We love because God first loved us! John 4:19In turn, we love in and through the Immaculata -
(St. Maximilian's favorite name for Mary -
the one she herself used at Lourdes, saying: "I am the Immaculate Conception")
- because she, also, first loved us!
“Only at the time of God’s judgment in Heaven shall we become aware of the solicitude that our tender Heavenly Mother has had for each of us, ever since the beginning, of the solicitude that she has toward every soul, her child, to shape it according to the pattern of Jesus, her firstborn Son, the prototype of holiness, God and man” (KW1313).
Pope Benedict XVI said at the inaugural Mass of his pontificate, “Christ does not take anything and gives everything.” As already proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council: “Only Christ fully reveals man to himself. Only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light” (GS22). And this is the motherhood of the Militia of the Immaculata, according to the desire of St. Maximilian, proclaiming Jesus Christ!
“That is the MI: to let her into all hearts, to bring her into being within all hearts, that by entering those hearts and taking most perfect possession of them, she may there give birth to the sweet Jesus, God, and there raise Him to perfect age. What a beautiful mission! ... Is that not true? ... The elevation of man to God Man, through Man God’s Mother” (KW508). http://missionimmaculata.com/images/Documents/preparation_for_consecration/Preparation_for_MI_Consecration_Part_5.pdf
This beautiful mission that St. Maximilian longed to live out and share with all souls developed a step further in 1930... when the City of the Immaculate in Poland had been established for three years ... St. Maximilian and four other friars journeyed to Japan in order to found another "City for Mary."
The Garden of the Immaculate
A saint’s heart can never be constrained to geographical boundaries. He is, by grace, always a missionary. This was especially true of St. Maximilian Kolbe. He loved the Immaculate with the Heart of Jesus, and he loved Jesus with the heart of Mary. It is manifested in a similar, universal desire to win all souls to Jesus and the Immaculate.
With the permission of his superiors, St. Maximilian, considering the need for further expansion, started a mission in Japan with four other friars in 1930. At Nagasaki, they established a new “City of the Immaculate” (Mugenzai no Sono – literally “Garden of the Immaculate”), thereby introducing his ideal, the Immaculate, to the Orient. In spite of problems with local authorities, language, culture, and climate – one month after their arrival, Father Maximilian was, nevertheless, able to publish the first issue of “Seibo no Kishi,” the Japanese version of the magazine “Knight of the Immaculate.”
He wrought numerous conversions among the Japanese; most of them thanked him for his heroic and unconditional sacrifice to draw them to the true Faith. But St. Maximilian recognized that this apostolic success could only be attributed to a pure and undivided love for the Immaculate. Where there is love and charity, there is God. (https://saintmaximiliankolbe.com/biography/)
To announce Jesus Christ is a beautiful mission, because every person finds in Him the happiness and fullness of meaning for his or her life. We may share the spiritual motherhood of Mary, not only listening to the Word of God, but also by becoming co-workers in her maternal mission. In fact Maximilian writes that Mary does not want to carry out her mission alone, but that she wants to engage us too. Motherhood means care, love, attention to others. Maximilian is an effective witness to it. The proclamation of the Gospel is the greatest act of love; it is the first charity. The Gospel message transforms the proud-hearted and gives the humble the awareness of their dignity, as already announced by the Virgin of Nazareth in her Magnificat. The proclamation of the Gospel is also the first form of charity for every member of the Militia of the Immaculata.From the Writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe (KW 925)
Maximilian Kolbe, facing the reality of his time (atheism in particular) said that:
“These poor people, therefore, need light, a great deal of supernatural light, of supernatural energy. They are unhappy, discontented, because they take as their ultimate goal what is only a means and therefore, after reaching the happiness to which they aspire, cannot find what they were looking for. And they continue to search with a dejected heart, with bitterness in their souls. How can we fail to reach out to them? How can we not to help them placate their hearts, lift their mind above all that passes toward the one ultimate purpose, God? Love for one’s neighbor pushes those souls who have already found the true ideal of life not to forget their brothers and sisters around them. One of the many associations that practice this love of one’s neighbor is the Militia of the Immaculata” (KW1237).
Maximilian is also a witness of that love which is ready for martyrdom. Maximilian is the “man for man,” who lived with the conviction that “Only love creates” (cf. KW1205). This is the lesson he learned in his deep and intimate daily experience of communion with Christ through his consecration to the Immaculata.
Being at the school of Mary led Maximilian, and can lead each of us, to be “for others” in everyday life, in the family, at work, in our social relationships. The Marian manner of life has love as its center, its heart, its fundamental dimension. http://missionimmaculata.com/images/Documents/preparation_for_consecration/Preparation_for_MI_Consecration_Part_5.pdf
"Mutual love does not consist in the fact that no one ever causes any sorrow in us, but that we strive not to cause grief to others and we become accustomed to forgiving whatever hurts us immediately and completely. In such mutual forbearance lies the essence of mutual love.
St. Thérèse writes: “I saw only too well how very imperfect was my love for my Sisters; I did not really love them as Jesus loves them. I see now that true charity consists in bearing with the faults of those about us, never being surprised at their weaknesses, but edified at the least sign of virtue. I see above all that charity must not remain hidden in the bottom of our hearts, for ‘no man lighteth a candle and putteth it in a hidden place, nor under a bushel; but upon a candle-stick, that they who come in may see the light’ [Lk 11:33]. It seems to me that this candle is the symbol of charity; it must shine out not only to cheer those we love best, but ALL those who are of the household.”
And later she writes: “I know, my Jesus, that You never command the impossible; You know better than I do how frail and imperfect I am. You know perfectly well that I can never hope to love my Sisters as You love them, unless You Yourself love them in me. It is only because You are willing to do this that You have given us a New Commandment, and I love it because it is my assurance that You desire to love in me all those whom You command me to love.” The deeper such love, the more effective will missionary activity be."
The deeper our love, the more effective all our activity will be...
What a profound truth!
May we never forget this
nor neglect to ask for and be open to more and more love.
For this deeper love that is so effective is nothing less than Divine Love and forgiveness.
Remembering "To Forgive is Divine."
Thus, may this preparation fill us with ever deeper love that forgives all those who have harmed us in order to help create a "Garden of the Immaculata" in our hearts and in our lives.
So that, in and through our Total Consecration to her,
Mary is able
to love others with her own Motherly heart through us!
- especially those who are the hardest ones for us to love.
Let us pray:
Come Holy Spirit, living in Mary, help us to prepare well for our Total Consecration.
Be with us and help us become the love of Mary and Jesus as we give ourselves entirely and without reserve to both of them in complete surrender.
So, that Mary, in turn, can draw us ever closer to Jesus and make of us great saints!
Pray for us and help us live out the love you poured out to win all souls for Christ through Mary and the Miraculous Medal! We ask this in Jesus's Name, Amen.
Lastly, may we never forget to recognize that the prayer Mary taught us and that wearing the miraculous medal are true gifts of heaven. May they help us to be a garden of Mary's and Jesus's love where there is hatred, unforgiveness and hurt, disbelief and discontent:
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all those who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of Holy Church and all those recommended to you.
© Janet Moore 2019. All Rights Reserved.