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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Ukrainian Refugees: A Polish Welcome

Ania Bandura

Marco and Ania at Marian Shrine in Częstochowa

Ania is a Polish journalist who interviewed me for a Catholic journal last December before our training in Kraków. We met, she met Marco, and the rest is romantic history.

I recently returned from the Polish-Ukrainian border. Trains filled with 1,000-2,000 refugees, bound for safety in Poland every few hours, sobered me. Unforgettable. Mothers' tears, uncertainty about the future of their children, concern for their husbands who stayed to fight--their faces foretell the coming heaviness.

God’s Sacred Heart is grieved. War is far from His will.

But the present circumstances beg the question: what if God allowed this war so that we could respond in love? A hard paradox for sure! War reveals much evil in people; is it possible that God invites us to overcome evil with good?

I’ve seen many in Poland who have surprised me. Especially those who are seemingly pagan, disconnected from their faith. Yet they are activated by another’s need and do good to the oppressed. This war has sobered my generation and is provoking us to lend a helping hand.

As evil lurks, the sleepy wake up to love another. The Holy Spirit is moving human hearts—His Presence is stronger than Putin’s. I marvel at how Jesus’ Spirit is rousing us in these difficult days.

I spoke with Carmelite priests from Wadowice who were encouraged by long lines of persons seeking the cleansing flood of confession. They are living in the rhythm of mercy! This is powerful grace as to endure the times. May we prevail over the hardships with greater Love. If even non-believers are moved with pity for the displaced, how much more should we the faithful ache and act?

Please pray that we Poles might manifest our faith to all who have need of us. Jesus and His Mother have been our hope at every turn of history. May we not fail to act on that faith today.


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