The 75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe
Week 19 December 18-25
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for holiness, for they shall be satisfied.
Have you ever eaten so much, maybe at Thanksgiving or some other special occasion and said to yourself, that you will never eat again!
Only to get up the next morning hungry!
It is the same with shopping.
People seem happy with what they have until they see a sale or a bargain and they they just have to have it because they are not satisfied with what they already have.
Nothing in life really satisfies.
Not food nor material things.
This is why St. Maximilian hungered for holiness.
Maximilian said, “It was the Lord Christ who came into the world and showed by example and word the way to true holiness. Its essence lies in love of God.”
Holiness according to St. Maximilian is not complicated.
It is not a regimen of fasting, penance, and mortification as worthwhile these things may be.
True holiness is simply, Loving God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and our neighbor as ourself.” Deut. 6:5, Mk. 12:30
Few people love God and their neighbor with such a total and complete love.
If they did there would be no hunger, or poverty, or racism or violence.
True love, however, is not conditional;
Whether or not one is deserving of love;
Whether or not one is holy or sinful;
Whether or not one is loved in return.
True Love is always unconditional toward God and neighbor.
It does not depend on the actions or worthiness of another.
This is why God loved us even while we were still sinners. Rom. 5:8
For Love, Loves!
Some people however separate love of God from love of neighbor.
They speak and act differently toward God than they do their neighbor.
Maximilian however never separated love of God from love of neighbor.
His love for God was manifested in his love for the Eucharist and for Mary.
Before or after each school hour, he visited Jesus in the tabernacle.
His love for Mary was expressed in his total consecration to her.
Maximilian’s love of neighbor was manifested when he would pray for those in the seminary who transgressed the Rule of St. Francis and the superiors.
No one ever heard him talk badly of anyone.
He ultimately showed his total love for God and for neighbor by taking the place of a fellow prisoner in the starvation bunker in Auschwitz.
Even as he was being starved to death he was “satisfied.”
Filled with the Love of God.
Only Love satisfies and this is the essence of holiness for Maximilian.
This is how he lived and how he died.
In all things and at all times, may I always love God with my whole heart and soul and mind strength and my neighbor as myself, as God has loved me in Jesus. Amen.
Meditations and Questions :
1. How do I show my love for God?
2. How do I show my love for my neighbor?
3. How have I failed to love God?
4. How have I failed to love my neighbor?
5. How did Maximilian love God and his neighbor?
6. For what do I hunger and thirst?