Pope John Paul II: ‘The Defence of Poland’ (2)
May this good thing, which appeared in so many places and so many ways, never cease on Polish soil. May there be a constant confirmation of that ‘I watch’ of the call of Jasna Gora, which is a response to the presence of the Mother of Christ in the great family of the Poles. ‘I watch’ also means: I feel responsible for this great common inheritance whose name is Poland. This name defines us all. This name obliges us all. This name costs us all. Perhaps at times we envy the French, the Germans or the Americans because their name is not tied to such a historical price and because they are so easily free: while our Polish freedom costs so much. My dear ones, I will not make a comparative analysis. I will only say that it is what costs that constitutes value. It is not, in fact, possible to be truly free without an honest and profound relationship with values. We do not want a Poland which costs us nothing. We watch, instead, beside all that makes up the authentic inheritance of the generations, seeking to enrich it.
A nation, then, is first of all rich in its people. Rich in man. Rich in youth. Rich in every individual who watches in the name of truth: it is truth, in fact, that gives form to love. My dear young friends! Before our common Mother and the Queen of our hearts, I desire finally to say to you that she knows your sufferings, your difficult youth, your sense of injustice and humiliation, the lack of prospects for the future that is so often felt, perhaps the temptations to flee to some other world. Even if I am not among you every day, as was the case for many years in the past, nevertheless I carry in my heart a great solicitude. A great, enormous solicitude.
A solicitude for you. Precisely because ‘on you depends tomorrow’. I pray for you every day. It is good that we are here together at the hour of the call of Jasna Gora. In the midst of the trials of the present time, in the midst of the trial through which your generation is passing, this call of the millennium continues to be a programme. In it is contained a fundamental way out. Because the way out in whatever dimension – economic, social, political – must happen first in man. Man cannot remain with no way out. Mother of Jasna Gora, you who have been given to us by Providence for the defence of the Polish nation, accept this evening this call of the Polish youth together with the Polish Pope, and help us to persevere in hope! Amen.