A WORD OF CARDINAL STANISŁAW DZIWISZ TO THE BOOK: KAROL WOJTYŁA – JOHN PAUL II ‘I AM REALLY IN GOD’S HANDS’. PERSONAL NOTES 1962-2003’, KRAKÓW 2014
‘I do not leave any possession which should be kept. Please, give away my things of everyday life to others. Please, burn the personal notes. I would like to ask Fr. Stanisław, whom I thank for such a long-term and forgiving cooperation and help, to take care of these things. Whereas I keep my other thanks towards God in my heart, because they are difficult to express’ (John Paul II, Testament 6.03.1979). This request was left by the Holy Father John Paul II in his testament. I faithfully fulfilled the will of the Holy Father after his death in 2005, giving all his things which he had, especially his personal souvenirs. However, I was not courageous enough to burn these sheets of paper and notebooks with his personal notes, which he had left, because they include important information about his life. I saw them on the desk of the Holy Father, but I had never read them. When I saw the testament, I was moved by the fact that John Paul II, whom I had accompanied for nearly forty years, entrusted me also his personal matters.
I did not burn notes of John Paul II, because they are a key to understand his spirituality, that is, what is the most inner in the man: his relationship with God, with another man and with himself. They somehow reveal another side of the person, whom we knew as Bishop in Kraków and in Rome, Peter of our times, a Pastor of the universal Church. They show his life even much earlier, in the years when he was ordained a bishop and was taking over the bishopric capital in Kraków. They allow us to look at the intimate personal relation of faith with God, the Creator, Giver of life, with Master and Teacher. They also show sources of his spirituality – his inner strength and a definite will to serve Christ till the last breath of his life. When I return to the notes of John Paul II, I see the person of the Holy Father, whom I see in the home chapel on Franciszkańska street, when he is praying engrossed in God, kneeling in front of the Holy Sacrament and I hear his sighs from the small chapel of the Apostolic Palace in Vatican. His radiant face never betrayed what he was feeling. He always looked courageously at the crucifix and the icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa. He was learning from her a complete entrustment to God, repeating the words of Ludwik Maria Grignion de Montfort: ‘Totus Tuus ego sum, o Maria et Omnia mea Tuasunt’ – ‘I am wholly yours, oh, Mary and everything of mine is Yours’. Complete entrustment to God, following the example of Mary and fulfilling God’s will till the end were characteristic features of this Man of prayer, who discovered a rich world of spirit in the relation with God.
Let the book of spiritual notes of John Paul II help everybody discover the spiritual depth of the man of XXI century and let us lead to a bigger love of God and people.
CARDINAL STANISŁAW DZIWISZ
On the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary