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Faith and Eucharist



Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer’s writings on spiritual life

The mystics, as R. Garrigou-Lagrange called them, or spiritual authors (les spirituelles), as called by Y. Congar, are these authors who wrote about spiritual life examined from the viewpoint of spiritual experience[1] with special attention to the practical goal (referring to action) and not to academic reflection on spiritual life as it is the case in spiritual theology or in theology of spiritual life. Father Dajczer was certainly such an author. The above remarks of two great theologians refer fully to him as well. From what I have quoted above, his most characteristic virtue was the desire to attract souls towards God, towards a union with him. This purpose, above all, he was accomplishing in his writings.

Father Dajczer in a masterly fashion used all the means of expression typical of spiritual authors. These means have been used for centuries, I have found, however, that the above quoted thoughts by R. Garrigou-Lagrange and Y. Congar remain unknown even to some outstanding dogmatists. I happened to talk with a professor of dogmatics at a foreign academy of high regard in the Church. He was a theologian who in his studies tried - in a very interesting way - to base his argument on non-Thomistic metaphysics of a modern philosopher. I felt greatly surprised once I learned that this outstanding dogmatist neither knew the above thought by R. Garrigou-Lagrange and Y. Congar, nor he concurred with them, almost denying the spiritual authors the right to use their own language, different from the one of theology, having its own purposes, and governed by its own rules. It was with astonishment that I stated that the demand for correcting the writings of mystics, including even the Church fathers, has not passed and keeps returning even though so much has been said and written about it. It turns out that also today, in the age of narrow academic specializations, a dogmatist may completely fail to understand a spiritual author. Referring to the writings of Father Dajczer on spiritual life, it is worth bearing in mind what the rules of the language appropriate to this subject matter are.

[1] Cf. M. Chmielewski, Metodologiczne problemy posoborowej teologii duchowości katolickiej [Methodological problems of postconciliar theology of catholic spirituaityl], Lublin 2001, s. 105-144