I still get to know him...
When I phoned Ewa asking her to give her testimony about her way to Jesus she hesitated. She thought that she was not ready, that the process of her conversion had not been completed yet. When we met she told me that she had been thinking about it for a long time and came to the conclusion that since she belonged to Jesus she could testify to his love for her at every stage of her life and conversion…
Ewa is a lecturer at one of the Polish institutions of higher education. As she says herself – she is a person who after traumatic experiences has been tormented by various depressions and consequently, by fears and pains. She sought consolation in Buddhism, Hinduism and esoterism. But where it was to be better it was actually worse. She did not know how to get out of it. The Church seemed to be completely alien to her. She had a very external, distorted vision of the Church, vision built on the anti-testimony of the so-called Sunday Catholics. She associated the Church first of all with dressed up participants in services who after having stood during the Sunday liturgy returned home to eat hot broth and they stopped their Christian practices immediately after they had left the thresholds of churches. For her the word ‘Catholic’ became a synonym of ‘hypocrisy’.
– Through my whole life I wanted to dedicate myself to some stable thing. But I rejected a vision of personal God. It seemed to me that the thing was to be something infinite, some undefined space that would give freedom – Ewa says. Personal God did not suit her vision. – I was very harmed by that constant seeking. I took anti-depressive medication. I went to a bio-energy therapist, I mixed with esoterism. My colleague who was up to her ears in it wanted to help me; she had good will. However, the effect was opposite. I was lucky that when she used the pendulums and other New Age tricks my friends, Catholics, were praying for me. In those days I experienced a terrible personality split. Finally, Ewa decided to talk to a priest recommended by her neighbours. He did not fit into her vision of a Catholic priest. ‘He did not instruct me, did not convert me, he only… listened and ate cookies’, Ewa laughs. ‘However, he made me understand that esoterism or Buddhism cannot be combined with the faith in Jesus. One should choose something. After this conversation I had an appointment with a bio-energy therapist. I thought that I should not go to the meeting…When I made up my mind I suddenly felt deeply in my heart that Jesus is in me and that I did not need anything else. I returned to the priest and asked him to hear my confession. Once my friend Grazyna gave me ‘The Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska’, Ewa goes on. ‘I put it aside and … forgot about it. When my life began changing I providentially went to my study. I opened the book and came across a conversation between Sr. Fautina and a soul who experiences being forsaken by God. Then I felt deeply that this text referred to me’, she recollects.
Only a person can love
Two weeks later there was a conference ‘Streams of Mercy’ at Lagiewniki. ‘When Fr John Baptist Bashbora passed by me carrying the Blessed Sacrament I felt bent to the floor’, Ewa says. ‘At that moment I realised that I had harboured a feeling of guilt all my life. Buddhism or esoterism use the so-called manual means to solve problems, i.e. omitting problems. At Lagiewniki I understood that it was the place and time to ask for the removal of my guilt. Not by my own efforts or abilities but by the grace of God himself. That day my heart prayed for the first time, ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me’, Ewa narrates, without trying to conceal her tears. ‘For the first time I experienced warmth in my heart. I understood that God is personal since only a person can love, can give himself and the biggest freedom is in this giving, freedom I have been looking for so long…’
Ewa knows people. Through the prism of her experiences she can notice dangers that threaten the spirituality of contemporary man. ‘One of the biggest falsifications that we experience is the distorted image of Lord God that we carry in ourselves. It is a satanic manipulation that makes us ascribe all devil’s features to Lord God: that he is going to spoil our life, that he is going to limit our freedom. But God who loves people knows what is best for us at a given moment and gives us the fullness of freedom. However, we need confidence and the most difficult thing is to build confidence in God. All attempts to trust God are torpedoed by fears, anxieties and unbelief…
– We constantly seem to function in the world where people try to ascribe magical thinking to all things – Ewa stresses – From simple superstitions to the constant desire to enchant your life. And people visit those who read tarot cards, horoscopes and deal with esoterism. These things give only an illusion of freedom and actually they are the source of nightmarish slavery that touches many people today…
The inner transformation of Ewa is still being done. It is a long and difficult process. However, as she says herself, God gives her ‘lights’ during this ‘dark night’, the experience of his presence, warmth in her heart. The experiences of the Christian mystics like St Faustina or St John of the Cross are very close to her. They help her endure the most difficult moments. Besides the influence of the holy intercessors Ewa emphasizes the significance of friendship. ‘I must testify to the cordial patience of my friend Grazyna who listens to all my complaints and grumbling’, she laughs. ‘Every day we go together to morning Mass and we participate in the meetings of the Renewal in the Holy Spirit. Finally, I got to know people who do not only speak about God but really live by his teaching.’
– I am still discovering Jesus – Ewa says. – Earlier I saw him as a hero who had a task to do and fulfil it completely. Recently, I have been moved by the words ‘Look, there is the Lamb of God’. Jesus is not a superman. He is kind, subtle; he is God-man who cried why dying ‘God, why have you deserted me?’ Humanly he was weak and experienced total abandonment. He became very close to me in this abandonment. I still get to know him…’