Winter journey, eastern melancholy and fado

40 kilometres and 30 minutes drive from the busy downtown, road across the boreal forest of majestic, soaring pines and firs, all covered with thick layer of snow. I can’t imagine a week without a trip to this primeval forest. It is one of these places, where you are not able to believe that God does not exist. Silence, mystery, beauty and emotion, intuition that He is.

But the outskirts of the forest are not less mysterious and beautiful. When you add to all of these melancholic fado flowing slowly from the car speakers and interviewd fado singer Mariza talking about her love of journeys and Portuguese melancholy, it gets just real wonder!


to be continued…

Easter wishes for all Bloggers and Readers and for myself

Once agian I have failed – I have not been able to devote proper quantity of my time to deep reflection and good deeds during the Lent. Once again I have not found time to prepare myself to Easter as I would like to and as I should. Too many duties, lack of proper mood resulted in unpreparedness. But I do not want to look for easy justifications.

Fortunately, meaning and aim of the Lent reminded me articles read in a Greek catholik magazine “Slovo” from Slovakia. On the other hand I realize that reading it is not enuogh.

Much earlier I resolved to print from the Internet and read reflections on the Lent of the Russian orthodox priest – Aleksander Mien, who was killed in 1990; but lack of eligible mood made it impossible.

I am sure that next year will be better in this respect.

On the occasion of Easter I would like to wish all the bloggers and readers and also myself Unshaken Belief in Another Person, Real Joy, Deep Peace of Mind and Soul, Inexhaustible Goodness, meeting many good and kind people on our way and Grace of God.

Let us not lose our Hope!

Anneliese Michel

Yesterday on Polish public TV I watched documentary dedicated to Anneliese Michel – a German girl who lived in Bavaria, and who – and here is a real problem – who was possessed or mentally ill?

I must confess that I am a rather moderate rationalist and everything try to explain and understand. When I was a student of Law Faculty in Uniersity in Bialystok I had forensic psychiatry’s lectures. Once we – it means me and my two friends – went to psychiatric hospital in Choroszcz to see how it works in practice. We met our lecturer who became our guide in hospital. We had many conversations, and one of them concerned possession. Our lecturer informed us that psychiatric hospital cooperate with priest – exorcist. I could not understand it, I was convinced that possession does not exist, that it is only unrecognized psychic disorder, psychic illness. I knew that region where I lived was one of the most religious regions in Poland, and its tradition, catholic and orthodox church upbringing which people here obtained influenced also doctors, psychiatrists, they were born here, raised, mainly in catholic or orthodox church families, and thier background must impact them. I did not believe in possession and our lecturer was not able to convince me and my friends.

Yet before forensic psychiatry’s lectures once I attended a meeting with priest – exorcist from Kleosin near Bialystok. He told us a stroy about a girl who was led to him by her parents. She should have been possessed. When she entered a chapel she started screaming, speaking foreign languages which she had never leraned and even languages which had not existed, and her voice was cruelly inhuman, manly and terryfing. Of course I considered it was a psychic disorder which medicine, psychiatry does not know, and has difficulty in disocvering its roots and causes.

But after yesterday’s documentary I started thinking if it is possible that a fragile, delicate, sensitive girl – even if sha was ill – is able to produce such horryfing sounds, voices? Is a human being organism able to create such inhuman sounds, especially a womanly one?

Anneliese was a very religous person, religion was her almost whole life, she probably read a lot of religious books, and maybe all konwledge, all information that she gathered coded itself in her subconscious and during the explosions of her illness some of those things which lived in her subcnoscious let out in the form of frigthening voices, delusions and kind of epilepsy. Maybe, but why none of doctors was not able to treat , to help her?

I think there is a Mystery where a man should give a bow to It.

Reflections on Great Thursday

There are moments in life of human kind when a man doubts in God’s existence, when life overwhlems him or her so much that he or she does not have strength to think of God, when he or she even loses their Faith for longer or shorter periods or even forever. Such states seem unavoidable, sometimes they touch even priests, not to mention laymen. I am not a fervently religious man, though I was raised in catholic family. More than 90% of Poles make up catholics. Unfortuntaly, many Poles’ faith is very shallow and apparent, it happens that it is restricted only to visiting the church every Sunday and only to rituals. Sometimes it lacks deeper background and reflection. No wonder that many young people do not seriously treat their faith, they just do not know what should it be, they do not konw its aim, do not understand its meaning, the do not feel it.

I am 32 years old and my faith is still at the stage of discovering, getting to know, looking for, trying to understand. There are moments in my life when I do not doubt that God exists and sometimes I am not able to maintain its conviction, sometimes I get far away from God – it is not the way that He leaves me, it is impossible, I am sure that I lack smething, but still do not know what – what makes me being far away from God.

Fortunately we often meet in our way people, places, books, magazines, songs, music which confirm that God exists and is close to us, watches us, supports us and never leaves us. For several months I have been reading Slovak Greekcatholic magazin “Slovo”:

http://slovo.grkatpo.sk/

In september of 2007 I visited for the first time in my life Presov – beautiful and picturesque town in the eastern Slovakia. I found there a Greek catholic baroque church in downtown. I entered it with my mother and friend and I get enchanted (I am not sure if it is a proper word). There was a Mass in Byzantine Rite, young and elderly people deeply immersed in prayers, stunning iconostas. After returning to Poland I started to look for information concerning Greek catholics in eastern Slovakia and found website of Greek catholic bishopric in Presov:

http://www.grkatpo.sk/

and on this website also magazine “Slovo”. Fortunatley Polish and Slovakian languages are so similar that I do not have real problems in reading with understanding articles in this magazine. Every time when I read and after reading its magazine I feel that my faith gets stronger.

Slovakian landscapes, villages and towns which I saw, people who I met restored my faith. I cannot explain it – I am not enough religious man to do it, but I have friends who would be able to explain it to me, they claim there are no accidents in human life. I want to believe that in fact it is so.

I am enormously grateful to staff which creates “Slovo”. Thanks to them my faith gets stronger and I have also possibility to learn Slovakian language, to get to know Slovakian culture and history, and especially Greek catholic tradition.