Last month, Poland formally proclaimed Jesus Christ her King. This was not only the Polish Catholic Church; the Polish people and President participated, too, clearly declaring the truth that all is under the authority of Christ. You can read more here.
This is a great sign of Poland’s hope and of God’s power to restore and renew people (and nations) from turmoil. Just forty years ago, Poland was under Communist rule. Religion was banned from the public square, and a tyrannical government did everything it could to crush the Polish people and their faith.
But God had prepared the nation well; He’d already sent in reinforcements.
Poland’s Catholic roots ran a thousand years deep, and in 1905, the birth of Helena Kowalska caused the Polish faith to affect the entire world. Helena would go on to become Sister Faustina, the “secretary” who would receive Christ’s Divine Mercy messages and image. The Divine Mercy message, spread informally throughout Poland right from the very beginning, gave them hope during World War II (and the Communist rule that followed it), and deeply influenced the future Saint John Paul II. After his election to the papacy in 1978, Saint John Paul II and Lech Walesa planted a seed, the Polish people nourished it, and God lent it His might. Now, less than forty years later, the entire country has consecrated itself to Christ, in full view of that once-Communist public square, with the head of the government participating in the liturgy. What a restoration! And a key catalyst for all of it was the way the Polish people embraced God’s message of Divine Mercy.
In contrast, we see the path Belgium has taken. Over approximately the same forty-year period that saw Poland restored, Belgium has abandoned its deep religious heritage and left its churches empty. A radical secularism is the new norm there, and the removal of faith has enabled Belgium’s legalization of child euthanasia. This year marked the first time that a Belgian youth gave up his chance at life by using doctor-inflicted suicide. Child euthanasia in Belgium is proof that, without God, it’s easy for anyone to forget the hope in tomorrow.
As Americans, we have to stand strong for religious freedom. Our nation is a battleground where the faith that is saving Poland and the radical secularism that’s yielding despair in Belgium are vying for primacy. We choose the winner by either accepting God’s sovereignty in our lives or by pushing him to the periphery and then out of sight.
There are plenty in our culture who would have religion removed from everything. We’re on a slippery slope, to say the least, and the more ground we give, the more they’ll take. It’s time to “open wide the doors to Christ.” Poland has led the way.