„God wants mankind to form one big family and that we all become good sisters and brothers within this” II. Vatican Councils
Wherever we look, we can see our society torn apart into thousands of pieces by implacable resistance of anger, hatred,imagined or real interests . People turn away testily from one another, quarrelling, taking sides, waging wars ! As a result of this our families are falling apart, our societies are crumbling away, our people disintegrating like sheaf in the big world. I was dismayed to read that in the Carpathian Basin out of every third Hungarian household people live in seclusion.
Looking at the life of our Lord Jesus Christ we can see that He does not scatter, but gathers together. From the moment of His birth, angels are already calling the shepherds, the stars in the sky are calling the Wisemen of the Orient, because Jesus is building a community, lovingly He accepts everybody ! On the day of His baptism, at the start of His public life, He already gathers disciples around himself and out of them He chooses the apostles, He does nothing by Himself. He takes with Him His friends to the wedding in Cana, on His travels as a teacher, a healer and He proclaims it openly that without indiscrimination He wants to draw everybody to Himself. From history we can see, how easily a man can a man become the wolf of another man. Yes, from fear, hatred they can turn on each other, causing wounds dividing a society, but this is the road that always leads into dark chaos, destruction. So who is right? If two cars collide, both of them are damaged and while suffering in hospital it is cold comfort that you were in the right!
The giants of history are walking on the paths of our Lord Jesus Christ of integration, acceptance. Let us just think about our king Saint László who on ascending the throne was able to diffuse the tension between the warring parties and make them sit down for a round-table conference. In those days not only family, community issues but also the division between Christian and pagan outlooks divided people. How much blood and suffering,- the death of Saint Gellért, anarchy, war, terrible wounds- and the king Saint László wisely, serving justice using all power to found the great Hungary of the middle ages. Our holy king was capable to integrate even the conquered enemy. After his victorious battle his soldiers started to slaughter the defeated Kuns/Cumanians; the holy king was pleading crying with his own soldiers not to hurt the conquered enemy. He said: We’ll call priests , so they can teach them that we are all children of our Lord, God, settling down, in peace we’ll build our country together and in case of war with arms in our hands we are going to defend her together.
The golden age of Transylvania after so many dark, decades sullied by a lot of violence ,was finally achieved, brought to fruition by Bethlen Gábor. The people of Transylvania mislead, foolishly became each other’s enemies . The Székelys not only rebelled, but even killed the head of the Transylvanian principality Báthory Endre, the internal divisions, the outside forces virtually threw into disorder the tiny principality. The great monarch (suzerain) born in Marosillye (Ilia) and brought up in Gergyószárhegy (Lazarea) wisely and intelligently could pacify the warring parties. He could involve the different nationalities of Transylvania in rebuilding the country. Though he was a Protestant, he knew the Catholic faith inside out as his mother was a Catholic. His well known contemporary, Pázmány Péter the primate of Esztergom, always spoke of him with recognition and respect.
Wherever we travel in the Carpathian basin, we can see that most of our beautiful towns, public buildings were built after the conciliation. In the 1860-s the Hungarian negotiating parties led by Deák Ferenc, in the Emperor’s court in Vienna, in every important, pertinent question a „settlement” was reached. On the currency that was in circulation then they engraved wisely and sensibly in languages of the people living there in German, Hungarian, Romanian, Slovakian the nature of it so everybody could become familiar with it and could use it to their advantage. The settlement put out the flames of the people’s aggression towards each other and in every respect brought a marvellous boom. It is beyond description that this resulted in , mirrored by the many artistic achievements, scientific results, material wealth that this peaceful period brought upon those - regardless of religion, nationalism, societies - who lived in this region.
In Déva twenty years ago I embarked ,as well deliberately on our Lord Jesus Christ’s way of accepting and embracing lovingly others. During the past years together with my colleagues we took in close to 5000 children into our homes.
Our motto being : The Saint Francis Foundation would like to be like a big tree; among its branches we gladly welcome the birds of heaven, all those children and young people who are tired, lonely and have no place to rest their weary heads. The birds of heaven can come fearlessly to rest on the branches of the big tree! They can either make their nests there, prepare a hollow but if they so wish also feel free to fly on as we do not want to become a cage, for anybody.
My experience showed me that this Christ like acceptance made our days incredibly rich and beautiful, because life is infinitely colourful, beautifully sparkling. No two children are the same, no course of life either. During these twenty years I have learnt who sows love and goodness, reaps love and goodness! I had no regrets for any „yes” that I said! With great, great humbleness I thank God for the strength, courage with which we dared to welcome the many different children, young people knocking on our door.
I firmly believe that only on the way to go and is worthwhile is that of our Lord Jesus Christ , Saint László, Bethlen Gábor, Deák Ferenc . I am convinced that we have to build a common future not by ousting, destroying each other but via a humble, ongoing dialogue. Transylvania, the Carpathian-basin is big enough to provide all those who live here an honest existence.
This what I am praying for, that our churches, our political parties, people with their own different views should not try to drive out each other , but let us dare to implement trustingly what the Church in the II. Vatican Council so beautifully stated: „God wants human beings to form one big family where we can be good brothers and sisters for each other.”
Böjte Csaba OFM.
22nd July 2013.
translated by dr Kalotay Eszter