Sunday, April 18, 2010

For Human Law and Divine

And God’s Purpose in Everything

It is chill under the yellow sky of the setting sun. Clouds fade to violet in atonement for the jovial hue, and the wind mourns poignantly as the sun departs. I quickly realize I would regret the linen skirt, and hug myself closer, then shrug my shoulders the next moment. Why should I be comfortable after all?

I glance at my little posey to be sure it was not bruised. Tulips of red and white for Poland are strewn across the cobblestone of Plac Zamkowy alongside the fragrant daffodils for the season of Easter. One cannot forget that we are still in the Great Season. My modest little cluster is meant for the Katyn memorial, as I had left a white rose at a monument for the deceased president. The posey is pink; red is the colour of blood and passion. I am not Poland’s daughter, and do not think I have the right to say I love her so much as to present a red rose. Pink is the colour of affection, but I made certain that my miniature bouquet was a deep, sanguine hue.

The bells toll unceasingly, and the dirge plays through the speakers as we, the crowd and I, watch on the televised projection, the sorrowful procession inching its way forward. The face of Kaczynski’s twin brother sometimes emerges on the screen, eerily suggesting a ghost following the coffin with his loved ones. Sometimes the screen displays the beautiful face of his daughter, who has her father’s nose and mouth, and perhaps her mother’s hair.

Columns of purple clad priests and bishops proceed ahead of them, just behind the acolytes and the cross-bearer. Military men in every form of uniform, armed, unarmed, on foot, and mounted make up the procession. We watch as they progress, as they enter St. John’s Cathedral to the pristine choir’s song. I can imagine them passing the tomb of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski just before they genuflect to the Tabernacle of the Most High.

Mass begins, and I pray with those mourning, straining my ears for the variable parts, trying catch words and names that will tell me what Scripture is read and what consolation the Cardinal gives. The Mass is the Mass however, and all I need is that moment where the bell is rung in warning, the masses crowded in the Castle’s square fall to their knees on the cobblestone. Young, middle-aged, and old alike bow their heads, and the words are spoken: Bierzcie i jedzcie z tego wszyscy, to jest bowiem Ciało Moje, które za was będzie wydane. We strike our breasts three times.

Twenty minutes after Communion commences, we are dismissed and blessed. Shivering and chattering in my teeth, I make my way to a public restroom and swiftly emerge again. Five more minutes of wandering, and I finally spot a priest in the square, I race to where he stands, giving Communion to three religious sisters, and I fall on my knees beside them.

‘Ciało Chrystusa.’

‘Amen,’ and I bow my head. Eternity is within me for a moment. In my fleshly frame and my finite soul, the lantern’s frame separating Christ from me is pierced, and that Light floods undivided into my individuality. I remain awhile in the square of Zygmunt’s cross. When the votives are glowing in the indigo darkness, and the moon is a pearlescent crescent against Latona’s velvet mantle, I rise with my posey and blue votive to find the dedication to Katyn.

Finding a lonely corner amidst the various bouquets and candles colouring the display even in darkness, I go to my knees and place my little offering there, borrowing light from a great yellow votive to kindle mine. As I stare at a photo depicting the excavation of the dead in Smolensky sixty-seven years ago, seventy years after the atrocity itself, the words of a Polish friend echo in my ear. ‘I am convinced in that incredible accident there`s some mystic meaning, plan. I`d like to understand…’

Creative Commons License
O prawa ludzkie i boskie, O wszystko: I by Rachel Rudd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at


About Me

My Photo
Warsaw, Poland
Domine, spero quia mundum vicisti. Lord, I trust that Thou hast overcome the world. Panie, ufam, żeś pokonał świat.
View my complete profile