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August 14th: St. Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan Saint and Martyr

Ave Maria Meditations

More than once, no doubt, we have come across the expression, “God’s will,” or perhaps this other one, “the Immaculate’s will”; or again, “the accomplishment of the Immaculate’s will is the shortest and surest way to holiness.”  At first, perhaps, a doubt arose in our minds whether such expressions are strictly true.

Since our supreme legislator is God, our salvation depends on carrying out His will. The Immaculate is, indeed, the mother of God , but compared with God’s perfection she is infinitely inferior to Him: a creature brought into being by His will.

Yes, it is true: the Immaculate is only one of God’s works and like every work, incomparable inferior to her creator and entirely dependent on Him.  But at the same time she is God’s most perfect and most holy creation, because God, as St. Bonaventure affirms, ” could create a world greater and more perfect than this one; but even He could not raise any creature to a more exalted dignity than that which He has bestowed on Mary.”

The Immaculate stand at the extreme limit between God and creation She is a faithful image of God’s perfection and sanctity.  Our soul’s degree of perfection depends on the union of our will with that of God. The greater the perfection, the closer the union. Because the most Blessed Virgin surpasses in perfection all the angels and saints, her will is united with and made one in the closest manner with the will of God. She lives and acts solely in God and through God.  Hence, by accomplishing the will of the Immaculata we accomplish by that very fact the will of God.

When we say that we wish only to accomplish the Immaculate’s will, we do not at all intend to diminish God’s glory’ on the contrary, we increase it considerably, because in this way we recognize and venerate God’s almighty power which has called so sublime and perfect a creature into existence. So, too, when we remain enchanted before a beautiful statue, by that very fact we praise and admire the artist’s genius.

Therefore we can affirm without any fear that the sole and highest desire of our hearts is to accomplish the will of the Immaculate in the most exact way possible. We aim at becoming day by day more fully hers; we wish to allow the Immaculate to take possession of our entire being.

Then we shall be her true Knights.  We shall not be ourselves any longer; it will be Mary in us and through us who will act and influence our milieu. Under the loving action of grace the icy barriers set up before the hearts of our neighbors will melt. Whole multitudes will follow the voice the Immaculate and will become instrument in her hands. Through them the Immaculate will influence other souls, and so on, until she completes the conquest of the whole world, of all souls and of each one in particular.

To hasten this instant we must before all else begin with ourselves. Let us turn our gaze towards Jesus, our most perfect model.  He who is God, supreme holiness, gives Himself to the Immaculate without reserve and becomes her son. He chose her to guide Him as she pleased for thirty years of His earthly life. /do we perhaps need a more encouraging example?

Let us follow Jesus’ lead. From now on let us renew the promise we made to the Immaculate. Let us undertake to live in such a way as to become every day and hour always more fully hers. In other words, let us live so as to fulfill the Immaculate’s will ever more perfectly.

+St. Maximilian Kolbe (September 1938)

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