enter defiled then everything will be defiled.”
2. Your way of life
“It cannot happen that a girl who is pure at heart and full of dignity would behave like a boy, only because it is trendy. Your heart, subjected to the rational will, should tell you the way of dressing and speaking, hairstyle, glance, body language. So it is clear that your heart must be pure – at any cost – your affect must be rational, your bodily demeanour should express the dignity of a child of God.”
3. Your way of speaking
“It is not all the same what words you use while talking to your friends, or even saying to yourself when no one else hears you, or when you are looking for something in haste. […] A naughty word coming out of mouth carves something in your being and leaves a mark. Treasure your mouth and the words you utter, especially when you turn to other people. Then they can curve something in others. Look at the mouth of Our Lady in the shrine of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa: astonishingly good, calm, almost tacit. How soothing her words are; they do not hurt anyone!”
4. Your way of looking
“…Therefore much depends on how you look, much, sometimes even someone’s peace or life. Control your gaze. […] Look deeply in the eyes of Our Blessed Lady, there you can best see her Son. Keeping your eyes fixed on them will make other people see in your eyes the things of God. One day you will be looking into the eyes of a beloved man, you will be looking into the eyes of your children. Preserve the depth of gaze and purity for them. Do not waste it. Do not distort it by seductive squinting.”
5. Your movement and gesture
“Your behavior should rather induce other people to kneel before you than abuse you. It is only up to you if someone kneels to you or maltreats you. You are responsible for the feelings you may evoke in another human being: respect and a sign of love or disregard and passion. Remember, you are not only responsible for the feelings in your heart you keep for someone but also for the ones you may stir up in him. Being economical with gestures and body movement will preserve the treasure in your heart for great love, for your life companion – the father of your children.”
6. Your dressing
“It is not all the same how you dress, on the contrary it is very important. The Black Madonna is decorated with lilies. Does a lily go well with all of your clothes? Contemporary women seen in public, even those on the throne, do not have a lot of clothes on. After all, a dress is for covering a body. […] Be fashionable but the vogue has its limits too. Do not let it strip you of dignity and modesty. Do not let it affect you but rather you should create fashion. You are neither a doll nor a manikin so that everyone can do whatever he likes with you. You are a human being, a woman, a Pole and the child of God.”
7. Purity proves costly, but you can do it
“Look closely at the two scars on the Black Madonna’s right cheek, this is a Knightly Lady who knows what fighting and blood are. […] Purity proves costly and it is very dear. This is a knightly virtue, the virtue of victors and courageous people. Those who are craven and complacent cannot afford it. The Virtue of purity must be fought for. To get it sometimes you must struggle on despite the pain. Even if an Italian girl, Maria Goretti had been able – out of love for Christ and for His Mother, to suffer martyrdom rather than compromise her purity, then cannot Polish girls gazing at the face of Black Madonna afford to defend purity and modesty? Cannot you stand up to immodest dressing, facing the martyrdom of peer pressure?”
Loving the Black Madonna of Jasna Góra more than almost anyone else, Wyszyński sought to save human souls from the loss of eternal life. It should be stressed that his abiding love for the Mother of God, was the main driving force of all his commitment to the Church, Polish nation and beloved country.
When in February 1953, the Communist authorities under the chairmanship of Bolesław Bierut decided to interfere in the internal affairs of the Church arbitrarily depriving it of existing rights, the Primate of Poland firmly stated “When the Emperor is sitting on the altar, we respond briefly – Non possumus!” This act of defiance led to his arrest and imprisonment which lasted until the autumn of 1956. He is therefore a perfect model to be imitated by contemporary bishops and cardinals.
The political system, in which this man of God was destined to live and to serve his fellow man, usurped the right to eliminate or limit parental authority for educating children in the Catholic faith. To this he was strongly opposed. Wyszyński claimed that every state should accept the inalienable right of man to private as well as public worship of God and to practicing Holy Faith, which in turn should be passed on to children in the context of home upbringing and school education.
Currently very many public schools students and public-school teachers are at the forefront of the gender indoctrination and propaganda war, which is far far more dangerous. The extent to which “trans” activists are taking over the public education system is absolutely staggering. It is a very difficult time, but let us not lose hope. As Cardinal Wyszyński, on his death bed, said: “All my hope lies in the Virgin Mary and Her plans.” She will carry out a great plan of salvation –“In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
The beatification of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński is scheduled for September 12, 2021, in Warsaw, Poland. One can safely assume that he intercedes for us before the Face of God. Therefore, praying together and speaking with one voice we loudly exclaim: Non possumus!
“Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith” (1Peter 5: 8-9)