Comments and judgments

Comments and judgments

One of the easiest things in life is to pass comments and judgements on the choice of others. Wait! Do you know why he or she made this choice? Do you know what were the circumstances in which he or she made this choice? Do you know what were the options? … Like this we do not know lots of things, yet we make comments and judgements on the choice of others. Let us try to stop this…think before passing a comment or a judgement! Think all what we do not know about this situation and persons involved. When you recognize how ignorant you are about that specific question, you will realize that you are not even in a position to make a comment. In this way you can avoid producing a lot of negative energy out of your ignorance.

Don Giorgio

The beauty of living together

The beauty of living together

August 23 is the day that changed my perception of living as one. This is the day when I left for a new home without knowing exactly this place or the sisters who were there. But in my heart, I had a lot of peace.

I remember when I was supposed to leave right after breakfast, but God’s plans were different and we left at 3:00 PM at the Hour of Mercy, which was very significant to me.

Strzybnica is a small town where I came across the mantle of Mary and the Heart of Jesus.

When I entered the house to which I was directed by the Provincial Sister, I felt a great warmth, the love of the sisters who had been waiting for me since the morning. I felt safe and welcomed with love, joy, openness and such cordiality, and yet they didn’t know me and I didn’t know them. The atmosphere in this house was unique because you could feel God’s Love in the first place.

The image of parish life that I saw contributed to the unity in our home community – it was a “living church” in which we formed a great family of God. when welcoming me to Holy Mass, he told me to feel at home … and it was like that during my two years there.

The community in which, by the Divine Will, I was given to be, was only a community of three and one generation, but the sisters who accompanied me were deeply prayerful people, from whom I could learn the life of prayer myself. They really loved and allowed themselves to be loved by Jesus and myself.

Each of us looked for good in the other and for the other. I remember how long we sat at meals and it didn’t bother us because we wanted to spend time together. We shared the day lived and Jesus’ experience in our lives. We enjoyed ourselves in freedom, because Jesus and Mary were among us, they united us. I knew that I could always count on them, even when it was hard and I had a difficult day – my sisters supported me with prayer … and it was beautiful.

Despite the fact that each of us has a different story, different experiences, we were connected by LOVE.

I thank God and the Sisters (Sr. Róża and Sr. Albina) for the time spent in Strzybnica, which showed me that creating unity is possible, as long as we are open to one another and accept ourselves as we are in the spirit of God’s love .

S.M. Sabina Adamowska

Charism in practice

Charism in practice

This year, it will be thirty years since I entered our Motherhouse in Wrocław for the first time. One could say that “thirty years have passed as one day …” It was then that I heard for the first time about our Father John, the charismatic Founder of the Congregation. I wrote about the fact that I “fell in love” with him at first sight. Now I want to share what it resulted for many years …

Discovering the charism of the Founder, Congregation, community was for me like looking for an answer to the question about my own identity. During the first holiday meeting, I heard my friends’ admiration for the very current message we have as a Congregation …. The way of transforming the 19th century reality into modern language and the needs that I saw around led me to the conclusion that this “contemporary and timeless ”For me, the charismatic message is CARE FOR THE DIGNITY OF A WOMAN. The form in which it will be possible and to whom it is addressed is a secondary matter. For me, this is a message that is ALWAYS AND ANYWHERE UP-TO-DATE and possible. And if so, there is no excuse that it is impossible, that you cannot take action …

The Founder wrote to us that “we are to be handmaids of servants and serve those whom the world despises.” And if the world despises, it is the DIGNITY of those who are weak, dependent, not self-sufficient, that is under threat and underestimated. That is why concern for DIGNITY and appreciation of the person next to me became the center of my attention, care, prayer and work.

“I cannot thank you, Lord,

because my words are small

Please accept my silence

and teach me to thank you with my life. ”

It’s a chorus of a famous song that I made many years ago into my personal prayer … and I try to implement it in everyday life. I am really sincerely grateful to God for allowing me to experience the possibilities of work and care for the Dignity of a woman for many years. Because that’s what I have been doing for many years at Bardo.

“I was looking for a man” ready with me to give his heart to those whom the world despises, who are helpless, lonely, hurt, despised or only helpless and humble … I believe that help “before it is too late” can save life, hope, joy … and when one man is saved, the whole world is saved!

To create one safe and friendly place for those in need, you don’t need much, but at the same time you need so much – WHOLE HEART! The search for enthusiasts ready to come out against poverty with an attempt to break the chain of helplessness, ready to face the maze of confusing regulations and changing rules, beyond which the most important is MAN and his DIGNITY resulted in the establishment of the Association to help women in crisis, which in honor of the Founder was called: ” Marian Union “. We are here to help in a crisis (difficult situation) and to care for the dignity of every human being, to help “before it is too late”. A crisis means a time of breakthrough, a turning point, a decisive turn, and a period of collapse. Whenever a person experiences a crisis, they feel lonely, different, defective or maladjusted. And that’s why he should seek help from other people to reverse the downward spiral … and that before it’s too late! And one must always hope, because hope is the basis of human existence, “which cannot fail, because it is poured into hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom 5: 5).

In order to help people in difficult and breakthrough situations, restore their self-confidence and their own dignity, the Association undertakes specific actions:

  • Runs the “Hope” Crisis Intervention Center, which over time expanded its activities to include Crisis Intervention Points in the area.
  • Runs a 24-hour Hostel for people experiencing violence in four counties
  • Runs the “ASLAN” Psychological Help Room for Children and Families.

At our doorstep you can receive support, legal, psychological, and above all human and spiritual help. Our clients come with a baggage of worries and go into their everyday life with hope. Those who lack security and close, kind people also find a home with us for several months. Yes, it is a house and not only a safe shelter, as the Founder asked, that our houses “become a second family home for the women staying with us”. Sometimes someone stays with us for a short time and comes back still lost to his uncertain reality. But there are also some women who make important decisions about changes in their lives and really come out to others …

We are happy with every person who left us with “new hope” and motivation to make positive changes in their lives. This action will not be reflected in the numbers, because even if it was only a few people per year, it would be WORTH the trouble, because “He who saves one man’s life saves the whole world” (Thomas Keneally, from the book Schindler’s List) and we are after to “help before it’s too late.”

In addition to the “Nadzieja” Crisis Intervention Center that has been run so far, our Association has started a new form of assistance since May 2019, which is the “ASLAN” Psychological Help Room for Children and Families. Taking up new challenges, we have developed the range of proposed forms of help with a more specialized branch – helping children with sensory integration problems. It is a big problem at the present time, which is a serious crisis in everyday life for children and their families. By helping the child – we help the family in crisis. So “ASLAN” is another form of implementing the principle “we are here to help before it’s too late”. Society despises people with disabilities – no matter what kind – difference or dependency is often a reason for rejection or contempt. Again, I have my opportunity to CARE FOR DIGNITY and to be charismatic in the spirit of our Founder.

Our association is a tiny entity. We have only twenty members and a small territorial and informational reach (we try to expand the information to the best of our ability). We employ 5 people under a contract of employment and two more on request. Based on our limited human, budget and housing resources, we have been running the “Hope” Crisis Intervention Center for years, which has already become a permanent part of the “aid map” of the surrounding area. For less than two years, we have additionally had the Study Room and the SI Room, which are slowly constituting our activities, contributing to the overall development of the work as a whole. We respond to various needs of people who come to us, and we adapt many of the new forms of help to the needs, precisely in order to “help before it is too late”.

I am proud to be able to directly help those in need and those “whom the world despises”, I enjoy my work. Sometimes it is not easy, but I keep opening up to new challenges, taking advantage of even small possibilities and enjoying helping the “individual”. – ABOUT YOURSELF. Hence, about my work for the DIGNITY of the people entrusted to me, I say that it is creative (unique every time) and personal (individual).

And one more, “youngest” way of caring for DIGNITY – this year there will be a three-day retreat in Częstochowa in the Valley of Mercy, during which we will focus on the dignity and identity of women. Their title and “calling slogan”: “To be a woman, to be a woman …” We have already taken up this topic in Bardo during the workshops, and now I can invite everyone for three days in May (07-09.05.2021 contact with the Valley of Mercy in Częstochowa). Rediscovering the identity, dignity, endowment and vocation of a woman in imitation of Mary, the Most Beautiful Woman, is a great joy and passion for me. I invite you to do it with me, in the spirit of the charism of the Servant of God, Father John Schneider!

 

Sr. M. Dorota Frendenberg

It is important to be the bridge

It is important to be the bridge

It is important to be the bridge and not a wall between persons. One of the tendencies which puts wall in between persons is our way of narrations of events, opinions, statements which involves others. Our tendency is to add to or to subtract from the facts according to our conveniency. This actually creates the wall that blocks the truth between persons. Both addition and subtraction create negative energy between persons which is passed to us since we created this wall. So, try to be a bridge which transmits the facts without addition and subtraction. Better be a bridge than a wall.

Don Giorgio

Unity is colorful

Unity is colorful

Uniform – Fascinating images

Everyone knows such paintings: boys’ choirs in uniform festive costumes, athletes in uniform sports outfits, soldiers in uniforms. This is already something: 20, 50, 100 or even more people wearing the same clothes. They are all uniformly dressed. It reminded me of a diocesan pilgrimage to Rome, where over 1,000 of the faithful had entered St. Peter dressed in yellow scarves. Immediately, associations like community, strength come to my mind. I would like to belong to it.

The external image often tempts us to attach the unity of the community to external things. Wearing the same clothes suggests the same habits, same preferences. And when the other person thinks and acts differently, the surprise is great. I did not think so …

Unity is not uniformity

In order to understand unity and then want to live it, one must first of all realize that unity is not uniformity. First I will deal with the realm of facts. The mountain meadow looks gorgeous. If you come closer you will see flowers and grasses of very different shapes and colors. The symphony consists of a multitude of different sounds produced by different instruments.

Diversity: a hallmark of our Church

Pentecost: Many peoples gathered in Jerusalem at that time, each hearing the apostles preach Jesus’ message in their own language.

Diversity among the Apostles: Only in the circle of the apostles can one see diversity: Peter and Paul, James and John – and the Bible tells us that the apostles also fought fiercely with each other on some matters (circumcision, keeping the Jewish law).

 

Paul: Many gifts of grace and one Holy Spirit

In 1 Corinthians, Paul describes the diversity in the church. He talks about the various gifts of grace he experiences in the church. He uses the Greek word “charisma” (the word “charming” is derived from it). Do you know the charisms (gifts, talents, abilities) of others (your family members, sisters, associates …)? It could be exciting (though not easy) to exchange ideas on this topic.

Paul sees a great enrichment in diversity, but also a danger, for example in the formation of small groups or divisions. Therefore, he calls for unity (1 Cor 1: 10-17).

One body and many members

Paul compares the variety with the image of the human body: one body but many members. Not only each member has a role and is important, but even each member is necessary (“The head cannot tell to the feet: I don’t need you!”). Anyone would agree to that immediately.

But the reality is different. Time and time again there are divisions in the world (past and present): “We don’t need him / her.” (foreigners we do not need; children we do not need in worship …).

Reflective question: Can you find Corinth in my life (in our monastery, in my family …)?

Unity has a purpose

Image of the human body can help us understand unity. Because the unity of many limbs has one goal: life. Especially in our body, we feel very quickly how much life is in danger when the limbs fail (sprained foot, headache).

Thus, unity does not just result from uniform appearance or uniform rules. They can indicate that everyone has a common goal.

In the case of athletes it is the will to win that binds them together, in the case of singers it is the joy of music.

One spirit

The image of the human body can also be well applied to a community.

The external uniformity (religious habit, common prayer life) is a sign of a common goal that unites them – despite the individuality of their members: they want to serve life.

This applies to both physical and spiritual life, the life of the individual, as well as the life of the community.

And those who serve life also serve and give glory to God. There are many examples of this in the Scriptures, such as “Whatever you did to one of my brothers and sisters, you did to me.” (Matthew 25:40); or “I have come that they may have life and have it fully.” (John 10:10).

This is what Paul means when, in the diversity of the members, he speaks of one Spirit who animates all.

Prelate Dr. Stefan Dybowski

01/18/2021 Conference for the day of recollection at the monastery St. Augustinus, Berlin-Lankwitz