Thought for the Day – 14 August – The Memorial of St Maximillian Kolbe
St Maximilian’s “Secret” to Holiness and Happiness
St. Maximilian says: “It is a false and widely diffused idea that the saints were not like us. They were also subject to temptation, they fell and got up, they also felt overwhelmed with sadness, weakened and paralyzed by discouragement. But remember the words of the Saviour: ‘Without me, you can do nothing’ (Jn 15:51) and those of St. Paul: ‘I can do all things in him who strengthens me’ (Phil 4:13). Not confiding in themselves, but, putting all their confidence in God after every humiliating fall, they repented sincerely, they purified their soul in the Sacrament of Penance and then they went back to work with still greater fervour.”
We are very much deceived if we think we cannot become a saint, or that we will be “lucky” if we even make it to Purgatory. The great men of the world overcome all kinds of obstacles in order to become rich or famous. Why do we not try harder to persevere, when that is precisely what Our Blessed Lord deserves? After all, He poured Himself out for us so that we might be holy. The saints were not supermen; they were sinners who persevered through hardship and adversity because they were humble and repentant and confident in God’s grace.”…(Fr Angelo M. Geiger F.I.)
In the end, holiness is not merely a warm feeling of God’s presence or even the ecstatic experiences of the saints. St Maximilian tells us that true holiness is found in obedience and obedience is acquired through prayer, penance and perseverance.
And this obedience consists in living – truly living the life of a Catholic, St Maximillian said his own words):
“Go to confession with sincerity, diligence, a deep sorrow for his sins and a firm resolve to amend his life. He will suddenly feel a peace and happiness compared with which all the fleeting, unworthy pleasures of this world are really an odious torment.
Let everyone seek to come and receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist with proper preparation.
Go to Eucharistic Adoration – for this is the the most important activity.
Let him never permit his soul to remain in sin but let him purify it immediately.
Let him do his duty manfully.
Let him address humble and frequent prayers to God’s throne, especially through the hands of the Immaculate Virgin.
Let him welcome his brethren with a charitable heart, bearing for God’s sake the sufferings and difficulties of life.
Let him do good to all, even his enemies, solely for the love of God and not in order to be praised or even thanked by men.”
Then we will come to understand what it means to have a foretaste of paradise; and perhaps more than once we will find peace and joy even in poverty, suffering, disgrace, or illness.
St Maximillian, pray for us!