“A Man Devoted to God”, Archbishop Karol Wojtyla
Sermon preached by Archbishop Karol Wojtyla of 15 November 1966 in Czerna, at the tomb of the Servant of God Raphael Kalinowski.
“Brought us all here today, the grace of baptism, which was a thousand years to bear fruit for our Polish land. This brings us grace at various places Polish soil. And although the year of the Millennium of the Baptism is coming to an end, yet it still can not keep up, to embrace all the different places where you have to God, especially in a festive way to sing the Te Deum Laudamus. Among those sites that make up the trail or the Millennium is a nationwide or Archdiocesan, fell out among the places we come to Czerna. I come here as we hear the bishops of Cracow, who had managed and bishops from Katowice, Silesia, who still are on the way due to adverse weather conditions and traffic. These conditions hindered them to arrive on time. We come here to meet with the ancient monastery, meet with the whole spirit of Caramel, to meet also with the People of God in these surroundings, and above all, we come to meet with one great spirit, next to which we can never go though, and particular, we can not go though the year of the Millennium of Polish Christianity. You know very well that this great spirit, of which I speak is the Servant of God Father Raphael Kalinowski, the father of Saint Raphael. Joseph, barefooted Carmelite, whose mortal remains rested here in Czerna, and the immortal soul and the whole person waiting for a special grace of God in the Church, namely, at the mercy of elevation to the altars of the beatification. Efforts underway for his beatification for a long time and constantly moving forward. About this beatification is praying the whole Polish Caramel and male and female, the enclosed and the outer, whose representatives we are here. About the beatification of the faithful to pray for the Archdiocese of Krakow, especially around here Czerna, where the oldest people can remember this remarkable monk, near Wadowice, where he also stayed in the convent of the Discalced Carmelites, also in various other places, which reached fame and opinion of his sanctity. We pray often, and today we pray together, especially solemn, so that the Servant of God, our beloved countryman, was elevated to the altars as a blessed and holy, and to enlighten the whole people of God on Polish soil in the new faith of the Millennium.
It is a remarkable figure, you know well, because I certainly know of his life, so I will not remind him. But I want to say briefly what happened to his life once and for all expression, and in a sense a symbol.
When my dear, we walked to the monastery czerneńskiego here, on the outer wall of the monastery next to the father of Raphael’s portrait is the inscription: “In the evening of life you will think of love.” These words of Saint wrote. John of the Cross, co-founder of Caramel Reformed and those words certainly apply very well to the end of his life his father Raphael. In Czerna on the wall of the cloister deserve these words, so that they write: “At the end of life will you believe in love.” But in order to shed light beam of a lifetime, you would have to have a different view of the Scriptures. remove and recall. You’d have to say these words to remind of the Song of Songs, where it says: “Stronger than death is love.” And these words of Scripture. Old Testament could shed light beam for life father Raphael Kalinowski. “Stronger than death is love.” Because life is full of Raphael’s father’s great love, this kind of love that does not hesitate to stand face to face with death. Above all his life before he entered the Caramel, and it was quite late, around 40 years of age, was full of heroic love of earthly homeland. This was the period of the partitions. It was a time when our nation received independence, then they wanted to pick up the spirit. And the nation was against it, he defended himself, he would start to fight insurgents against the invaders. Especially against the invaders, who weighed the most on our fate, against Tsarist Russia. Jumped up to defend the nation of its existence: in 1830 in the November Uprising, started up in a much more difficult still opportunities in 1863 in the January Uprising.
That is an event closely associated with the person’s father Raphael Kalinowski. He was not only a member of this uprising, but he was one of the leaders. To the creation comes as an adult, having a highly qualified professional engineer and officer in the imperial army, which is able to manage the insurgent action, military action because of their preparation in this field. And so he went to battle insurgents while even the minister. This all together was a testimony to how much he loved his earthly homeland, how much he helped her in the struggle for existence and freedom, how much he was willing to stand face to face with death. Those decisions undertook as an adult with full awareness of the obligation. He knew that the establishment has a heavy task that is a matter of defeat, but he considered himself as his sacred duty, in order to this difficult task to lend a hand. “Strong as death is love.” At this point Father Raphael Kalinowski has proved that his love was strong as death – indeed stronger than death.
When the uprising ended, when he fell, was sentenced to death but later pardoned him, changed him the penalty of imprisonment, and after some time been sentenced to Siberia, and finally, when he returned to Lithuania to his, he had to go abroad Tsarist Russia.
This is his greatness of spirit and of this size, we can not forget the year of the Millennium of Polish Christianity. We can not forget the more that the size of its human, patriotic, this willingness to die for the love of the fatherland swam the deepest Christian mainstream that such a love of country, their own nation, dictated by a supernatural love of God, that light and motive for the love and sacrifice drew from the Gospel. Because even before the uprising, and before its participation in the uprising was a deeply religious man, a man of mature supernatural life. He was a saint and was regarded as a saint before he entered on this particular path of holiness to which God has called him, because after a long 40-year period of his life in the world.
When we look at his character and the character of his own age, very similar to his father, Raphael Kalinowski, namely, Brother Albert Chmielowski, the insurgent, the character of our countrymen who have so long been in the world, then comes to mind Vatican II Constitution on the Apostolate the laity.
I think that in these forms and many more can be found in the first Millennium, very mature specimens to illustrate the mission of the laity in the Church. But the Lord God in his ineffable providence led him to other roads, and even that was saved from death insurgents, who have been humanly ordained, even that must be understood as a particular finger of Divine Providence, which he pointed his way. Father Raphael before his name was Joseph. Before he found in himself the new appointment, the appointment of a perfect life on the road, the path of religious life, had put yet another merit of the first millennium of Polish Christianity – namely, was the tutor of Prince August Czartoryski and his pupil ago highest ideals instilled patriotic and Christian, because how can you know, that his pupil with the princely family of the young then joined the Salesians and at the meeting also died young, in the opinion of holiness, and today is one of those candidates for sainthood, which transmit the first millennium to another. A father was Raphael Caramel and the Caramel sought the implementation of this second task, which today for the second millennium of Polish Christianity scrawled his brothers near his grave on the outer wall of the monastery: “In the evening of life you will think of love.”
Homeland earth so loved that he chose for her cause death, and now the second time he had to choose death with eternal love of country, love of that which constitutes the first and most important commandment of the Gospel, which is, as it expresses St. Paul, the germ of perfection. It occurred to him to choose death for the love of God above all things, for God Himself. This love God above all things, love God for Himself made the walls of Caramel he chose and ordered him to be everything to leave these walls and His single, the Eternal Father and Redeemer Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to look for all the zeal of his deep soul. Because the religious life according to this notion that the Church has always had and which in themselves are renewed by the Second Vatican Council, is the consecration of the person, it is only human sacrifice to God. It is a sacrifice, an offering made up of all human beings as outside, and above all the inner being. The victim of mind and heart will be deposited in the spirit of faith. This sacrifice, as we know, connected with realization of the three evangelical counsels, namely, purity, virginity, poverty advice and counsel of obedience. These three evangelical counsels becomes a way of life of the monk, nun, become a way of life his father Raphael, barefoot Carmelite, and in this way to pursue his way of life in love. “Love is stronger than death.” Because in the religious life is something to death, not physical but spiritual. Such a man should die like the most to live in Christ – Mystical Body, and live for the victim and live hidden for others, for the people, for all humanity.
This is the first commandment: “Love God above all things” includes all other love, and all the higher. That is the most important commandment of love and fulfill my father understood Raphael Kalinowski, barefooted Carmelite. And he realized that the greatest commandment in the way religious vocation in a ruthless, uncompromising, sparing you the sacrifice of putting his whole self, every day and every night. Leading life umartwione, humble, raw, hidden by strict rules. And this is life as I mentioned, was a kind of spiritual death. And this life has led him to realize this truth of Scripture. “Stronger than for death is love” – the second time. For the first time in the uprising in the love of country, and the second time in the Caramel in the love of God above all things. In this love was, and love of country and love of God and all that is called love towards people.
My dear. When today here on 15 November 1966 gathered in a relatively small number of such, although it is a very large group, taking into account weekday and such bad weather, so when we gather here in such a large group to consider the life and death, and above all holiness father Raphael Kalinowski, we do it only because we are passing from the first millennium a great good. That good name is a man devoted to God, the holy man, at our discretion.
It’s good is the largest and most important good of the Church and humanity. We are good in the first Millennium have developed in the year of the Millennium of the Baptism of the other Millennium somehow pass as a deposit to his father’s memory lasted Rafale and testified to this memory. Testified mainly to our younger generations, how deep you have to look at life, as you have to love the motherland and how much you love God and then all the people. “Stronger than death is love.” Why? Therefore, in the evening of life that we believe will be of love.
Here is a man who was ripe for death, for God’s court, the court of love. And we, who consider the history of man, his life and death, may we also follow his example matured throughout our lives to this court, which we believe will be of love. To the court which will judge us in the future, God Himself. Today we pass it as a living deposit, as a legacy to our new generation to become a life of their noble, dignified man, worthy of the Pole, and above all worthy of meeting with God face to face. Because that is our Polish call to the whole life sposobić, prepare. At the end will judge us with love and love us will think the same. Because God is love. To this truth, and with it the truth about God never faded among us and among the new generations in the next Millennium, let us pray about it is hot, because it is a matter of life and death matter to be or not be every man and the whole nation.
So let us today, brothers and sisters in the Carmelite church in Czerna, let us also his father’s grave and ask Raphael Kalinowski of the Triune God, so that our Te Deum – you, O God, we praise adopted as a prayer of thanksgiving and prayer as supplication.
I am very pleased that in this our czerneńskim monastery, the tomb of Raphael’s father, is involved neighborhood, our diocese, The Diocese of Katowice. This is not the fact that random and isolated, because for years they journey Czerna our brothers in the Diocese of Silesian Silesians, and bishops and priests. I am glad that he is among us, the Bishop of Katowice, despite the fact that this bad weather, despite the difficult weather and traffic that is also a representation of the brotherly people of God diocese. Together we will consider the life and death, Raphael’s father, together sing the Te Deum, together implore God to this great deposit, which left us with Raphael’s father, survived in the new Millennium, the glory of God and beneficial use.”
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Text written to magnetic tape, unauthorized. First published in 1980 by Postulatorski Studies Center. Information Bulletin (Rome), No. 10, p. 180-185.