Adopt a terrorist

0743c159d74b1fbf195361503e3d9bf3640000-300x200This morning when I read about the attacks, my first thought was “it started”. Now everyone will be the expert to judge. Some will use the tragedy against refugees, some will use it a an excuse for bombing another country and just accidentally taking some oil. Some will change their profile picture to the flag of France, and others will increase inspections at airports. Some will light a candle at the French embassy, and others will in another way declare their solidarity with the French. The question, however, is much deeper – will this change the world? No. It will restore our peace. We will stand in solidarity, declare war on terrorism, will not let “others” into the country. It will be calm. In a few days, weeks, months, everyone will forget about Paris and return to everyday life. Only, again we are seeming to miss the gospel… “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three” (Lk 12: 51-52). Peace is not the greatest value, love is.

Today I visited the museum of exile in Gdynia. This is one of the modern museums, where in an interactive way, you can learn an important part of our history. This time, the history of immigrants, who at different times, in different directions, and for very different reasons left Poland. Some have been forced to do so, but most did so voluntarily. When I read about the ships to America, where in inhuman conditions, taking third class, young men traveled in search of a better living, it was hard not to notice how not much has changed in 100 years. Only now, in Poland, we are at the other side. For some, today our country is a dream. And some of us, knowing our history have the nerve to shout  “Poland for Poles” … Nation is not the greatest value, love is.

More than about the victims and refugees, I thought about the perpetrators today. What could make someone do such cruel things in the name of God? We know it’s essentially not about God, but I think it may be about ideals. Ideals that have been taken away from the youth by a secular world. We don’t want anyone to feel stressed, we try not to be demanding, but we believe everyone is entitled to have everything. Perhaps this is where we can find the root of violence and people looking for the meaning of life in the wrong places.  Maybe this is why they reach for fundamentalism which leads to a great tragedies. Ideals are not the greatest value, love is.

And where in this world full of pain and injustice should a Christian find himself? What should he do to change the world? Only love. So little and so much at the same time. Loving every refugee, every Muslim, every neighbor, and what’s more – every single terrorist. Every Christian should spiritually adopt one of the terrorists in ISIS. He should faithfully pray for him every day, he should fast for him and offer his suffering for him. He should trust his almighty God, that He can transform the human heart, which has been overwhelmed by hatred, which has been brainwashed and which is killing in the name of God. Do you believe He can? Do you really want to change the face of the earth? Just love.

About s. Ewa Bartosiewicz RSCJ

I am a religious sister from the Society of the Sacred Heart in Poland. In June 2015 I have made my first vows and started work in Gdynia as a catechist. Now I live in Poznań and am responsible for the Vocation Ministry.
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