“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38)
For St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, “to surrender oneself ” is not simply a word, but an authentic expression of faith and trust in Our Blessed Mother whom God has chosen, and in the plan He has entrusted to her.
Our Lady, who welcomed in faith the Plan of God, is the perfect model of the disciple who strives to obey the Lord. She recognized that she was charged with a great mission, knew to be in the service of the Lord and declared to be completely available for Him. Moreover, she manifested the profound joy of trusting in God.
The Greek verb that we translate as “Let it be done” expresses a desire and a joyful disposition. Mary did not accept with a sort of resignation, but rather she welcomed with enthusiasm and joy the will of God. She was happy and, as it were, did not desire anything more that to surrender herself into the Hands and Heart of God with full trust.
The example of Our Lady’s readiness, her docile, loving and unconditional surrender became the ideal of St. Maximilian’s life, a path he wanted to follow in relationship with the Immaculata, while inviting others to embrace it as well. A month after his return from Japan to Poland, in June 1936, he felt the need to emphasize the goal of the whole activity of the Militia of the Immaculata and of each member: “The Immaculata: here is our ideal. To approach her, become like her, permit her to take possession of our heart and all our self, that she may live and act in and through us, that she may love God with our heart, that we may belong to her without any restriction: this is our ideal.” (KW 1210)
The Blessed Virgin Mary’s surrender was the result of her awareness of being loved by God. Strengthened by this confidence, she allowed herself to be led by the Holy Spirit in the day-to-day obedience to God’s plans. Thus she learned day after day the meaning of surrender to God. Accordingly, St. Maximilian stated: “All that we are and whatever we have or can do, we have from God, and we receive that from Him every moment of our lives, because continued existence is nothing more than being continually granted such existence.
By ourselves, therefore, we are unable to do anything, with the sole exception of evil, which is precisely lack of good, of order, and of strength…. Consecrate oneself totally, with boundless confidence to the hands of Divine Mercy, whose personification, by the will of God, is the Immaculata. Not rely on oneself but rather be afraid of oneself, trusting without limits in her and turning to her as a child to his mother every time one feels impelled to evil. No fall shall occur then.” (KW 1100) In order to become authentic Knights of the Immaculata and experience the joy of belonging to her, each of us desires to introduce others to her, that they may draw closer to her “so that she might enlighten those hearts with an abundance of grace, warm them with the love of her motherly Heart, and kindle them with the fire of love toward God, toward the Divine Heart of Jesus.” (KW 1226) We realize, however, that we could not possibly undertake such a huge task alone.
We understand that the Immaculata herself must act in us and through us among the people who live around us. Thus, we offer ourselves even more perfectly to the Immaculata as her property and docile instruments in her immaculate hands (cf. Ibid.). As we strive to live this surrender, we will become able to say with Our Lady, “Here I am!” May God do with me as He wishes!
(from the MI International Office)