Disciple – Perseverance – Grafted on the Christ
Hello everyone! My name is Janusz Bułat and I am an oblate of the Redemptorist Congregation in the Province of Warsaw in Wrocław. God bless everyone!
I was asked about the word “perseverance”, what it is, is it possible to develop it, and why I am persevering with the Redemptorist monastery.
Maybe it is a coincidence that we moved with my wife and two children to Kazimierska Street, to the new blocks that belonged to the Redemptorist parish with the church of Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Consolation. We attended Mass together every Sunday, but my involvement and association with the Redemptorists began when the late Father Stanisław Golec who helped me intensify my cooperation. It happened that during one Sunday Mass there was no altar boy and then I, as an old altar boy (I had served since 1959, with breaks to tell the truth, because I served in Środa Śląska during high school, but in Wrocław there was no such possibilities,) I went to the sacristy, asked for an alb, got dressed and began to serve. From then on (I do not remember which year it was, but I remember the day – on Sunday, November 20), I became closely associated with the Redemptorists.
Perseverance and devotion to the Redemptorists relate to the fact that they persistently cared for all parishioners. Since then, I have helped as much as possible, according to my skills and strength. Anyway, “we are useless servants.” Probably more could have been done, but it takes persistence, especially at work! To be persistent, a goal needs to be set and it is best to have the highest goal. And what is the highest goal? For us, for me, it is heaven and living in the Father’s house. This is difficult to achieve without examples.
What is perseverance really, when looked at from the perspective of the 20th century? It is persistence at work and in everyday life. And if it is compared to the endurance of our fathers and grandfathers who survived the war, labor camps like Siberians and World War II – they persevered! Above all, they persevered in good. Because persevering in what is wrong is pointless, it only creates chaos and confusion. Therefore, since the ultimate goal is heaven, you need perseverance. At the same time, it consists of constantly striving for the truth continually throughout life. This path is demonstrated by Jesus who was persistent to the end. It is His persistence that shows us this path.
There was a situation with Sr. Faustina when she prayed one hour, then another, and she was not, so to speak, closer to God. However, due to her strong will, she asked Jesus: “Lord Jesus, do not take me off this cross, but give me the strength of perseverance.”
Another example may be Captain Witold Pilecki, who was persistently looking for this truth!
I would like to sum it up in the words of the poem:
… A look at perseverance
Perseverance in ordinary everyday life:
getting up, work, worries, bread …
seemingly simple, but in continuity …
there are stumbles and falls, but
we must go further,
– for what purpose? Someone will ask –
is it worth the struggle!
But when eternity escapes you –
Harness it before falling asleep
without an example, the road meanders,
and without grace – endurance is lost,
without prayer, and Your love,
I am useless, O Lord
the souls of grape vine “branches”
fortified with juice so crimson,
to blossom, as I know
by sparks of Your Mercy – enflamed!
And I wish perseverance to all the branches, that they may be persistent in truth and the daily struggles of life. Seemingly simple, but there is such an abundance of various negative stimuli that, to persevere, one must stick to the truth. And that truth is the Lord Jesus. Thank you!
My name is Benigno Colinas Fernández, but within the Congregation, I’m known as Father Colinas. I entered the Congregation when I was 12, and now I am 85. You can say that I have been in the Congregation all my life, the Congregation has become so much a part of who I am today. I was ordained in 1960 and, since then, I have carried out all the jobs that my superiors have entrusted me. Firstly as a teacher; after that, rector of the seminary; I have been a parish priest, superior of communities, provincial consultor, and above all, a missionary, and this is what has been the most gratifying. I have been on mission in different towns and villages around Spain, also in Honduras, Venezuela, and Peru… In Ecuador, I spent my time giving formation to missionary Redemptorists, and I have always found everywhere the goodness and love of people, who are simple, very receptive, and welcome us always with great affection and love. That is why, for me, being a missionary (this is the vocation of every redemptorist, just as our founder Saint Alphonsus) has been for me the most gratifying thing in my life.
To persevere in my vocation, so that enthusiasm and encouragement don’t fade, I have always counted on the protection of our Lady, who has given me apparent signs of her protection. For example, when I was finishing noviciate, the noviciate master called me and told me that I had no vocation, that I couldn’t go ahead with it. I entrusted myself seriously to our Lady. The following week he was removed from his post, and another master was elected, who understood me and who appreciated my vocation. And here I am, until now, after all these years. I recommend to all those who want to become a Redemptorist, and to every Christian, to have a special devotion to Our Lady, to entrust themselves to Her, with the certainty that our Lady will lead them to Jesus Christ. I also recommend having great enthusiasm for one’s vocation, a great joy to serve Jesus Christ and the Gospel through this perspective. This is both for those who want to become a redemptorist, and for married couples, who live a way of life, or a sacrament (marriage). I always advise them to love one another, to love one another sincerely, to have true love, because love solves every difficulty, problem, and every quarrel that could appear among couples. The same applies for us in the Congregation: love solves everything, and if we have affection among us, and love each other, we are close to God, and God blesses us because God is love.
In love I greet you all, wishing that you follow your vocation, that God gives you, discerning well to grow in your vocation that God entrusts to you because through it you will find the happiness and peace that we all desire.
Authors: Janusz Bułat, fr. Benigno Colinas Fernández CSsR
Translation: Carlos A. Diego Gutiérrez CssR