For the Life of the World shows that it was St. Maximilian’s theology which drove him in his pursuit of following the Lord Jesus so completely that he ultimately gave his life as a ransom for someone else. Seeing the depth of St. Maximilian’s theology and how it TOTALLY transformed his life has given me a deeper realisation of how undeveloped my own theology is; and even in its shallowness, I realise that it hasn’t really begun to penetrate the depths of my own being. Reading this book has aroused in me a greater sense of my own unworthiness when I compare it to the lives of the Saints – who even themselves were “worthless servants doing only what they ought to have done” (Lk 17:10). [Of course, this is not a bad thing, because God has used it to challenge me in my walk with Him.]
There are two things that sum up the theology of St. Maximilian. They are (1) complete and utter consecration to Our Lady; and (2) uncompromising love of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The really interesting thing though is that St. Maximilian didn’t see these as two separate ideas at all; rather he saw that they were ultimately one and the same. He firmly believed that “consecration to Christ is not possible objectively without consecration to the Immaculate”. This is because “perfect devotion to Mary coincides with adoring love for Christ really present, in His divinity and in His humanity, under the Eucharistic species. To love Mary is the equivalent of loving and praising her Son, Jesus.”That little phrase is so important that it bears repeating:
“To love Mary is the equivalent of loving and praising her Son, Jesus”
Like St. Louis Marie De Montfort, St. Maximilian firmly believed that the surest way to Jesus is through Mary. So, if we want to be firm in our devotion to Our Lord, the best way to achieve this is by being completely consecrated to Our Lady who will ALWAYS lead us to Jesus.
In the life of St. Maximilian, he became so united with the Lord Jesus that, like our Lord, he was prepared to follow Him in giving his own life in an act of sacrifice for another. It was St. Maximilian’s reception of our Lord in Holy Communion with a thorough understanding of what takes place in Holy Communion that ultimately led him to offer himself in sacrifice.St. Maximilian understood in a most profound way that the Eucharist is nothing less than the Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary made present for us; and it was precisely because of his love for the Lord’s Sacrifice made present in the Eucharist that St. Maximilian taught that love of the Eucharist is not genuine if it is not sacrificial. In other words, our love for the Lord Jesus Christ is measured by the extent of sacrifice for Him and others in our lives.
Thanks be to God, St. Maximilian loved our Lord to the utmost – leaving for us the example of what it really means to love our Lord Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Where did this love begin? It began with a totally consecrated love of and devotion to Our Lady.Like St. Maximilian, may we learn to imitate him in devoting ourselves completely to the Blessed Virgin Mary because she will always teach us to “love Jesus with her heart.”
St. Maximilian Kolbe...pray for us.
NOTE: Quotes (or paraphrases) from the book are indicated above by the use of “inverted commas”.