75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe
Week 6. September 18 – 25
The Martyrdom of Obedience
The word obedience comes from the Latin meaning “to listen.” A person who is obedient “listens” to others; To God, parents, and employers and not to his or her own Will or desires. Too often one listens to one’s own will and desires rather than that of God’s Adam and Eve listened to the voice of the Serpent and was disobedient and death came into the world.
Mary listened to the voice of the Angel and was obedient and Life came into the world.
Listening involves suffering, a dying to oneself;
The silencing of one’s own will and desires.
Listening leads to Obedience and Obedience leads to suffering, for as one Listens, one learns the Will of Another and dies to to one’s own Will and desires.
Jesus always Listened.
And was thus obedient, because He Listened not to His Will and Desire but to the Will and Desire of His Father
Jesus learned His obedience from what He suffered. Heb. 5:8
Through suffering He learned to give up His Will and desires so that the Will of His Father might be fulfilled.
He was first obedient to Joseph and Mary in Nazareth. Lk. 2:51
The Word, through all things were made Jn. 1:3, chose to become obedient to what He created! In the desert, Jesus remained obedient in the face of hunger and temptations. Mk. 1:12-13
And in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was obedient unto death Phil. 2:8, and accepted the cup that His Father offered Him, by refusing His own Will for that of His Father’s. Mk. 14:36
St. Maximilian desired to “die” to his Will so that the “Will” of the Immaculata which is identical to the Will of God might be fulfilled.
This Total Obedience can only be learned through suffering. Heb. 5:8.
It is not that Kolbe had no desires or plans. A man of his intelligence and vision was filled with desires and plans. So much so, that when he was selected to go to study as a Franciscan in Rome, he chose to turn it down. This caused great angst as he questioned his obedience.
“Do you have the right to indulge in personal desires and apprehensions at the expense of the Order and all those who have worked so hard to bring you to your current spiritual and intellectual maturity? Did not your earnest plea to delete your name from the list alter the Order’s plan and gain a reluctant consent from Father Kellar? In gaining such a concession, did you not resist the plain will of God for you and for your Order? To call yourself a knight in the service of the Immaculate Virgin, you must first learn Marian obedience as illustrated in her response to Gabriel, Then Mary said, Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to thy word. ” Mary’s Knight; p 89
St. Maximilian always believed that subjecting his will to the Divine Will would always lead to sanctification.
And because Maximilian learned obedience from what he suffered, he too was able to remain obedient even unto death in the starvation bunker.
Heavenly Father, may Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In my heart as it was done in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, as did St. Maximilian, even unto death. Fiat! Amen!
Meditations and Questions
1. To whom should I be obedient?
2. How have I been disobedient to my parents; to my employer; to my spouse?
3. How is my Will different from the Will of God?
4. What is God asking of me? What does He want me to do?
5. Am I willing to suffering so that like Jesus, Mary and Maximilian, I might learn obedience?
6. Do I Listen to others? To God?