As the raging sea seems to feel displeasure at all that pollutes it, and desires to expel from itself anything foreign, so that the beauty of the mysteries it holds might appear to view in all clarity, so the soul does not tolerate anything within itself unless it is of God or leads to God; approaching confession from the abyss of her misery, she casts off everything, desiring to preserve in herself only the image of God according to which she was created, to look only at him and to rejoice only in him.
In her love-filled tears she receives a shower of graces that descend from the wounds of her Savior. The misery of sin makes way for grace, the thorns become roses, and even the very poison of sin changes into an antidote for the soul. Here are the fruits of a good confession: it purifies, heals, fortifies, and beautifies the soul.
Saint Raphael Kalinowski
‘On a Good Confession‘
Conference for the Discalced Carmelite nuns
Leopoli, 24 November 1902
The 5th of July, 1877 is a landmark date in the life of St. Raphael Kalinowski; on Thursday, July 5 he left his post as a tutor to the noble Czartoryski family in Paris, whose son was the heir to the Polish throne. After years of discernment and months of planning, Joseph Kalinowski answered God’s call to enter the Teresian Carmel.
Biographer Timothy Tierney, O.C.D. explains:
On July 5, 1877, Kalinowski left the Czartoryski household and headed for the Carmelite house of Linz in Austria for an interview with the Provincial. He was 42 years of age, quite a late vocation by the customs of those days. The Provincial accepted his request for admittance; he was shown to a little cell in the house and immediately felt he had reached home.
The imminent celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel would be very special for him that year. Next day, he had to leave for the Novitiate House of the Austro-Hungarian semi-province of Teresian Carmelites in Graz, also in Austria, where he was required to spend the next few months as a postulant.
On November 26, 1877 Kalinowski was clothed in the brown habit of a Carmelite novice and was given the name Raphael of St. Joseph, the name by which he would henceforth be known.
Praskiewicz OCD, S 2016, Saint Raphael Kalinowski: An Introduction to his Life and Spirituality, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Tierney, T 2016, Saint Raphael Kalinowski: Apprenticed to Sainthood in Siberia, Balboa Press, Bloomington, IN