In the Rehabilitation Centre where we work we take care of people who are addicted to drugs. We treat people in the age from 18 to 40 who come to us after detox. Our patients become a therapeutic society. I have worked here for 8 years with sister Grazyna we cooperate for 4 years. Our Center is under the charge of the Ministry of Health, and Fr. Arkadiusz Nowak, a Camillian Priest, is its director.
We have noticed since the beginning of our work with those young people how important an authentic relation with God is to them. We endeavour to walk with them as they work through their questions and become aware of their spiritual needs. This gives us a great satisfaction.
Seeing how God’s mercy opens hardened hearts strengthens our faith and make us feel grateful that we can witness His actions. I think especially of situations, where after many years of living far away from God, people establish a very personal relationship with Him, experiencing His forgiving love and tender care.
Throughout those years of being close to dramatic fates of young people, it seems to us that compassion has grown in our hearts, and we are convinced, that God chose us to show them this compassion and to assure them that He is always very close to them.
We are also aware that thanks to this job our own humanity has deepened, and we feel that we are called by God to be more forgiving and patient for those young people of whom we are taking care in our center.
Cooperation with the therapeutic team is for us a call to witness to our moral attitudes, especially with regards to sexual matters.
Working with people who have AIDS and with those who are addicted makes us realize how important it is to be a disciple of Christ. While working with people, who seem not to be in close relation with God but who are searching for values like truth, good, beauty and love, it becomes evident that there is no need to talk about God, but to show with our own lives that God lives in us and that Christian values are important.
We want to be instruments in the hands of God, so that our relationship with our people is that of respect for human dignity. It is through us that God wants to tell the young people in the Centre that He loves them and that He is their Father.
To become an instrument in God’s hands and a witness of His Gospel, we have to engage in personal internal work in order to deepen one’s own personal relation with God. More and more we understand the words of Pope John Paul II, who was encouraging us to “imagine mercy”.
This work takes into account also the real meaning of human suffering. This suffering can sometimes open someone to God, enable one to return to Him and give the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of one’s life.
We also notice how important is the moment of passing away, of passing away with dignity and with reconciliation with God.
Our joint work is for us a mutual support in everything, and a witness to ourselves of the following Christ on the way of religious life, although in different communities. This is a small part of Church unity. Different communities, different charisms but joint way of leading others towards God. Thanks to our work, we are able to meet other groups and benefit from their riches.
Jolanta Glapka rscj
Province of Poland