Life for life
You certainly know the figure of Bl. Father Maximilian Kolbe, who voluntarily gave his life for a fellow prisoner. We feel, that it was a beautiful act. But why ? After all, in line with this, what you studied before, man should guard his life and not risk death.
Can I give my life ?
Man lives in society. It comes into the world through people. It owes all its development to others. Takes a lot from others, but it should also give a lot. It is worth that, how much good it will do to people. So it is supposed to serve society with its intelligence, material goods, physical strength and health. Although he has the full right to life and proper development conditions, and society has a duty to ensure his personal safety, however, exceptional situations may occur. Then they appear higher reasons than their own safety and demand the highest sacrifice of life on the part of man. History tells us of such sacrifices as heroic deeds.
God himself shows it to be right, by giving up her Son to save the world. The death of Jesus Christ for human sins is evidence, that there are values greater than life. ,,No one has greater love than this, when someone lays down his life for his friends " (J 15, 13).
When to give my life ?
Maybe it seems to us, that sacrifice of one's own life is actually required only in times of war or persecution. Meanwhile, we may encounter situations every day, when you have to risk your health or life. Nobody would call it reckless or suicide. Contrary, then we are talking about sacrifice, courage, nobility. What situations are these ?
They are related to certain professions. For example, a priest, doctor, militiaman, firefighter, if they want to conscientiously perform their official duties, they can pay for it with health or life. And no one will say, it's reckless. Rather, they will write : he died at the police station, gave his life in the service of his neighbor, etc.. So who decided to serve society in this way, must be prepared for it. He cannot step back and flinch at the critical moment. Society is entitled to such a great sacrifice on its part. Because work cannot be considered only as a source of income, but it must be viewed as a service to God and neighbor.
When the homeland is in danger, it must be defended even at the cost of a life sacrifice. Running away is then cowardice, and even a crime against the state. On the other hand, disability and death are pride and heroism.
An example of this, for example, during the last war, when so many Poles died for freedom. They placed the honor of the Pole higher and the freedom of the Homeland from their lives higher.
People are ready to give their lives for their beliefs as well. They constitute their deepest personal value. Giving my life for them, they are faithful to their conscience. For believers, faith is such a value. Therefore, giving their lives for faith, they want to be faithful to God and their conscience. We have many heroes of faith in the history of the Church. We honor some as saints, we connect with them in the time of the leap-
the presentation of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. They are a model for us to behave in the moment of trial. Sometimes a natural disaster strikes a nearby area. Then everyone runs to the rescue. And it happens, that someone voluntarily risks losing his life.
We encounter examples of such heroism during the flood, fire, accident in the mine, in the factory, etc..
When a man dies next to you, he must be saved. This will not always be possible without detriment to one's health. And yet we do not hold back from this. If you were scared, that by saving your neighbor you will put your life at risk and, driven by such fear, refrain from helping, you would be unethical and face universal condemnation.
When you see a hungry man next to you, in dire need, you have to help him, even if it were connected with the damage to one's own health. It takes great nobility, in such moments not to succumb to fear for your own existence and not to close in on yourself.
Life is a great treasure, but not the most important. There are others that are more valuable. It is love of God and love of neighbor, Homeland and beliefs, responsibility for entrusted tasks. And that's why it's allowed, and you even have to be ready to make the biggest sacrifice for them, it is for giving life.
This is what a Christian should do first, to fulfill Christ's commandment of love : ,,This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I love you '' (J 15, 12), that is, until he gives his life for us.
How will I answer God ?
Now you understand, why do we admire Father Maximilian today, why we pay tribute to martyrs and heroes. In them we admire love that has gone to the extreme.
Rarely does God put us in such circumstances. But when it does happen, will selfishness close my heart and take away my courage ? I will consider this when choosing a profession. Do I think about my future professional work only as a source of income, or as a service to God and neighbor ?
"God, which you wanted, that St.. John the Baptist was the forerunner of the birth of your Son, make it happen, please, let us like him, who gave his life for truth and justice, they lived bravely confessing your teachings " (Roman Missal - Collect of. 29 August - Martyrdom of St.. John the Baptist).
■ Think :
1. Jak Bóg i ludzie patrzą na ofiarę z życia ?
2. W których zawodach praca jest związana z narażaniem się na utratę życia ?
3. Dla obrony jakich wartości człowiek może narażać swoje zdrowie i życie ?
4. W jakich sytuacjach jesteśmy zobowiązani narazić własne zdrowie i życie dla dobra bliźniego ?
■ Remember :
37. What is the sacrifice of life in the service of God and neighbor for a Christian? ?
The sacrifice of life in the service of God and neighbor is for a Christian the fulfillment of Christ's commandment of love.
■ Task :
1. Podaj przykłady ludzi współczesnych, who, fulfilling their profession, sacrificed their health or life in the service of God, my neighbor, Homeland.
2. Uzasadnij powiedzenie : ,,It is easy to talk about the motherland, harder to work for her, even harder to die, and the hardest to suffer ".