Father Csaba’s reflection on the gospel…..Thursday 18 October 2018
Christ does not only walk Himself on the way of serving love but He also wants to break the cage of our selfishness, freeing us He wants to lead us onto the narrow , often steep road that cannot be compared to anything else , that leads through the pure joys to eternal life !
In the summer of 1982 I went to visit the children living in the orphanage in Csíksomlyó ! Those days I was a fairly frequent visitor at the state run orphanage behind the church . It was a nice, summer Sunday and I asked the children whether they wanted to come to the cinema ?! They responded unanimously with a “Yes” , then confessed that they had never been there before !! I got going to get permission for 3-4 children but by the time the permission was granted , they were already numbering seven! Never mind I worked in the mine , I had money and so we set out to Csíkszereda down on Szék road ! There was a lot of talking, twittering , one question followed another , and they all wanted to hold my hand ! After buying the tickets for the cinema we still had an hour or so to spare so we sat into a cake shop called Toszka , which in those days was the most popular cake and coffee shop ! Quite a number of my friends were sitting there with a nice girl by their side , everybody was surprised to see us. They also made comments that the children were good for the dwarfs but with my 10cm beard I made a very ugly Snow White! I was not particularly bothered by people’s comments , because the children would not give me a moment’s peace, , they admired everything , talked incessantly , they all talked at the same time , but all of them wanted me to try their strudel , as that was definitely the best ! Finally the cakes were polished off, and we started , with a bag of lollies , towards the cinema in the main square . My happy dwarfs talked to every children coming from the opposite direction and with a noisy joy offered them the sweets bought whilst watching the movie . It was unbelievable to see this enormous zest fo life , the goodness, love that emanated from these children from the orphanage !
Then laughing happily , gladly we waited for our turn we also sat down in the cinema .There was a big problem because all of the wanted to sit next to me ! I was the adult , so by a Solomonic decision the two youngest ones sat next to me , the others sulking a bit sat next to them! The children watched television, saw live plays, but never a film.They just could not understand how on a screen the movie will happen, and I with my 25 years , very smartly tried to explain , quietly naturally, quietly , so that we would not disturb others, all my knowledge related regarding the film industry . I talked for a long time because I realised that there will be peace and quiet here only if I can say something wise to the children , otherwise they will start talking and as usual the volume will be gradually “turned up” and seeing the expressions on the faces of those sitting around us I could see their disapproval !
The film started ! Zorro entered on the back of a wonderfull black stallion , in an even more wonderful sunset ! Back then in Erdély there were no colour films we could admire the productions only in black and white , in their original language and under the picture the Romanian translation appeared bit by bit , simultaneous translation was not in vogue here . What did he say? Why was his reply ?Within moments I started filling in that role, of the greatest idol of mankind, who by being a revolutionary , fitted in well with the communist ideology of the times ,however my impromptu translation , did not quite fit in with the notion of other film goers. I was convinced about that by the repeated “taps on my shoulders” coming from behind me , so it was better to admire as all villains all came to grief from the tip of Zorro’s sword !! Who wants a row ? So So I became quiet but my little nest of ants became came to life, it was not enough that all were scared in the dark, they all wanted to hold my hand , but ll of the children started their own commentaries of what they were seeing like the commentators on a soccer match ! And this fact caused a much bigger turmoil among the onlookers, than my simultaneous translation , so the big man sitting behind me , who previously tapped my shoulder very soon in a much more friendly way tapped me on the shoulder again and said : please translate the film for the children , but please try to be quiet , because I'll have you escorted out of the room !! We rearranged the seating order , by the end of an emotional duel , the two little ones sat on my lap, the others drew very close to me and very quietly I started translating again what was seen on the screen !! I have to confess, I tried stick to the plea of the good hearted “big fellow” , but despite all this I have to confess although i held many presentations, to many ,in many different places but during talks , never did I get so many hissing , booing , comments that could not be repeated or were unrepeatable in my lifetime as during that one short hour! The film ended and amidst singer apologies , blushing , flushing with embarrassment we stood up and I started to direct “my children” homewards ! The long way did not seem long because just like after a good game of hockey , again and again we talked over the good bits , that how much chance did that vile dirty rascal have , facing the super hero raising the revolutionary flag high facing the yankees !? None ! Well I said it, but I said it sooner ! Well who said it earlier ? The critical discussion of the film went something like that ! I don’t even have to mention that we got as far as half- analysing the film , when ending the day the squeaking heavy door of the orphanage opened in front of us ! “Stormy” goodbyes started, Looking into the children’s teary eyes , I promised a thousand times that I’ll come again to get them , then left “my orphans" in the care of the gatekeeper and I started to make my way home !
The doors of the church in honour of Our Blessed Lady of Csíksomlyó were open , so I entered to the Virgin Mother ! I knelt in front of the altar , my heart filled with joy, tears pouring from my eyes . Perhaps it was then that I really felt , that how good it is to be good , how good it is to journey on the way of serving love as Jesus Christ showed us ! I saw it clearly that looking after children , to accompany them with responsibility is not simple, not a pretty penny , I cannot really count on the sympathy of people , in fact many times the judgement against them is also going to impose a punishment on me , yet during the past 25 years it brought the most real joy into my life ! Jesus is not offering cheap odds and ends for us in the commandment of love serving the little or lesser ones , but life itself ! It certainly cannot be compared with anything else that simple, pure joy that I tasted among the children that beautiful summer afternoon , and it is also certain that from these simple joys did my entire priestly life arise!
With love, Father Csaba
translated by dr k.e.
Photo : With my sons , daughters at the start of the school year in Gyergyószárhegy at Tatárdomb .
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”