Week 1 – Accepting daily crosses
No one just walks into Auschwitz unprepared and decides to be a martyr. The hatred, the suffering, and the horror of Auschwitz tests a person’s Faith in God beyond anything he or she could possibly imagine.
Martyrdom is not a single Act such as beheading or crucifixion.
Martyrdom is not a single Choice such as when Maximilian stepped out of line in Auschwitz to take the place of another prisoner in the starvation bunker.
Rather Martyrdom is something that flows from the many Acts and Choices of embracing the Cross throughout one’s life that culminates in the eventual laying down of one’s life for Christ.
Martyrdom, therefore, is a culmination of accepting the daily crosses and sufferings that come along every day in life with Faith and thus prepares one for the Ultimate Martyrdom.
Faith is tested when one has a bad day or when one sees something on the news or when one experiences suffering or sickness.
Faith is tested when one is rejected or persecuted or when one’s prayer life is dry and difficult.
For some these daily trials and tribulations strengthen and prepare the Person of Faith to be able to accept the Cross of Martyrdom from the Lord.
As was the case for Maximilian Kolbe.
Kolbe’s Faith however was not just “tested” in Auschwitz but beaten, starved, gassed and cremated in the ovens that burned day and night.
Kolbe’s preparation for martyrdom in Auschwitz therefore had to begin at an early age, with daily trials and tribulations which he Lovingly accepted with Faith and endured with Hope.
Heavenly Father, May I always unite my daily trials and tribulations with the Sufferings of Christ,
So that I may never be tempted to despair but to an ever increase in Faith, Hope and Love.
For the Life of the world and those around me.
Through Christ Our Lord.
Meditations and Questions
1. What are some of the daily crosses that I face and am asked to carry?
2. Do I embrace them and how well do I carry them?
3. Do they strengthen my Faith?
4. Do I unite them with the Cross of Christ
5. What are some of the crosses that other people carry?
6. How do I step up and help them carry their crosses?
7. Who are my favorite Martyrs? Why?
8. Am I willing to be a Martyr?