Natus in Via
Born on the Way
Aug 14, 2020
St. Maximilian Kolbe
“The burning zeal for God’s glory that motivates you fills my heart with joy. It is sad for us to see in our own time that indifferentism in its many forms is spreading like an epidemic not only among the laity but also among religious. But God is worthy of glory beyond measure, and therefore it is of absolute and supreme importance to seek that glory with all the power of our feeble resources.”
– St. Maximilian Kolbe
From the beginning of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, St. Maximilian Kolbe has been an inspiration and model for our apostolate. His zeal for God’s glory led him to embrace new forms of media in view of more widely and effectively communicating the Gospel message. Yet we know that tools are not enough: prayer, faith and burning love for God and the Immaculata ensure the joy which is necessary to fight against the ever increasing indifferentism of our day. Loss of the sense of God, or the sense of sin against One so worthy of our love, is the true epidemic which leads to the spiritual death of the soul.
To the Church of Ephesus, in the Book of Revelation chapter two, God says, “I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” Burning zeal takes incarnational form in the beginning of conversion, or in moments of first promises, like at first religious vows or matrimonial consent. Day by day we either keep our lamp filled with oil, or slowly the flame of our love dies down. I am yearly encouraged by the first fervor of the newly baptized who have come through RCIA. And yet, so many keep on for a time then fall away. Our Lord had said this would be so in the Parable of the Sower (Mt 13:1-23; Mk 4:1-20; Lk 8:4-15). We so want to be the good soil, and thanks be to God that a key “fertilizer” is repentance. There is always hope, there is always renewal in heart, mind and spirit.
On August 14, 1941, the Vigil of the Assumption, Maximilian Kolbe died, in prison, by lethal injection of carbolic acid, laying down his life in exchange for another. On this memorial of this amazing Martyr of Love, I wish to share the following powerful prayers, one for addition and the other for prisoners, are found in the St. Maximilian Kolbe outdoor chapel at the St. Anthony Shrine in Ellicott, Maryland (shrineofstanthony.org)
Prayer to St. Maximilian Kolbe for Families and Friends of Someone Addicted to Drugs
St. Maximilian Kolbe, your life of love and labor for souls was sacrificed amid the horrors of a concentration camp and hastened to its end by injection of a deadly drug.
Look with compassion upon __________ who is now entrapped in addiction to drugs or alcohol and whom we now recommend to your powerful intercession. Having offered your own life to preserve that of a family man, we turn to you with trust, confident that you will understand and help.
Obtain for us the grace never to withhold our love and understanding, nor to fail in persevering prayer that the enslaving bond of addiction may be broken and that full health and freedom may be resorted to him/her whom we love.
We will never cease to be grateful to God who has helped us and heart your prayer for us. Amen.
Prayer for Prisoners to St. Maximilian Kolbe
O Prisoner-Saint of Auschwitz, help all prisoners in their plight, especially __________. Introduce them to Mary, the Immaculata, Mother of God. She prayed for Jesus in a Jerusalem jail. She prayed for you in a Nazi prison camp. Ask her to comfort all those in confinement. May she teach them always to be good.
If they are lonely, may she say “God is here.”
If they feel hate, may she say “God is love.”
If they are tempted, may she say “God is pure.”
If they sin, may she say “God is mercy.”
If they are in darkness, may she say “God is light.”
If they are unjustly condemned, may she say “God is truth.”
If they have pain in soul or body, may she say “God is peace.”
If they lose hope, may she say: “God is with you all days, and so am I.”
Fr. Paschal Mary, MFVA