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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

Cardinal Burke's Observation - a word of wisdom in a time of crisis

A story is told about the saintly Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, Archbishop of Gniezno and Warsaw in Poland and Primate of Poland, who was first imprisoned and then placed under house arrest by the Communist government, beginning in September of 1953. He and those who assisted him witnessed the inhuman treatment, indeed torture and execution, of so many prisoners. One of those who was assisting him during the time of his house arrest expressed, one day, fear about who might arrive at the door. The fear was not unfounded. The Cardinal is said to have responded that, when fear knocks at the door, courage opens the door, and there is no one there. In other words, in times of suffering and even death, we must have the courage of those who are alive in Christ. We cannot give way to fear, which is a natural sentiment in time of danger but which Satan uses to take away our Christlike courage. Rather, we must have ever greater confidence in Our Lord Who will never abandon us. If we go forward with courage, yes, there will be suffering, but there will not be defeat. When courage opens the door, what we feared so much will not be there because Christ is with us. Rather, there will be the victory of Christ in our human flesh. In the present and most grave situation in which we are living in the world and in the Church, let us remember the example of the Venerable Cardinal Wyszyński. When fear would overcome us, let us be courageous in Christ Who indeed is risen and lives in us.

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