Even though this world does not care about the announcement of Christ’s second coming, believers cannot fail to care. We are to watch and be ready. This readiness involves living in a state of sanctifying grace and is expressed in a living faith that shows direction and gives strength.
Particularly in Advent, we should pray more and stand faithfully in expectation. For as Benedict XVI writes: “To live Advent means to live as an awakened person and to awaken others”.
We bless you and wish you fruitful waiting.
Building Something Good
I could call the Sisters of Mary Immaculate from the PoMOC Association in Katowice for Women and Children as angels on earth. My story of getting to the sisters is not simple … probably any girl who found herself in the Association Center is not simple …
The sisters saved me twice – the first time when I was thrown out of my family home with a 4-month-old son and referred by MOPS to the sisters. Earlier, in the Single Mother House, where I stayed for three days, it was so terrible that I knew that whatever it was there, it couldn’t get any worse. On a frosty February day, I was greeted by my sister Basia – she came to pick us up at the gate.
I will never forget it, and even as I write it, I feel warm in my heart. I fed my son, gave a bath, and my sister showed me our room. I walked in and saw flip-flops with cherries, colorful, and that’s when I felt a great relief and peace that I had never felt before. I managed to raise money for renting an apartment and the story should end here happily. But, unfortunately, life writes its script … My son’s father was released from prison, the relationship was great – for a year or two … Later I got pregnant for the second time and the horror began. From challenges, to beatings, renouncing the child that I was carrying under my heart and locking me at home for 12 hours in a threatened pregnancy and with my little son at home. I was able to find the strength to put this man in a prison for bullying me. And perhaps there should also be a happy ending here, but not. I was in my third pregnancy when depression attacked me insidiously (now I know it was him I didn’t know then). I perfectly remember the day when Sister Anna came to me with a food package. She quickly realized that it wasn’t that it wouldn’t help me. It was then for the second time that I went to the center and I gave birth to a wonderful son there.
What have I learned and what have I got from being with angels?
First of all, great mental support – thanks to this, I am currently undergoing treatment for depression. I gave birth to a wonderful son – I don’t know what would happen if during my pregnancy I didn’t start to heal depression … maybe I wouldn’t be able to love him as much as I love him now.
Raising children is easier for me – I drew a lot from Sister Karolina’s help and her valuable tips in this matter.
But most of all, and most importantly, love, warmth and understanding. For the first time in my life, I was not afraid to cry honestly and without inhibition, when mentally I could not cope.
I remember the Christmas situation. One of the girls from the center said – it’s always like home here.
Unfortunately, I had to answer that in my case it was better than at home …
Imagine a place where a 25-year-old girl can be better than at home …
And this is how I really felt that this place was my place on earth.
For me, the sunflower expresses an image of growing old. The heavy heads of the flowers are full of fruit. They don’t do anything anymore. They simply expose themselves to the sun and ripen until they are harvested and become a food source for others. All beauty is gone. So, it is like what I am, an old person. I don’t have to do anything anymore; I don’t have to gain recognition through performance. I am just there.
When I consider my current situation, my current life is shaped by three main areas:
To let go
and the desire to bear fruit.
I would like to place letting go under the scripture Jn 21:18: “Amen, amen, I say to you: when you were still young, you girded yourself and could go wherever you wanted. But when you get old you will stretch out your hands and someone else will strap you and lead you where you don’t want to go. “
I have to let go of my ideas about life and get involved with what God expects me to do. He is kind and allows me to do it in installments. First the activity, my own will, my own self and then letting go of life: This is a process that is sometimes painful and relates to different areas.
Letting go of health
I am supposed to take care of my health, but with moderation. When I am constantly worried about my health, I am constantly plagued by fears that I will lose it.
Letting go of relationships
Relationships decrease with age and I have to learn more and more to be alone. If I lose a dear, trusted person through death or moving, it is painful and a long process of mourning will follow, which goes through different phases.
Letting go of possession
In death I have to let go of everything and that is why I am well advised to practice it now, in which I part with a lot, give it away. This can lead to small relationships again.
Letting go of positions and power
For me it was a deep turning point when I was no longer informed or asked. By being more active, I whitewash these losses to show that I
still have everything under control. But the more the old man holds on to his position, the more enemies he creates and rebellion and catastrophe can occur. If this process is endured, he leads into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Letting go of life
For me, death is the end of life here on earth and at the same time the passage and beginning of life in the glory of God.
Dying is not only the end of my life but has always been present in my life story. In every rejection, disappointment, helplessness, feeling of powerlessness, frailty, experience of illness, I experience letting go and dying.
It is helpful for me to meditate on the cross and Jesus’ passion, as HE accepted death. Just as the death of Jesus was the way into God’s glory, so will my way to God only go through death.
I have certain ideas about dying for myself, but it is out of my hands. I also have to let go of that and accept death as it was given to me by God.
Age comes by itself. If it is to succeed, I have to unconditionally accept my life story and deal with my past, i.e. place my life with all the positives and negatives in the mercy of God and trust that God has accepted it.
I have to learn to accept my own limits: helplessness, powerlessness, weakness, fatigue, disabilities, loneliness, illness, forgetfulness and much more. I remembered the scripture, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Helps me to accept my limits, is the awareness that God surrounds and carries me with his healing, loving closeness and that in death he surrounds me with his loving arms.
I would like to place the third point, the desire to bear fruit, under Psalm 92: 13-15: “The righteous thrive like the palm tree, he grows like the cedars of Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age and remain full of juice and full of freshness.
According to this, there must be two prerequisites in order to still bear fruit in old age: righteousness and planted in the house of the Lord.
Just is the person who meets people with their needs. The righteous not only revolve around themselves, but also always keep the others in view.
Those who are rooted in God bear fruit. It is nice when my slowdown turns into patience and serenity. When I learn to wait and listen in solitude, the relationship with my God is deepened. At my age I don’t have to prove anything to myself, let myself be determined by people’s expectations or compare myself with others. In this way I achieve a deep inner freedom.
I experience myself in the field of tension between letting go and acceptance. Sometimes one thing works and sometimes the other is better. For me, old age is a process that I want to get involved in again and again. I ask God that he will give me a listening, thankful heart and let me become a blessing for others.
Sr. M. Mathildis
Prayer of St. Teresa
(1515 – 1582)
Lord, you know better than I do that day by day I will be older and one day old. Release me from the great passion of trying to get the affairs of others in order. Teach me to be thoughtful and helpful, but not dominant.
Save me from endlessly listing details and give me momentum to get to the heart of the matter.
Teach me to be silent about my illnesses and complaints. They are increasing and the desire to describe them grows from year to year.
I do not plead the gift of listening to other people’s descriptions of illnesses with pleasure. But teach me to at least endure it patiently.
Teach me to discover unexpected talents in other people and give me, O Lord, the beautiful gift of mentioning them too.
I don’t dare ask for a better memory – just a little more humility and a little less assertiveness when my memory doesn’t match that of others.
Teach me the wonderful wisdom that I can be mistaken.
Keep me as lovable as possible. I don’t want to be a curmudgeon
but not a saint either, because it is difficult to live with them.
It was on 12/06/2017 at 10 pm, when a truck carrying sand for the construction of our Johanne Schneider English Medium Primary School-Mwanga was involved In the accident, inside the truck was a Driver and a young man named Maiko who suddenly lost consciousness because he hit his head. After receiving the information, Mr. Sakaya who was the ” Contractor ” of the school took responsibility for treating him at KCMC-Moshi Hospital in Tanzania; where he was in a special care room. He remained in a state of unconsciousness for a whole month, a situation that caused fear among us and also for Mr. Sakaya because the medical bills were so high. We shared more through prayer and small donations to Maiko. Maiko has a wife but they still din’t have children; his wife had to work every day to check on her husband’s condition, as he was not allowed to stay in the hospital, so in order to stay close to the hospital he found shelter at Mr. Sakaya’s house.
It was on the morning of 24/07/2017 when I received a disappointing message, that I should go and pick up the Patient and return home, without any explanation because he was still in a state of unconsciousness. I broke down in tears and I was afraid of the patient’s condition. I had no choice but to leave the hospital with his wife and his mother to return home. On the way we were all silent no one said anything to each other and with tears streaming down our cheeks. At home we had to ask for help to take him from the car, the work I always asked his colleagues to help us with and they volunteered so much that they were always ready.
After I took him home not far from us, I went back to the convent and fear gripped me and I did not even know I would tell my fellow sisters. The evening after dinner I informed them that Maiko was back with me, they were all very surprised and everyone was afraid that Maiko would now be gone, and if Maiko dies what will people say about us and this school we are building?
MIRACLE! MIRACLE! MIRACLE !!!!
After talking to my fellow sisters we agreed to start asking Sr. M. Dulcissima to help us in this. Also because we took responsibility for helping him we started making juice and spinach which we used to boil and grind in a blender because the patient was not able to eat anything, he was fed through a pipe, so we were preparing juice and spinach and sprinkling soft soil from the grave of Sr. M. Dulcissima as we prayed to God through intercession of his Servant Sr. M. Dulcissima. We did this for three days and on the fourth day his wife told me that she had seen a patient trying to lift one finger of the hand, REALLY it was a great pleasure for me, for his wife and for my fellow Sisters, we all cheered and said MIRACLE !!! SR. M. DULCISSIMA HAS DONE. It was a joy that brought tears to our eyes. After that memorable event, we continued with our novena and regained some strength until nine days later, Maiko’s wife told me that we had to take him to the hospital. So we left at nine in the morning to get a number in the hospital, when we got there everyone was surprised to see Maiko just looking but un able to raise his hand. They asked what have you done Sisters? I replied “God is good”. So we were asked for a week to return him for further treatment, it was very tiresome because we had to leave at 9 am and there we stayed all day without any treatment, but we knew that treatment was done because every day Maiko continued to get some improvement through God’s servant Sr. M. Dulcissima as the next week he started to lift his leg, itching, looking, feeling pain and finally in the 10th month he started to cry when he felt pain. GOD IS REALLY GOOD.
A HISTORY THAT WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN
For us in the Region of Tanzania and especially the members of the Mwanga community we are absolutely sure that Maiko has recovered with the help of Sr. M. Dulcissima. So we kept asking her until Maiko could speak completely and his memories returned back and even started walking exercises which is what was left. The first thing he said was thanks to God, to the Sisters of Mary Immaculate also to Mr. Sakaya. “Through these Sisters I have received healing now these are my mothers” says Maiko.
Before coming to Mwanga Maiko, was a protestant Christian (Pentecostal church) but when he came Mwanga, he and his wife were Lutherans. After the accident, many were following him even with cars or motorcycles to go to their denomination and be prayed for, he went but he told them “I am now a Catholic no matter what you do”. He always told me, “Mother, I have now decided to become a Catholic and ask you to help me get baptized and get married.” At first I was hesitant, but later I asked the catechist sisters to speak to the parish priest and eventually he and his wife began catechism. On 12/09/2019 he was baptized with his wife and confessed their faith and on 14/09/2019 at 3 am Maiko celebrated a Holy Marriage in the Parish of Jesus of Mercy – Mwanga. Three days before the wedding we posted a Photo of Sr. M. Dulcissima in our church and we asked for prayer and thanksgiving for all that God has done for us through the intercession of His Servant Sr. M. Dulcissima. It had indeed been a day full of joy and everyone who witnessed the event thanked God for the mission performed by the Sisters of Mary Immaculate here in Mwanga.
I am very grateful to my fellow Sisters of the Mwanga community for their dedication, the various offerings they made and more to the unity of the prayers we directed to the Servant of God sr. M. Dulcissima for Maiko, we even witnessed this great miracle for us. We as a community believe and trust that anyone who prays through Dulcissima’s intercession will receive a response very soon. When Maiko was healed, it was as if he had died and is now alive through the intercession of our sister. What can we say to God? We are currently witnessing Young Maiko walking slowly and already having one baby girl named Gabriela. Congratulations to his wife who decided to go to her husband and take care of him all the time even in the worst and most difficult situation of his illness until he found treatment.
Let us continue to pray through the intercession of God’s servant Sr. M. Dulcissima to help us in our mission and save the souls of those who need our help.
Prepared by Sr. Anna Mwamlima
The house of Mary is a place, a space, a reality where women can strengthen themselves in faith, build bonds with one another, share their experience and support. In July this year, I participated in a summer retreat for women organized by our congregation in Nysa. The subject of considerations prepared for this time by Dr. Iwona Zielonka, who is wholeheartedly committed to the new evangelization, was “Exit from Egypt”. These days were very important to me because I discovered how much there is a need for meetings that allow another person, a woman, to strengthen her faith and share ones experience of living God. I immediately knew that a place where women could meet for a conversation or prayer could be established in Racibórz. It was God’s impulse. God’s light! For years we have been cooperating with the Franciscans from the parish of St. Paschal in Racibórz, and here I saw the opportunity to expand our cooperation and open the House of Mary, where meetings of the female hearts will be held, leading to discovering and understanding oneself in a relationship with God. Prayer, singing, conversations, renewal, closeness… Time spent together. Time to glorify God in oneself and other people. On the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7, Father Eligiusz blessed our haven. Since then, our meetings have been held once a week. It is amazing that we all feel how much we need this place. We also started a formation in the project “Holiness in the ordinary”. Once a month, we connect with other women via the Internet and take part in the days of recollection prepared by Dr. Iwona Zielonka, director for new evangelization in the diocese of Płock. The theme for this year is Blessings and Living Blessings. It is the path of God’s women who want to join their strength and experience as daughters, sisters, wives, mothers and grandmothers to form themselves in the spirit of the Gospel. After all, taking care of girls and women is the cry of our founder Fr. John Schneider, who has placed every woman and her affairs on our hearts. The House of Mary is also open to the younger parishioners. Every Saturday we meet to instill love for God in children and young people.
S.M Joanna Marcińska
I am for the second time on vacation in Rome. Someone could ask why Rome? Is there no other places to rest? Well, they are. And we choose and my choice was just one. In Rome, I find what’s old and what is new and continues. The city of Rome shows the face of the empire and its size, power, majesty and strength. The empire that has fallen and remained only in textbooks and monuments. Nothing on the Earth can last forever. Only the kingdom of Jesus is eternal, but he is not from this world. The empire fell and faith in the Son of God continues. The second face of Rome is a place where about 1000 churches are located, where every day, so close to each other, the presence of God in the Eucharist takes place. I belong to the followers of Jesus Christ, here is my place in the Church, where the human authority is about the God’s authorities. The Pope is subject to God and on his behalf he proclaims the Gospel. We are all brothers and sisters and greater power has the one who serves. Our superiors in union with the Church serve communities and support them. It’s great that in a place like Rome there is our religious house. I feel welcomed here and always overjoyed in my heart. The international community inspires me to look for communication words and thus to broaden the thinking horizons.
In my opinion, there is need to create a good community:
– First want to have it
– want to be with it (shared moments)
– want to be in it (when I share with others)
I hope each of us can create a community.
S.M. Sylwia Frączek