Cast into the deep . . .

Christ said to Peter,

“Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a APOSTLES FISHINGcatch,” (Lk 5:4)

and when Peter did they had to call for help, because the nets were bursting with the weight of the fish.

When most of us think of Maximilian Kolbe we think of a holy Polish Franciscan friar who took the place of a man condemned to die at Auschwitz and whom the Catholic Church canonized as a martyr. But this is too simplistic a view. His journey to Auschwitz began when he was nine-years old. Speaking through his Immaculate Mother, Christ invited nine-year old Raymond Kolbe to “cast [himself] into the deep.” When the Immaculate appeared to the young boy she showed him two MAX AND MARYcrowns, one white and one red and told him to choose one. Raymond asked what they represented. She told him that the white was for purity and the red for martyrdom. Raymond chose both.

If we fast forward, Raymond eventually enters the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (Conventual Franciscan Friars) and becomes Friar Maximilian Maria. The friars did not use last names in those days. This is a later development when secularism invades religious life.

Maximilian Kolbe began his trek to martyrdom at age nine, accompanied by Mary. It is not coincidence that he achieves martyrdom on the eve of her Assumption into heaven. The relationship between Maximilian and Mary was much deeper than the Sea of Galilee. Together, they would catch many souls.

St. John Paul II, preaching at St. Maximilian’s canonization said, “In the mystery of the Immaculate Conception there revealed itself john paul and marybefore the eyes of [Maximilian’s] soul the marvelous and supernatural world of God’s grace offered to man.” Does not Peter say, “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man”(Lk 5:8)? God never misses an opportunity to reveal his grace and to offer it to man.

To focus on Maximilian’s death and ignore his lifelong journey to Auschwitz, is to miss the movement of God through human history. Throughout his life, Maximilian would have much to teach us about intimacy with God through the Immaculate. We often wonder what exactly happened to John the Baptist while in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary arrived at their home. VISITATION Elizabeth said, “For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy,” (Lk 1:44). In presenting the relationship between the soul and Mary Maximilian wrote,

“Mary will enkindle hearts with the love of her Maternal Heart and inflame them with the fire of the charity that burns in the Divine Heart of Jesus.”

He also reminds us that without Mary, our battle against the forces of hell is a lost cause.

“The conflict with Hell cannot be maintained by man alone. The Immaculate has from God the promise of victory over Satan.”

To try to become saints and conquer sin by our own efforts, without the aid of the Mother of the Lord, is a futile cause. Many non-Catholics and non-Orthodox will argue that they know members of their community who have never had a devotion to Mary and have lived very holy lives. This may be true. But that is not to say that Mary is our-lady-crushes-serpent-2absent. Mary does not need our permission or even our friendship to intervene between our soul and hell. This was planned by God from the beginning of time. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; she shall bruise your head,” (Gn 3:15). We cannot handcuff Mary, because we cannot handcuff God, nor can we alter his plans for our redemption.

Mary is not divine. She is only human. She is not part of the Trinity. Yet, being the mother of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, she is inseparable from the Trinity, because the persons in the Trinity are inseparable from each other. She is daughter, spouse and mother.

Christ’s passion, death and resurrection involve the three divine persons of the Trinity and the human person who surrendered her Son to be executed for our redemption, in fulfillment of the Father’s plan. She is the first to cooperate fully with the Holy Spirit for the redemption of mankind. If we want to experience how much the Trinity loves us, we must draw close to Mary.

“The only human person who was as closely united to the Holy Trinity as is absolutely possible, and therefore, the highest reflectionMARY AND TRINITY of the love of the Holy Trinity; the most perfect human, living, visible, audible human being is the Blessed Virgin Mary,” (St. Maximilian Kolbe).

When he surrendered himself to the Mother of God, Maximilian sealed his fate. One cannot surrender to the Mother of God and expect to be spared her Son’s cross. At the same time, without the mother, the cross would not have happened and we would be lost. “His death makes Maximilian particularly like Christ — the Model of all Martyrs – who gives his own life on the Cross for his brethren,” (St. John Paul II)

Through Mary, Christ invited Maximilian to cast his life into the deep. Maximilian accepted the invitation with great joy and peace, because he believed that one should


“Place [himself] in Mary’s hand. She will provide for everything you need for soul and body. Therefore, [one can] be at peace with unlimited confidence in her,” (St. Maximilian Kolbe).

Our intimacy with Christ is proportionate to our intimacy with the Immaculate. Maximilian a modern model of this great truth in Christian Spirituality. However, this intimacy is not without risks. It requires that we cast ourselves, not our nets, into the deep — trusting that she will not allow us to drown in sin and hell.

Saint Maximilian Maria Pray for us

Saint Maximilian Maria
Pray for us

The fact that Friar Maximilian died on the eve of the Assumption is no coincidence. There are no coincidences where the Immaculate is involved.

Published in: on August 11, 2014 at 12:33 AM  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful reflection.

  2. Duc in altum… Nolite timere.

  3. Thank you for posting this.

  4. Thank you everyone. The Immaculate is the patroness of the Franciscan family. St. John Paul II declared St. Maximilian patron saint of the Pro Life Movement; therefore, our community thought it was appropriate to take him as our patron saint.

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