Eunice / Reflections

Celebrating Sainthood | St. Maximilian Kolbe

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After months of sharing our favorite saints with you, we have just 4 posts left in this ‘Celebrating Sainthood’ Series. If you’ve been out of the loop and living life, don’t fret! You can catch up here. 

When I asked Becs whom she thought I should next write about in the series, she, without skipping a beat suggested Maximilian Kolbe. With total trust in Becs, I agreed.

4 days later, having procrastinated to the max, I find myself sitting before a blank screen realizing I still have nothing to write about this man. What exactly did Becs think I should write about? Truthfully, I know only one thing about St.Maximilian Kolbe; that he died in place of a complete stranger at Auschwitz.

‘Great,’ I thought, ‘Let’s just end the post there. What more can you really say about someone with such an astronomical act of courage?’ What makes it so hard to find words to write about Kolbe? It is not because of a lack of things he did, but because I find it incredibly hard to relate to someone whose acts of courage surpass anything I have ever and maybe will ever face in my lifetime.

But this ONE GREAT DEED got me thinking. How do you go from being a regular person to doing something heroic? How do you go from just a regular man to a martyr? I don’t believe we just wake up one day ready to face death itself.

When I reflect and learn more about Kolbe’s life leading up to his most profound act of sainthood, I see a man who practiced courage daily. Bet ya didn’t know that this man had a serious devotion to Mary. {sidenote: I do love a man with a devotion to our Mother. In one word, HOT.}

When he was little, he had this vision of Mary presenting him with two crowns…

“That night, I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me, a Child of Faith. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both.”

Even as a child, he was ready to accept anything. Seeing his life leading up to Auschwitz has led me to believe that we become heroes after years of practicing heroism in the little things and making daily acts of faith all leading towards a larger opportunity to be saints. Ultimately, we become courageous by practicing courage now.

I would like to think that had I been in Kolbe’s shoes in that concentration camp, I would have done the same. But let’s not wait till such a day comes. What is God asking us to be courageous in now? Today?

If we are not courageous in the little things, how can we be courageous in the bigger things?

JP2 called St.Maximilian Kolbe The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century. And rightfully so. Kolbe asked his mum in his last letter to her, “Pray that my love will be without limits.” Like his example, I think we need ask for only ONE thing if we desire to become heroes like him…for a love without limits.

May your love too be without limits and may you be courageous TODAY,

E

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