"W drodze" on crisis

The November issue of the Polish Dominican magazine

How to cope with a crisis?

Fed up with praying the Liturgy of the Hours? Bored with your marriage? Feeling cheated by life in middle-age? The November issue of a Polish ‘W drodze’ magazine covers all sorts of personal crises. All articles are written by people who really know what a crisis looks like and who also believe that it can actually be a precious gift.

Psychotherapist Barbara Smolinska tells Katarzyna Kolska that inevitable marital crises can be a great opportunity for a husband and wife to improve their relationship. However, there is no miraculous recipe in dealing with such a crisis, except a well-worn one: to talk with each other.

A well-known Jesuit Wacław Oszajca writes about the value of crises experienced by priests. He is down-to-earth, frank and has a sense of humour. One of his conclusions: The Church and God need a priest to bear hope for himself and for others: that the most important, most true, most beautiful and the best is still in front of us, not behind us. At the same time, every priest is required to strip himself and others of illusions that we can achieve full happiness now or in the nearest future. Therefore, the goal of a priest’s existence is not to let people lose their hunger for eternity.

Spiritual crisis is the main subject of an article by Michał Zioło, a Trappist monk. He bases his inspiring reflections on texts by Etty Hillesum, a Jewish mystic, who was killed in Auschwitz.

A mid-life crisis can be an opportunity to pursue passions and dreams that have previously been neglected, says psychologist Joanna Heidtman to Roman Bielecki OP.

Tomasz Zamorski OP believes that we can see university studies as a period of potential crises because it usually is an introduction to adulthood which means taking full responsibility for one’s life.

An interview made by Anna Sosnowska with another Jesuit, Wojciech Ziółek is also worth recommending. The priest used to volunteer for a hospice. He was brave enough to face the crisis of all human crises: death. Therefore, he talks about death with simplicity and a certain helplessness which forces him to take the plunge and fully trust God.

George Weigel, theologian, writer and John Paul II’s biographer tries to assess the condition of christianity in America and Europe. He is quite optimistic about America, but Christianity in Europe seems to be almost suffocated by secularism. Weigel also has a harsh prediction for Europe: if it will not give up ‘the culture of infertility’, it will die.

In Poland there is a debate going on about introducing civil partnerships for homosexual and heterosexual couples. Two articles contribute to this discussion. Professor Andrzej Zoll, a highly regarded lawyer warns against introducing any legal changes which undermine the position of marriage. Jolanta Brózda-Wisniewska writes how civil unions were introduced in the UK and on the subsequent reaction of the Catholic Church.