From the Writings of Blessed Bronisław Markiewicz

Powściągliwość i Praca (Temperance and Work) 1904, pp.73-74

The Two Pillars of Social Life

The world is falling apart because men have destroyed two pillars of social life. In education and in life they have placed the emphasis predominantly  upon intellectual instruction and on science letting go of "work and temperance". Instead, our Creator, who knows what we need, better than we ourselves know, recommends, after having suffered the loss of bread and salvation, that we work with the sweat of our brow and that we be temperant. He expressly says to our first parents in Paradise "By the sweat of your brow shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken." (Gen,3, 19) Jesus Christ in his Gospel adds: "If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross and begin to follow in my footsteps" (Mt 16, 24) . This means: That not only I, your Saviour, have to work hard and suffer, but also all of you, my disciples, if you want to be with me in paradise, have to suffer and work, submitting your intellect, will and works to the prescriptions of the Commandments of God.

You must commit your body with all its senses and inclinations to the continual service of the Divine, fighting and working, day and night, for his glory during your whole life until death. "The flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh." (Gal. 5:17)

Work and temperance are not acquired easily. In order to avoid being overcome in battle we must rigorously control our body and all its natural inclinations, like a coachman holds on tightly  to an untamed horse so that they both do not end up on the brink.

The Son of God, in human flesh walks before us lighting our path with his example, in order to lighten the burden which the Creator placed upon us and to exhort us to the voluntary  renunciation of our very selves. Jesus worked willingly and by the sweat of his brow in St Joseph's shop, he endured the sufferings and the privations of daily life, finally he died on the cross suffering horrible pain. He did not spare himself he did not give in to anything in order to teach us how we are to live in every situation. His Mother, followed him closely, the sorrowful Mother who worked and suffered during her whole life. Behind her come the thousands of saints who "crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal:5:24).

Instead today, throughout the whole world and unfortunately among Christian nations, this command seems to resound: Let us seek to enjoy life to the fullest on this earth and to work as little as possible. Money, power, rest, diversion, pleasures and honours today constitute the ideal of all of humanity, while work by  the sweat of the brow and Christian temperance are totally disvalued. Only those who are forced to do so work and suffer.  Only very few work freely and are temperant in the spirit of Jesus Christ. The majority of today s people are not aware that work and Christian temperance obtain a hundredfold already on this earth. Abandonment of temperance, instead, brings about  not only the risk of the eternal punishment of hell but also earthly disasters.


The effeminate world refuses to accept the bitter means of Christian mortification to heal the illnesses of the spirit. It is precisely mortification which heals the "things of the earth" (Phil.3, 19) and  the inclinations which wound man's soul and lead to perdition.  By means of mortification we pay, already on this earth, the temporal punishments which we have deserved because of our sins. Mortification raises our soul to heavenly realities and enables it to be united to God. Only those who are mortified have the gift of prayer which is indispensable for salvation. Christian mortification helps us to acquire, already on this earth, interior peace and the joy of the Spirit. Therefore, mortification, which consists of work and Christian temperance, constitutes the indispensable condition for, and is the source of spiritual wealth and of human happiness, in this present life and in the future.

Work and temperance are, thus, the most important pillars of social life. Only there, where they are solidly grounded, are well-being, health, strength, peace, freedom and independence possible.

We need not only instruct youth on these two pillars of social life but also to have them  actively put them into practice, encouraging them by our own example. We need to pray, many times throughout the day, for the understanding and realization of these two conditions for happiness. We need to base  our scholastic system and our whole education principally on these two pillars. Thus will we find abundant means for the social betterment of our people and neighbouring peoples. In this way the brotherhood of nations will be extended and a more glorious period in the history of humanity will dawn.


Read 20912 times


  • Our Lady Queen of Peace, Sarnia +

    Our Lady Queen of Peace, Sarnia After the Second World War, many veterans came to Sarnia. The population of Polish immigrants increased. In 1952, the Polish Read More
  • Our Lady of Czestochowa, London +

    Our Lady of Czestochowa, London In 1953, the Polish community in London was growing slowly but surely. Under the wise leadership of Msgr. Francis Pluta, Read More
  • St. Teresa, Toronto +

    St. Teresa, Toronto Saint Teresa’s Parish in Toronto was established in 1924 in order to provide spiritual care for the local Catholics. Soon Read More
  • St. Mary, London +

    St. Mary, London Saint Mary’s Church in London, Ontario was built in 1902 and is the second oldest Roman Catholic Church in the Read More
  • St. Clare of Montefalco, Grosse Pointe Park +

    St. Clare of Montefalco, Grosse Pointe Park St. Clare Parish in Grosse Pointe Park, MI, USA was founded in 1926 by the Augustinians Friars of the Province Read More
  • Christ The King, Toronto +

    Christ The King, Toronto Christ the King Church in Long Branch began as an idea in the mind of its first pastor, Father Stephen Read More
  • 1