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Faith and Eucharist

The homily by Fr. Bolesław Szewc on the second anniversary of Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer’s death

(St. John’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Warsaw 08.09.2011)
(authorized text)

Mary is appearing to us today as a person chosen by God’s grace to become a tool of the mystery of incarnation, and consequently of the mystery of Redemption, the Redemption of humankind. The one who through collaboration with God’s grace opened the road to Redemption, is taking part in opening the road to Redemption for each one of us. That’s why today’s holiday reminds us that in our lives we can in a special way unite, spiritually unify with Mary so that our road to Redemption, which happened historically, our road to actualization of Redemption in our lives, could run in a special union with Mary.

And what can it look like? A note from September 1952: “At long last I’ve decided to make three resolutions a day working on: - 1. Practicing devotion to Virgin Mary”[1] (more resolutions follow). A note from another day in September: “To offer during Adoration before prayers a whole day to Virgin Mary with all matters regarding deeds, crosses, all my thoughts and feelings of the day”[2]. Those are spiritual notes written down by a young cleric Tadeusz in the early years at seminary.

From another September day: “During the last three days I tried not to support myself while kneeling, and it‘s only thanks to my beloved Mother that I managed to resist it to the end. I was praying ever so fervently for her help, when I was thinking that I wasn’t going to resist it.”[3]. These notes show how one forms a union with Mary. This union with Her also in seminarian’s renouncement, struggle with oneself. Another note: “Only mishaps so that I could better recognize my misery. How much I am loved by my Mother!”[4]. An unusual thought that experiencing mishaps, one’s own misery, is love, God’s love, which can be lived through a union with Mary as Her love.

And yet another note from September 1952: “During a pastoral visitation I dropped fire. I think that my beloved Mother wanted to humiliate me that way, so that I wouldn’t care for regard, so that I wouldn’t be too sure at the altar.”[5]. Mary - her presence is tied with each event. A note from October 1952: “My first after-retreat resolution, still valid. Devotion to Holy Virgin - concentration during a rosary.”[6]. Another note from October of the same year: “A thought during contemplation: Virgin Mary loves me so fervently, that it is hard to imagine. So much love has God poured into Mary - my Mother loves me more than I could love myself. Even though I am such a great egotist, egocentric. She looks at everybody with this love; one has to look more at others with those merciful and loving eyes of Mary. Loving her one has to love those who are loved so much by Her.”[7]. It is here that one can see the deepest foundations of love to one’s neighbour, who is loved by God just as I am loved.

I have chosen the notes about Mary because it is her holiday today. Another note: “I am feeling all-defective; maybe that’s good. In all this I see the special care of Virgin Mary. I am feeling so tormented, so miserable, so exhausted, and so vile at the same time. And in this misery still begging for human regard. It’s preparation for crushing this hateful pride in me.”[8]. These notes show how God was forming the interior life of Father Tadeusz through this particular love to Mary. And as we can see, there is also a guidance to some cleansing through this relationship with Mary, full of love.

And after a few years a note from 1956, from the period of priesthood. The life of a priest who says Mass and adores the Holiest Sacrament in this special union with Mary: “Mother, come to pray in me. Come to adore in me Eucharistic Christ, when I am holding Him in my palms, come, for I cannot do it on my own. If I am praying, it is not I but you are praying in me; if I am adoring Jesus, it is not I but you are adoring Him in me. Put into my every liturgical gesture, every kneeling, as much adoration as you had when you were looking after little Jesus.”[9]. This note shows in a very special way what almost 40 years later became called “the communion of life with Mary”[10] – already in the time of the Families of Nazareth Movement. It shows that this relation with God’s Mother had been forming at the time (in the 1950s) and lead Father Tadeusz to the Eucharist.

In his treatise Against Heresies St. Irenaeus said: “For the glory of God is a living man” - each man. And to many of us this very special glory of God is the life of Father Tadeusz. To many of us, this special word of God is this man who was so uncommonly enamoured with God and with interior life. Father Professor Bruno Forte, the eminent theologian, today a bishop in Italy, wrote about Father Tadeusz that he had a strong experience of God and a very special knowledge of human heart and its deepest dynamisms. [11]. He read it so, not knowing Father Tadeusz, but knowing his book The Gift of Faith. Professor René Laurentin wrote about Father Tadeusz that he was gifted with a charisma of spiritual leadership whom he devoted most of his time.[12]. He had a great power of influence. Whoever met him could not remain the same, something would always happen.

He was sharing with us this amazing faith that each of us is God’s love. The God’s whom we meet in the most direct way as Eucharistic Christ. Here are the words he put in Christ’s mouth with a deep conviction – he wrote them in his book The Mystery of Faith: “For you I have died, just for you. Everybody says dying for everybody is like dying for none. Yet I have only you. I, the God who reveal to you My incomprehensible love in the Eucharist, am really present. I, the world’s ruler, am Master of heaven and earth. Nonetheless I find you to be priceless. I take care of the whole world yet I tell you, I have only you.[13].

[1] Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer, Trudny kawałek życia [Tough patch of life], Poznań – Warszawa 2010, p.12.
[2] Ibid., p.14.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid., p.15.
[5] Ibid., p.16.
[6] Ibid., p.19-20.
[7] Ibid., p.20.
[8] Ibid., p.21.
[9] Ibid., p.114-115.
[10] Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer et al. ed., Komunia życia z Maryją [Communion of life with Mary], Zeszyty Ruchu Rodzin Nazaretańskich [Booklets of the Families of Nazareth Movement], Warszawa 1994.
[11] Cf. Bruno Forte, Presentazione, in: Tadeusz Dajczer, Dialogo sulla fede, San Paolo, Milano 1995, p.10-11.
[12] Cf. René Laurentin, Préface, in: Tadeusz Dajczer, Méditations sur la foi, Fraçois-Xavier de Guibert, Paris 2006, p.7,9.
[13] Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer, The Mystery of Faith. Meditations on the Eucharist 1, Eucharistic Renewal Books, Tintagel, Cornwall 2008, p.112.