On November 12, 2022, the 19th Annual Congress of the Militia of the Immaculata (M.I.) in Northern Poland was held in Gdynia, Poland, under the slogan: “On the Path of Discernment with Mary.”
More than one hundred people attended the meeting. They came from the M.I. communities of Poland in Darłowo, Darłówek, Elbląg, Gdynia, Gdańsk, Inowrocław, Kołobrzeg, Lębork, Ostróda and Smętów. The meeting was a time filled with prayer and dialogue, and gave the militia members a chance to talk about their experiences and enjoy the gift of fraternity.
The central point of the meeting was Mass, presided over by Friar Michał NOWAK, the M.I. Provincial Assistant of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk). In his homily, Friar Michał posed some questions about the spiritual life of the militia members. “Has my daily prayer become a burden and obscured the image of God?” “When people look at us, do they discern a God who is fascinating, wonderful, extraordinary, tender and good? Or do they see a God of duty, demands and rules?” “What kind of God do we present to the world?”
Friar Michał gave two reflections during the meeting. The first was entitled: “How do I discern?” Friar Michał talked about the purpose of all discernment, which is to make a decision after having had the moral certainty that it conforms to God’s will. However, the decision by no means ends the discernment process because it still needs to be verified in daily life. The answer to the question, “Did I discern correctly?” must be looked at from the perspective of concrete results. The reflection made frequent referrals to Mary, whose own brief discernment, carried out with the help of the angel, led to her decision to welcome the Word into her womb.
The second reflection was entitled, “In Obedience to the Church.” It was focused on the dangerous and increasingly widespread individualism seen in the way people may profess and manifest their faith. Friar Michał stressed that time reserved for sacred liturgy, in particular, should be a time of special fidelity and obedience to the teaching of the Church. Today, the liturgy is often subject abuse or arbitrary over-interpretation. This applies to both the clergy and the laity. Participants in the liturgy sometimes prefer to be guided by their intuition, piety or the indications of private revelations rather than following the guidelines of the Church, expressed, for example, in the rubrics of liturgical books. M.I. members must always strive for the unity of the community and obedience to the Church.
Friar Piotr KUREK, Provincial Secretary