WHY IS IT WORTH GOING TO LEDNICA
FR. JAN GÓRA OP
On 6 June there is going to be the 19th meeting at the Lednica lake. We invite everyone. The young and the working young, the elderly and quite elderly
This year the Meeting in Lednica is going to take place under the motto: ‘In the name of the Holy Spirit!’ After the year of Father and Son, it is time for the Holy Spirit. Especially that it is happening on the eve of the 1050th anniversary of the baptism of Poland. The millennium celebrations in the year 1966 were pathetic and sad. They took place in stress and unintentional competition with authorities of communist Poland. This year’s Lednica is to prepare us for excellent anniversaries of the 1050 years of Poland baptism and 800 years of existence of the Dominicans’ Order next year. There is also going to be an introduction to the World Youth’s Days in July next year in Cracow.
The topic of this year’s Meeting is going to be the Holy Spirit: His Person, power, inspiration and many gifts.
My dream is that pope Francis would put his hands on archbishop Stanisław Gądecki as the chairperson of the Episcopate Conference, and the archbishop would repeat this gesture above bishops and priests’ heads gathered on Lednica fields. And they will go to believers to put their hands on their heads and give the Holy Spirit, His grace and His power.
I have participated in such an event once. It was on 10 June 1979 on Fields near Cracow, when John Paul II stretched out his hands and like a bishop during a Confirmation gave us the Holy Spirit. We did not understand completely what had happened. The world shook. Above believers, three balconies raised a red flag of St. Stanisław. Communism started collapsing. Solidarity was being born. We were going out into freedom. We started keeping passports in a drawer. We started travelling following the Pope, breathing with freedom and grace.
Another such event were the VI World Youth’s Days in Częstochowa at Jasna Góra in 1991. At that time we were sailing on waves of the song ‘Abba, Father!’. And it seemed to me as if I had started my life anew.
As a result of this Confirmation, the idea of Jamna, Lednica appeared. A completely different life began. Different challenges, different responsibilities. Different contacts. New people. A different world.
Therefore, I believe that on 6 June a miracle will happen on Lednica fields, and participants will experience a shock. Because if 100 thousand people give hands to one another in the communion of the Holy Spirit, then it is unimaginable what may happen.
Once the Holy Father in his kindness, allowed me to make a cast of his hand in gold. He was slightly surprised but agreed, finally. He only asked: why? I answered: this hand was leading me, this hand blessed me and I kissed this hand. I want a bishop to pick up this cast of the hand and give it to those standing the nearest, and they will pass it to others, so that we all could pass this hand of John Paul II to one another. It will be a network of love and extraordinary power. This is the thing for which it is worth going to Lednica – in order to experience power of the Holy Spirit.
A penitential divine service and confession are the treasure of the Meeting in Lednica. Desire of authenticity and truth which liberates, is a beautiful feature of our youth. The common Eucharist which is going to be presided over by archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, and a sermon is going to be given by the primate Wojciech Polak, will be the main point of the Meeting.
The choice of Christ, passing through the Fish Gate are permanent points of the divine service in Lednica. I am waiting for adoration as always. The three-metre monstrance, funded by prelate priest Henryk Jankowski, and sanctified by John Paul II has always been carried by the primate Wojciech Polak. It is somehow his function. He said himself that as long as he can, he will not resign from it. Only then can I cry from joy. What a dialogue of love is between the gathered and Risen Christ! What do these girls and boys have to tell Love, and what does Love have to tell them! This is not an ideology, this is not teaching – this is something more. This is an experience. The experience of presence. And everyone comes to Lednica for this experience.
Experience of presence…Once, before years – I was, maybe 6 or 7 years old – my Mother took me for an adoration service of the Blessed Sacrament at the Divine tomb in our parish church in Prudnik. It was about midnight. It was dark in the church, only the monstrance was enlightened. A few candles were lighting. A small group of people were singing: ‘Good night, Holy Head’, and I had an irresistible feeling, that He was there. The whole space of the church was filled with His presence. I was kneeling on a hassock as an altar boy and was absorbing His presence. We were going back home not saying anything. It had already been after midnight. This experience of His intensive presence appeared in my life many times. I was still looking for Him. And I finally find Him at Lednica. Therefore, it is worth going to Lednica, in order to experience His almighty presence.