A story I’ve heard:
Once a man walked with the devil. They saw another man who stooped and picked something. ‘He’s found a piece of truth’, the devil said. A while later the man in front of them picked something again. ‘He;s found a piece of truth again’. ‘And isn’t that troubling you, are you not angry?’, the man asked. ‘By no means. You see, he;s going to add the missing parts himself and finally a fragment of truth will turn into a lie that he will follow’, the devil answered.
This picture has appealed to me strongly. “A piece of truth” is my observations – what I see, hear and touch. A different thing is my interpretation of them. I often find it difficult to be objective about them. It’s so easy to get lost on this way. Although there is one Truth, it is not easy to discover it in life and it’s even harder to accept it.
As each year, the House in Łomianki opens its doors to the families from all the Groups. Cars went to and fro, transporting last minute urgencies. The closer we got to this date, the more young people there were who supported the House in the preparations to thie event.
This day is not only an excellent opportunity to get to know new families, refresh friendships with people met in the previous years but above all to thank the Holy Family for their care and everything that’s happened over this year. Apart from all the group activities there is time for silent meetings with the Holy Family in the chapel.
We have received so much good. There’s so much to thank for.
“After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers”. (Luke 2: 46-47)
I am often astounded by the natural wisdom of our children. I remember a situation when after a “sermon” on my part my daughter told me “Mum, don’t be angry with us when we make mischief. Be calm because we still have a lot to learn”.
I must admit she was 100% right and as a child in a kindergarten she was able to put it in words clearly. And I must also say that this was a lesson for me and thanks to it I was able to correct my attitude and the way of speaking. You can learn a lot from children.
But sometimes more time is necessary for such a natural wisdom to reach me, sometimes I also need more time to take up what others teach me.
Jesus devoted 3 days to teachers. He spent with them three days so that they had time to admire, understand and see. He also has the time for me. The only thing for me to do is to find some time to sit with Him and to talk about some things with Him.
It is so different to run Programme 2, meant for graduates of Programme 1, who have come to know the ropes and know the dynamics of the Programme and of the trainers. It is all so much easier, also for the trainer who can make references to the content that has to some extent been worked upon. Some homework may not have been done :), but a lot of things have been put into practice.
Now we take a look at the vocation to become parents.. at this extraordinary dignity of spouses who cooperate closely with God Creator (Humanae Vitae, 1) in the mission of giving life. It is all happening when we celebrate the Exaltation of the Cross. Hre and there we do not concentrate on the cross itself but on the complete self-giving. In Programme 2 we can see the necessity of radical self-giving in marriage. The less marriage, the weaker the parenthood.
So now there is an opportunity to take another look at the marriage in the perspective of parenthood. There are 18 couples. The ones who really care. Please remember them in your prayers if you can.
I keep thinking about the time it took Father Jarosław to prepare for the race, about the effort and the intention he carried and I remember that he an the previous one in the intention of families.
Such an effort is not just a drop but a lake in the sea of needs. Therefore I express my admiration and congratulate. This is a great testimony of overcoming weaknesses and dispiritedness. It is worth taking up such a fight with oneself ifor peace in Syria. But also so that we could be strengthened by God and get to know His mystery and love.
It is like Paul writes:
“I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. (Colossians 2:1-3)
Perhaps that would be the shortest summary and closest to the truth. This time it was really very hard. For everyone the temperature: 27 grades was hard to bear. The last 12 km were on an asphalt road and in full sunshine. Legs just wouldn’t run. The only thing left was the will to run till the end.
It was an extraordinary experience to meet those I met last year. During a marathon everyone runs at their own pace, so sometimes you catch up with someone, someone catches up with you, you run for a while together, then again apart and again together. I was impressed by the runners who were older than me, sometimes much older. I managed to catch up with some of them. For a while. .
This year I ran on my own. Nobody from our team could join me. I was all the more thankful to my sister Ania and my brother-in-law Paweł, who gave me moral support (and a drink) in the same spot as Jacek Kubrak did last year. And, what is more important, they ran a bit with me. And then they welcomed me at the stadium. Since I ran in the clerical collar, I was welcomed in Wolgasta as the priest-runner. Fortunately the end was in a good style – thanks to the magic of the stadium.
Thank you for your support. I finished the race only because of the intention of Pope Francis. Had it not been for it, I would have probably surrendered and walked until the end. I was also helped by Stas, who after his half-marathon ran in front of me and then till the end with me. Thanks to all of you who were sent by the Angels. See you at the next marathon!
It’s today. From 10.30 am until… we’ll see.
Yesterday the priests participating in the training left to get on time to their parishes. They looked happy. I was very satisfied. It was a very good time and it looks promising for the future of the Programmes. You’ll probably meet some of them at the next Programme 1.
I had some time for myself to prepare for the marathon tomorrow. When I looked for an intention, I thought about the suggestion of Pope Francis I – for peace in Syria. It will certainly be a good opportunity to fast but also for a concrete effort. This marathon is good for it as it is a joint initiative of Poles and Germans – who used to be enemies but now are neighbours who get to know each other. We will run side by side, in the spirit of fair competition. Until the end you run the marathon as friends in a common effort and only at the very end there is fight for who comes first.
As always before a start (iit sounds so serious! But it’s the fourth one in my life) there are many fears: if I will manage, if I will come a bit more early than the last time, if I will have an injury, how I will feel during the last kilometres. This one is technically difficult – a lot of hills and uneven surface. I know I have been training as much as my crazy schedule allowed but I feel it has not been really sufficient. I have run for almost 520 km altogether , left for trainings about 60 times and spent almost 60 hours training. Is it much or little? In the rain, in the heat, in the cold. Usually early in the morning, on my own or in a bigger group. It is certainly a good training of persistence. Today I celebrate. I wanted to run in a group but they didn’t come, so I am alone. Well, not quite, I run always with my Guardian Angel. If your Angels wanted to join even for a few kilometres, it will be more fun.
See you after the marathon. Defeat or victory:)
Immediately after the training in Łomianki came to an end we went to Wisełka to meet with priests who wanted to get more acquainted with the First Program for the Development of Marital Relations, I+You = We.
Priests from the following dioceses: Opole, Siedlce, Warszawa – Praga, Warszawa, Bydgoszcz and Szczecin and friars: Divide Word Missionary, a Brother of St. Anthony Mary Claret and a franciscan. Each of them has seen already in their service that there is nothing more important than serving the family. They want to learn and share. So we are together from the matins until late at night. Work, prayer, recreation, some moments of reflection and laughter, the stories of achievements and failures. There has never been such a meeting in isełka – there is not enough space in the presbitery for all the celebrants.
The prayers of so many families that were here over the summer touch us so much. We don’t know yet what fruits this meting will bring but we give to God every moment and difficulty, tiredness of the people living here who have been ceaselessly serving here since June and people from Łomianki who have come here. And we ask you, dear families, for support – pray for those priests so that their hearts burn with an even greater love for families, so that they leave this place strengthened and enthusiastic about this beautiful, if difficult ministry.
Remembering you fondly
Father Jarosław (3 days before the marathon)
[Note from the translator: Please forgive the longer pauses now. Only a week ago our child was born and I am unable to translate regularly. As I have no backup, it means fewer posts and longer pauses.]