Foreword by Joseph Cardinal Glemp
to the Polish edition
“The Gift of Faith” by Father Tadeusz Dajczer is a book of encouragement to set off for a journey on which man meets God. Encouraging the reader, the Author does not leave him without signposts, giving an excellent assistance in selected and commented texts of the Holy Scripture.
Depiction of maturing in faith as a journey has a deep religious foundation, beginning with the history of Abraham who stood up and set off, being driven only by God’s call, he abandoned the familiar horizons and the world he knew. His experience, however, shows that setting out is not enough – one needs to persevere on the way of discovering God’s love and experiencing one’s own misery, going through successive stages of crises and growing, human suffering and supernatural hope.
The essential element of maturing in faith is continual conversion that cannot do without trials. On this road that leads through the desert we are not alone – with us there is our loving God. Moreover, the road ahead of us has already been covered by others. And so the Authors points at those who may be an example for us and spiritually accompany us as well – above all the Most Holy Virgin Mary, but also the saints: John of the Cross, Teresa of Ávila, Thérese of Lisieux, Maximilian Maria Kolbe. They are those who reveal sanctity, that is the fullness of Christian life to which we are all called, which is available to us and which is the most effective instrument of evangelization, the apostolate towards the world that needs to be changed.
“The Gift of Faith” makes the reader aware that every single moment of human life has an unrepeatable value for love of God - the Creator and the Redeemer makes it meaningful. Hence the encouragement to discern among one’s own weaknesses the privileged place for the action of God’s power, following the example of St. Paul who says:“The Gift of Faith” makes the reader aware that every single moment of human life has an unrepeatable value for love of God - the Creator and the Redeemer makes it meaningful. Hence the encouragement to discern among one’s own weaknesses the privileged place for the action of God’s power, following the example of St. Paul who says: (2 Cor 12, 9)
I wish from the bottom of my hart that the book by Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer - as a testimony of the innermost experiencing faith, yearning and search, as well as happiness that man can by granted only by God - may bear fruit, becoming of help for many in maturing to fullness of life with God. May it reach Christians and non-believers all over the world, proceeding with the work of transforming human hearts and awaking spirit. May it also assist in understanding the paths that God guides us, comprehend his intentions and fulfill his will the way we read it, and last at his presence in everyday joy and hardships so that we answer the call the Holy Father Benedict XVI brought to us:Stand firm in your faith.
† Cardinal Józef Glemp
Foreword to the Portuguese Edition
In front of us we have a valuable book. The word “valuable” does not means it costs much money. The word indicates the inner richness that the Author shares on these pages with the readers.
It is not the book to be read in one go. One rather needs to taste each page confronting it with one’s own interior. Reading or rather meditating on the successive chapters, pages and even single sentences of the book carries interior treasure. Fundamental ideas of “The Gift of Faith” are expressed with simple, well known words. Let us stop at the experience of the Desert which is one of the main themes of the book.
Each of us has gone through or should live the experiences described in Exodus. Why did the people whom Yahveh had called to leave Egypt and enter the Land of Canaan needed as many as forty years to travel that distance? After all, it could be reached within just two weeks. It happened so because the experience of the Desert had been written down in their wandering. The Desert is a place where only the sky, night and sand of the dunes stretching out to the horizon can be seen. There is no water to quench one’s thirst neither bread to feed human body. There lack so many other things that were plenty during the four hundred years of filled with bitterness living in the bondage in Egypt. And even when God sent them manna to satisfy hunger, they were not able to gather a reserve – as only the present day counted. The following day manna was fit only for disposal and no one could feed on it.
God wanted his people to experience the longing for the lost goods, destitution and extreme poverty and even the temptation of muttering and rebellion. Such was the condition of meeting the Lord – hidden and at the same time present in the cloud accompanying the wanderers. Such was the condition of encounter God and also with one’s own self – not only as someone loved by Him, but also as a member of the people who during the wander was becoming a community. I shall not write any more as this book need not be summarized. Its every page is a new perspective opening in front of us. And when you have already reached the end, you feel like returning to the very first page to start reading anew. Especially if you read it – as it was in my case – with a pencil in your hand, underlining thoughts in which you shall find yourself. You shall be better off reading it once more! It is as if you, repeating a long journey filled with wonderful views, at last sat down on a rock or on grass and peacefully contemplated what you had already seen. Who has not experienced such a repetition of a beautiful journey… With a walking stick in hand, in a straw hat you sit then on a familiar rock or a piece of dried-up ground – be it in the Arrábida Mountains or in Cruz Alta do Buçaco or in the courtyard of the Holy Mother of the Sailors Chapel in Buarcos – to see with different eyes and without haste what you have already once admired.
I hope that everyone who will have read the book, shall feel – as I have – the need to return to its first pages. After all, it is not that important to have read much. The most important is to encounter books truly worth reading. This is one of them.
† Manuel de Almeida Trindade
search the website dajczer.eu
by Wilfrid Stinissen OCD
to the Norwegian edition
Faith and the life of faith is something completely different from the life void of faith.
Faith gives us firm ground and a clear aim for life. It brings sense to every moment of our existence and answers the question what we are living for in the world. Faith liberates man leading him to the life of truth.
But in order for faith to be a life-transforming reality we must agree to our formation and upbringing in faith, we must accept teaching and guidance. Fr Tadeusz Dajczer’s book creates such opportunity for us. With great solemnity and expertise the Author, in a simple language, points to us the proper and safe way of faith.
Deeply rooted in the rich and long experience of the faith of the Church, the Author is aware that God is the Rock in whom we can trust absolutely, together with St. Therese of the Child Jesus and many other saints whom he mentions. Father Tadeusz presents also a very well-balanced relation that should exist between a total entrusting to God’s love and a total involvement on our part. Faith is a full trust and a total abandonment of oneself to God. “My God, if that is your will, I am ready to die, for I believe that you love me” (p.38 of the French edition) – the Author adds: “Such deep faith generates saints”.
Contemporary people are not satisfied with instructive abstractions about the mysteries of faith. They want to know how can one experience the faith one professes in the midst of life. Here is a challenge for the teachers of faith – a challenge that the Author has taken up without great difficulty. There is no doubt he speaks from his experience; that is why his words touch the reader.
For anyone who reads his book with an open heart there is no other choice left. What remains is a YES or NO answer to faith.
I strongly recommend this book. If one learns a lesson from what he reads here, he will be guided inevitably on the way of sanctity. Is there anything more important than following this way?
O. Wilfrid Stinissen OCD