Ave Maria Mediations
“Pray that my love will be without limits.”
–Saint Maximilian Kolbe in his last letter to his mother.
St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941) Priest and Martyr
Patron of the Franciscans of the Immaculate
St. Maximilian wrote: To bring about the purpose of the M.I. (Militia Immaculatae) as soon as possible, to conquer for the Immaculate the entire world and every single soul that now lives or will live till the end of the world, and through her to win them for the Sacred Heart of Jesus! In addition, we are to be watchful lest anyone remove the Immaculate’s standard from a soul; but rather to deepen constantly in souls their love for the Immaculate, to tighten the bond of love between them and her, so that they may become one with her, so that she herself may live and love and act in them and through them. Just as she belongs to Jesus and to God, so every soul will belong to Jesus and to God through her and in her in a much more perfect manner than would be possible by not going through her or without her, if, indeed, that were possible. Then souls will love the Sacred Heart of Jesus as they have never loved him up to now, because like her they will plunge more deeply than ever into the mysteries of love: the cross and the Eucharist. The love of God will be enkindled in the world through her, will set it on fire, and there will take place the “assumption” of souls through love.
When will all this happen, that is, the divinization of the whole world in her and through her? There is one primary and essential condition: that those whose duty it is to labor [in Cities of the Immaculate] should themselves give the example. To understand this spirit they themselves must be impregnated with it. To become instruments of the Immaculate so that she herself may be the one who acts, they must consecrate themselves to her with no restrictions. They themselves first of all must belong to her and live out their unlimited consecration to her, draw the bonds of love uniting them to her more tightly, become one with her so that she may act through them and in their souls. This is the essential condition. She will act through them only in the degree to which they belong to her. Therefore nothing can remain that comes from themselves. They must belong to her limitlessly.
If they do not offer a well-founded hope that they desire to aim constantly for this goal, they cannot make their profession at Niepokalanow. This is why the Statutes of the M.I. are obligatory beyond the Rule and the Constitutions. These must be studied in depth and made part of their lives. This is the essential content of the spiritual preparation to be given to the workers. Under this aspect a deeper understanding of the Rule and the Constitutions is also necessary, so as to reinforce as fully as possible one’s total consecration to the Immaculate: our will through holy obedience, our body through chastity, our convenience through poverty. Everything is for the purpose of becoming an instrument in her hands in as perfect a manner as possible.
No fixed formula exists. The better one understands this unlimited characteristic, the better it would be.
The second condition is to wear the Miraculous Medal. This is an “integral” condition, something complementary (not essential). We wear it because the Immaculate recommended this and has promised her protection to those who do so. We sorely need that protection. Experience shows that when the devil wants to lead someone astray, the first thing he does is to make him look for some pretext to lay aside the Miraculous Medal. How powerful is the Immaculate’s protection!
This is therefore an important condition, an “integral” one, even if not “essential” If it should happen, because of individual circumstances, that there were no more Miraculous Medals, the MI would not cease to exist; the medal is an external sign of our total consecration to her.
By these conditions (the first of which is essential), we unite ourselves to her, we become her instruments, we belong to her and become one with her. The act of consecration of the MI. explains these ideas. The means are those which she herself wishes to be used. During the apparition of the Miraculous Medal, she dictated an ejaculatory prayer, so this is our prayer and in it we include all men. She gave us the Miraculous Medal, so this is our weapon with which to strike hearts. In addition, any other means, provided it is licit, can be used, anything that zeal and prudence suggest-in a word, whatever love commands us, a love without limits-whatever this beloved Mother of ours, Mother of the whole world and of each and every soul wishes to do by our instrumentality.
All inventions should first of all be at her service and then promote other purposes: art, literature, the theater, the cinema, publications, journalism, radio, etc., etc. But before everything else we ourselves must be hers, even to the complete annihilation of our ego, to a personal holocaust, total, unreserved, without limits (“penance, penance, penance”). So then everything is given [to her]: soul, body, all the faculties of the soul and the powers of the body, talent, energy, knowledge, etc…everything! Everything: the past, the present and future, life, death, eternity…in a word, everything without even the slightest, tiniest reservation. 0 Immaculate Mother, glory to you for all ages!
Novena Prayer to St. Maximilian Kolbe
(pray for 9 consecutive days)
O St. Maximilian Kolbe, faithful follower of St. Francis of Assisi, inflamed by the love of God, you dedicated your life to the practice of virtue and to works of charity. Look kindly upon us who devoutly confide the following petitions to your intercession: (here mention your specific requests).
Having consecrated yourself to the Immaculate Virgin Mary, you founded the Militia of the Immaculata (MI) Movement so that the Blessed Virgin might lead countless souls to holiness by inspiring them to do good, avoid evil, and spread the Kingdom of God. Obtain for us, through her, the grace of drawing many souls to Christ.
In your close conformity to Our Divine Savior, you reached such an intense degree of charity that you offered your life to save that of a fellow prisoner. Implore God that we, inflamed by such ardent charity, may, through our faith and good works, witness Christ’s Love for the world and thus merit to join you in the blessed vision of God. Amen.