Monday, August 14, 2006

Celebrating with St. Max

"I wish to be a saint... I demand that you be saints and great saints. Sanctity is not a luxury but it is an obligation... and it is not difficult."

Today is the feast day of my hero, my patron, St. Maximilian Kolbe. Catholic Exchange has a nice introductory article about the Saint of Auschwitz. I joined the Militia of the Immaculatae in 2000, making my initial consecration on January 1, 2001, a date which is not only MY birthday, but Mary's feast day as well. Mary, the Mother of Our Lord who was so near and close to St. Kolbe's heart.

Who is St. Maximilian Kolbe?

From the CE article:

If the real identifying mark of a man is his ability to forego his own desires for the good of others, then the sacrifice of one's life for another surely qualifies as the highest measure of manhood. This saint did not even know the man who lamented about the destitution of his wife and children if he died in that concentration camp, but Kolbe stepped out of line right then and there and took his place as if it never occurred to him that he had just agreed to the most horrible death imaginable, death by starvation, or to having his veins shot through with carbolic acid to finish off the devilish deed. His act of selflessness was so spontaneous that it seemed like just another sacrifice in his day, but in reality it was the ultimate sacrifice. "I'm just a priest," he told the Kommandant of the camp. "I'll go instead of him."

Will today's men learn from this man about manhood? Woe to us if we do not! In a world where feminist dogmas and intimidations shame men from living the heroism to which all of us are called, Kolbe beckons men to stand up, throw off this present totalitarianism and step out of line for those who need men most.

I'm ashamed to say that I have drifted away from my friend Max over the past few years. I had forgotten his lessons and after doing some reading online tonight as well as flipping through Forget Not Love on my bookshelf, he is once again working on me and teaching me the lessons I need to reflect to my sons, my friends, and to strangers.

"You will not be free from crosses, suffering and interior and external temptations. These we must experience to be like Christ. We prove that we love God sincerely when we make small sacrifices."

-Saturday, June 26, 1938-From a retreat for ten brothers taking final vows


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