Political freedom doesn’t exist apart from spiritual truth; The Murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko
Although vaguely aware of the murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, my interest to learn more about him was motivated by viewing the film To Kill A Priest (based on his story, though a fictionalized account) and I recommend it to you: To Kill A Priest (with Christopher Lambert as the priest, Ed Harris as one of the kidnappers/assassins, and Tim Roth as one of the kidnappers). It was an excellent film, and very much adhering to the experiences of Father Jerzy Popieluszko. (You may visit the film’s page with a trailer/a video excerpt here: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/tokillapriest/ – its website also offers a link for streaming or dvd purchase.
I mention the above film (from 1988) first, as it was my introduction to Father Jerzy Popieluszko’s story… and below is my commentary after learning much more about him along with information about the recent documentary now available. The above film was very interesting, and since I was a teenager when his murder occurred, my viewing of the film many years after it was made led me to learn more of this remarkable man almost 20 years after the film was made.
(Trailer for documentary Messenger of The Truth, trailer above includes video of Father Jerzy Popieluszko speaking.)
I believe that the spiritual is the only thing of meaning in this world, thus I reject most men’s ways of trying to use corrupt systems to bring about something good. They are bound to fail from the start.
Political freedom doesn’t occur in a vacuum void of heart-based courage and principle. It doesn’t exist as a state alone, either. There is no such thing as political freedom unless there is the basis of spiritual truth or principle among persons. Thus, man’s attempts to free himself from slavery/tyranny in all its forms through the centuries always results in merely different forms of tyranny/slavery being imposed, for most men choose lies and its darkness of corruption rather than truth, even when their cause is admirable, thus power-grabs are the history of man. From the mind most operate, thus the world as it is; from the heart few operate, thus the world as it is.
Respect of freedom, the intrinsic natural rights of a human being, does not come from man’s attempts to plan it through his reforms and debates and councils and congresses – all based on coercive authority (the antithesis of freedom). It’s existence is predicated, as it is but one of the blessings of, on spiritual freedom. And, spiritual freedom is something almost no one in society today truly grasps, much less speaks of in its purist terms. Yes, many a preacher might use the words, but there’s barely a semblance to what it is coming from those who often judge/condemn and are some of the most vehement supports of coercive authority, messages from those types come laden with dogma.. while the truth, as it always is, is very simple.
The spiritual basis, love, is the only source of “freedom” man so desperately seeks worldwide. But, alas, you rarely find that preached from a pulpit. And love is always bold, strong, and courageous.
In my life there have been few within the clergy whom I have found helpful to my spiritual path, for few speak with a voice of dedication to truth and obvious meditation upon Scripture resulting in a spiritually edifying message of depth.
Amongst the clergy and theologians, I have found far more in literature who have aided my understanding, and less than I can count on one hand whom I have heard who I felt of benefit.
Thus, it is with sadness and admiration that I highly recommend Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a man who was martyred for his devotion to spiritual principle. I know him through the sermons he left with us, and the life of charity and courage.
To all who believe in truth, and a life of freedom, his sermons are a must to read, and his life an inspiration.
“To overcome evil with good” was this priest’s slogan and focus in his messages. And the evil of the communist regime and its oppression during the time of Solidarity rising in Poland was a matter this priest shied not from. For this, he was kidnapped on October 19, 1984 by three Polish Communist internal intelligence “Security Service” officials/agents and later murdered by beating, his body thrown into a reservoir and later discovered on October 30. (In recent years, there has been speculation his murder may have been not the result of only a few SB agents, but possibly the carrying out overseen by the KGB perhaps under orders from the Kremlin…see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/poland/3234739/KGB-involved-in-murder-of-Polish-priest.html )
Regardless of whether it was several rogue agents or upon higher orders, a good man, speaking and living truth, was murdered because of his unflinching devotion to truth. He exposed their darkness with words; they responded with violence. That is the way of the world mankind has made; where there is light, darkness is enraged and lashes out in its vain effort to smother it. But, always, the light remains.
So it is with Father Jerzy Popieluszko, whose message did not end with his death at the age of 37. Having already inspired thousands of Poles (a people Stalin spoke of trying to force Communism upon as analogous to the difficulty of saddling a cow), his message of rejection of revenge and courageous appeal to the masses to turn from fear to truth to realize their freedom, continued to inspire.
And, I urge those who do care about truth, and who understand freedom is the result only of spiritual love, to learn more of and read from Father Jerzy Popieluszko’s sermons. Toward that, I share and recommend:
Excerpts from a few sermons, and website with much more information:
Website for documentary “Messenger of The Truth”: http://messengerofthetruth.com/