In reality, the years of deportation in Siberia were years not only of pain but also of grace: pain changed into grace, a grace bringing him to fuller maturation in the spiritual life, a grace that in the end led him to Carmel—not as if to something new but as if to the promised land, to the desert of love where God awaited him.
That is why he was at home in Carmel from the very first day (Cf. Macca V 1980, “Profeta fortemente impegnato in un’adorazione di supplica,” L’Osservatore Romano, November 8). Even in Carmel he immediately became a leader, a protagonist, and the restorer of the Polish province after the suppression.
He knew how to do it, he had his own secret for ordering everything: prayer. He knew that the biggest and most difficult problems are resolved on one’s knees.
“They are very few who realize the importance of prayer, seeing that Martha asked for help from Mary, not Mary from Martha.” #StRaphaelKalinowski #SaintOfTheDayTweet
Thus he did and desired others to do, the friars, nuns, and laity who entrusted themselves to his spiritual direction. “We are attracted by activity,” he wrote a nun “and they are very few who realize the importance of prayer, seeing that Martha asked for help from Mary, not Mary from Martha” (L 952).
He was convinced that forming true Christians was the same as forming individuals disposed to constant prayer, followed up by generous activity; to prayer that leads to action and to action that becomes contemplation.
All this was a reality he first lived out himself.
Szczepan Praskiewicz, O.C.D.
II. Elements of His Spirituality, 1. Contemplative in action
Praskiewicz OCD, S 2016, Saint Raphael Kalinowski: An Introduction to his Life and Spirituality, Translated from the Polish by Coonan, T, Griffin, M & Sullivan, L, ICS Publications, Washington DC.