Week 17 – Blessed are those who mourn
75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe
Week 17. December 4-11
When one thinks of St. Maximilian what is the first thing that comes to mind? For some it may be Our Lady and Consecration; or the apparition of the two crowns, or the Militia of the Immaculata or his death in Auschwitz. How many people however think of tears?
Maximilian was a man familiar with tears.
He was a man who mourned and because he did, he allowed God and Our Lady to comfort him for only those who mourn can be comforted.
As a young boy, Raymond mourned that he had hurt his mother’s feelings when she asked him what would become of him and then Our Lady appeared to him to comfort him with the vision of the Two Crowns.
As a seminarian, Maximilian was moved to tears as he was walking back to seminary one evening as he heard men on the street mocking and making fun of the Blessed Mother. Maximilian mourned that his beloved Poland ceased to exist and had been carved up between Germany, Russia and Austria.
As a young boy, Maximilian mourned the separation from his parents as he left for the seminary in Austria not certain when he would be able to return and see them again, just as he mourned for his beloved Poland and Friars with longing as he went to faraway Japan as a missionary.
He mourned his health as he went to the sanatorium in Zakopane, uncertain if he would ever regain it again.
He mourned the end of his dream as his brothers left Niepekalanow and the Nazis marched through Poland.
Lastly, he mourned the man who had a wife and children and was selected to go into the starvation bunker in Auschwitz, causing him to console him with his very own life.
In all of his mourning, Maximilian was either comforted by Our Lady, or he reached out to comfort others who were mourning. But in his mourning, never did he despair, not even in the starvation bunker as he led the other nine prisoners in hymns and psalms and inspired songs.
Prayer : O Lord, how blessed am I when I mourn, for you are ever with me in your consolation. May I in turn reach out to those who mourn with the same conflation you have given to me in mine.
Meditations and Questions
1. For whom do we mourn?
2. For what do we mourn?
3. Whom do we comfort?
4. How did Our Lady comfort Maximilian?
5. How does God comfort us?
6. Does God Mourn over our sins and suffering?