UNITED IN PRAYER ‘IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER’
Fatherhood is a challenge. Every mature man knows about it, who should be convinced of responsibility for a child by the call: ‘Dad’….The word ‘father’, however, has a rich symbolism. Starting with the one connected with giving life, till the one which concerns the relationship of God and the man. Both one and another relation becomes the most valuable, when its most essential factor is ‘love’.
Vocation for love
It will have been the 17th time on the first Saturday of June when thousands of young people will meet in Lednica. The topic of this year’s meeting: ‘In the name of the Father’ is a vocation for growing up in faith and maturity. Significant reflections and particular specific messages will surely allow for feeling love of God and encouragement: ’Set off into the depth, Christ is with you’. The invitation for participation in this event is addressed to everybody – regardless of whether he is an underage boy, a girl, mother, husband or nun.
‘An extremely important issue on which we are reflecting – as Father Jan Góra OP says- means a victory of serving to other people. Christ is teaching it to us all the time. It is not an issue for publicity but, as usually, ‘against the trend’ this time. Touching on such an important issue, we want to find a solution against the crisis of masculinity and fatherhood. We are not afraid of this issue. Its deeper meaning is that there is nothing more important than fact, that through serving to others, we develop our hearts and spirits’.
The meeting in Lednica is supposed to show the significance of fatherly relationships. Hence, an extremely important part of the event is going to be a special preparation of a mystery about love. However, in order to talk about love, we need an example to follow – somebody who will show a suitable road with his attitude and life example, especially to young people.
This role was taken by blessed Edmund Bojanowski. Bringing in his relics is going to be another important element of the meeting in July. The Blessed is an example to follow, which is being sought by the present world – hence there is his presence in this place. Seeking a shelter for the most poor and the most defenceless all the time, he often showed that help to weaker people brings lots of fruits.
Throughout all his life Bojanowski ‘was feeding’ his children with Christ’s teaching. He gave them home and food, but, first of all, he taught them how to believe and pray. He was a father for those who did not know what the word ‘dad’ means and those, called orphans, were wandering all over the world, which had been left by their parents. Wanting to be closer to God, at some time of his life he founded a Convent of Servant Nuns of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and later also a Convent of Servant Nuns of Mother of God the Virgin, Immaculately Conceived. Giving an example of his life, he was persuading to a complete trustfulness in Christ.
Undoubtedly, Edmund Bojanowski will enrich the meeting in Lednica. His life testimony will show everybody, what fatherhood means, although he did not have his own children. Can such a person through this example have an influence on young people? Father Jan Góra OP is sure, that nobody else than Bojanowski will show a full dimension of fatherhood. ‘The layman, totally devoting himself to God, engaged in serving to others, and this way calling others to live in the Heaven, showed the apostolic activity of the laymen, very early before the Vatican Council. This Blessed is an excellent man, who will impress on everybody – I am sure about it’ – sums up the organiser of the meeting on Lednica Fields.
‘Teach us to pray…’
In the letter to Ephesians (4.6-7), the apostle Paul says: ‘There is One God and Father of everybody, who [is and acts] over everything’. Basing on the reflections of the Angelus Prayer, the meeting in Lednica will be an occasion for meditation of other parts of this excellent prayer, which is often only a formula learnt by heart.
Life situations often force us to say farewell to our biological fathers. The problem of parting and also a lack of parental feelings will leave signs in the human psyche. Not everybody knows their fathers. Through facing this problem, the meeting in Lednica will draw everybody’s attention” ‘You have a father’! He is the very God: the best and the first.
‘Reconcile with your Father’ is another important point of the meeting. The sacrament of reconciliation, preceding the Holy Mass on the Lednica Fields, gathers people every day. The occasion for confession, long, honest talks with a priest, is a desire for blessing, which some people attend after many years of revolt or a breakdown in faith. The confession in Lednica is a very important element. Priests give help by their own will. They often spend a few hours, in rain or heat, on helping young people to reject their sins. Some people, thinking about the meeting in Lednica, reminisce a moment of their conversion.
God forgives sins effectively, regardless of whether we confess our sins while being with nature, or in a parish confessional. However, a sense of space and unity with others is, especially for young people, an excellent spiritual experience, thanks to which fruits of conversion remain longer.
We must grow up
The message of the meeting in Lednica in July assumes, as Father Jan Góra emphasizes, that we cannot be little kids all the time. We need to grow up. Every participant of the meeting will receive a teaspoon which symbolizes care, and even dependence on parents, and every priest will receive a stole. We cannot forget that fatherhood is also the mission of priests. They serve to people every day, therefore they can be called ‘our fathers’. The logo of Lednica, placed on the stole, will remind priests about the presence at the Meeting of the Youth and will express a memory about the place inseparably connected with the baptism of Poland.
A choice of Christ
Passing through the Fish Gate for the 17th time, will confirm the participation in God’s love. The message about fatherhood in this special place, backed up with particular examples, prayers and experiences, will be an unusual event.
God’s love to His all children is immense. Everybody, feeling as a child, can say with courage and faith that there is no bigger love than this one. The attitude of Father to a child is not only formal. This is a demanding participation in the common joy, sometimes even in suffering. In this relationship there is no place for leaving and forgetting. The meeting in Lednica is an experience of the beauty of God’s presence. This is a conscious choice of Christ for thousands of young people. If the ardour of God’s love can be visible, it is just there: among crowds of young people praying, holding their hands and singing: ‘Father, lead me, let Your will happen…’