Strength and weakness
With doctor Bawer Aondo Akaa, doctor of theology, prolifer and Polish patriot, talks Dariusz Dudek.
Apart from all stereotypes, when we hear the word “man” we see someone strong, with a sword in his hand. But a man is also a weakness, a certain emotion, perhaps even a kind of softness. I will have the pleasure to talk about the strength of a man, as well as the weakness of a man, with the guest of the Men’s Catholic Church, dr. Bawer Aondo Akaa. Good evening!
Good evening. I am honoured to be able to speak to you. Thank you very much for this opportunity, dear Darek – thank you!
When I told my friends that I was going to have an interview with Bawer Aondo Akaa, the reaction was, “Who is it?” I replied – type in Google, you will see. They replied, “Ah! It’s him!”. Are you famous?
You asked me an interesting question, Darek. Am I famous? I guess it depends who you ask. It depends on the environment and also on the individual. Is anyone interested in social issues, the Holy Catholic Church, is someone involved in pro-life activities, or is anyone interested in not murdering unborn children through disgusting abortion and support for already born people with disabilities?
I don’t feel like a hero, I don’t feel like a star, although sometimes I like it because I’m a man. I do not hide that I like glamour, but that’s why I hate it. St. Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, says: that I do what I do not want and what I want – I do not. And he was saying it in the context of the lusts of the flesh. And I have the same thing about fame. It is, I like it, but I don’t like it at the same time.
After all, the Lord Jesus Christ said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Truth means veritas. Do I not lose the truth in all this, that is the Lord Jesus Christ?
Truth is also what it comes to being, it is something that has to be discovered. You are known primarily for the fight for the truth, which is life from conception to natural death, and the truth which is love for the homeland. How did you come to this? How do you, a man who at first glance does not look like a Pole, love this country so much and have you been close to God from the very beginning?
I believe that there are not enough of us – that is, conservatives, patriots, right-wingers – for me to say now: “Okay… someone will do it for me! Someone else will be evangelizing. Someone else will do it. I am disabled since I was born, I have my own life…” No! I got to know the Lord Jesus Christ thanks to my uncles and friends at the same time – thanks to Darek, my late mother’s cousin, and thanks to his brother Leszek. And thanks to them I got to know the Lord Jesus Christ.
But I also got to know the Lord Jesus Christ by asking questions. When my mother was alive and I lived in the family home and I was a young boy, I asked my mother: “Mother, what is after death.” And my mother told me she didn’t know. She was an atheist. She couldn’t tell me anything else! Later I read a brilliant book by Gilbert Keith Chesterton – I cordially invite you, dear Darek and you, our audience, to read it – its title is: “Saint Thomas Aquinas “. I saw in this book that St. Thomas begin his book with a question: “Is there God?”. And this question is crucial for every human being.
A very beautiful picture of your mother’s honesty and your search and the attitude of your uncles. I would like to ask about their role in all this. If we look at being a man, it’s not something you have but you need to get it. This is where the presence of other men is necessary.
At the age of 15, 16, the boy is inexperienced. The young man is not experienced.
To put it mildly.
Exactly, you are right – to put it mildly! And Darek and Leszek took me under their wing and raised me. I remember going to various patriotic events with Leszek and that is how I fell in love with Poland – our Brightest Republic, Poland. This is how you are brought up – through events! One goes to the cemetery on the 1st of August or on the 3rd of May for a Holy Mass in Wawel, and then to the parade to the Katyn Cross… We now have a lot of patriotic events.
Looking at you, someone could say that God does not exist, because how could He allow someone like you to suffer, be disabled, move in a wheelchair with the help of other people? Doesn’t suffering exclude God’s existence?
I am saying a simple thing: but this is the top 80 years. Top 80 years – what is it to eternity?
Now you have touched Darek, ladies and gentlemen – we have touched an extremely important problem, that is emotions. “How could God let him suffer?” And in fact, this word is a double-edged sword, today I thought about it… When someone thinks that how God could allow him to suffer, he in fact thinks: “I would not want to suffer like that.” Suppose this person really thinks that, empathetic: “Gosh, he’s suffering …” So what does that person do? It helps! In itself, suffering does not ennoble, but suffering incorporated into the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ already ennobles, because the Lord Jesus ennobles!
How to do it? How do you turn on your suffering?
You have to say it.
I believe that it is enough to say, pray. This is a conversation. Of course, this is a different conversation! Not like this: “Hello Lord Jesus, I would like to include suffering in Your cross….” and it will be great and cool… No, dear Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s not like that. However, with God you can argue, you can quarrel, you can shout, too! You can cry. It is intimate. Since the Lord God is, the Lord God the Father, His Son lived, died and rose and lives, since the Holy Comforter who gives life is given to us – it is the Lord God in the Holy Trinity and we can talk with Him, enter into a prayer relationship.
The diseases we have are much more dangerous than these diseases of the body. We are talking here, as I said – up to 80 years, you up to100 Darek! Mateusz, camera operator up to 110! I’m probably 50 at the top!
Maybe let’s not bid! (laugh)
The point is that this second death, eternal damnation, hell is a tragedy! I say tragedy, but it’s hard to even imagine. It is impossible to imagine it at all. What does hell mean? What does heaven mean? These diseases of the soul are a real tragedy, a hecatomb for man.
But what does it mean to have faith? There are people who say, “I have no grace of faith.” This is my answer – go to the most boring Mass in the world! Don’t go to the Dominicans! When I go to Mass, it’s already a meeting! If I were to say that I lost my faith, what exactly did I lose? What have I not been doing? What have I given up? And here is the key point! Understanding what sacred Catholic faith is. Are these emotions? Will I go somewhere and suddenly something will hit me, lightning will strike? The Lord God in the Most Holy Trinity takes out our muck, heavy sin and light sins too! The Lord Jesus Christ draws us out and enables us to be, in the case of men, men, and in the case of women – like real women!
You’ve noticed a very interesting thing that faith is not so much about some mystical experience, although it can happen anyway, or emotions, but about a certain reflection and choice after this reflection. An honest choice in heart. And this is a very valuable thing for men. We are not always familiar with these emotions, and logical thinking gives us a lot.
There is a male crisis and we all know it, but we do not know how to counteract it, what to give an adequate remedy.
I think you should have a certain schedule for the day. I get up, pray, wash up, eat breakfast and go to work. I have some hobby – it is very important, my late grandpa taught me this: “Bawer, a man must have some passions, hobbies.”
The renaissance of third, lay orders. Third orders are included in religious orders, such as the Dominican Order. But of course they have a different rule and different duties. But this is just such a renaissance. Why? I think God is showing us now that we laymen must do something. He moves us to act. There, the Liturgy of Hours is said: Lauds, Vespers, Compline are said, and this brilliantly brings order to the day, order and harmony and calms the man.
You talk about what a man does: thinks, chooses and acts. You are talking about the ordering of life, which is provided by, for example, a model drawn from third orders. I associate a mission with a man. Some job to do. In one of the interviews someone conducted with you, you mentioned that it is natural for a man to defend the weak.
If God created us in his image – and He created us – then we, men, are called to defend the weakest, to stand up for them and to care for and fight for them. In the first place, these are the unborn children – the weakest.
But I remember that I made mistakes. Someone was laughing at a friend in class and I was not standing up for him. I felt… it was a feeling first, then an intellectual analysis, why didn’t I stand up for someone? Because I was scared …
But what? Is fear paralyzing me?! What, I’m an animal that is supposed to paralyze me with fear?! Oh no! Just the fact that I can think about it, about the paralysis of fear, animals don’t think so. They are just afraid – instinct. Only physiology, only biochemical reactions. But we are human because we analyze it. Fear won’t paralyze me, because I’m a human. I am a being higher than animals. I am superior to animals! And that is why I will stand up for the weaker, even though someone may kill me.
I think that with these words we can sum up our conversation. I have one more reflection… It is important for a man that even if we are physically weak, we still have a good intellect, we can use it to make a decision, take matters into our own hands and do what we can – here and now.
Thank you, stay with God! Thank you Darek, it was very nice to me. I am honoured to be able to speak to you. God bless you!
God bless you! All contact details for Mr. Bawer will be in the film description. Thanks a lot Bawer!