by Fr Richard Heilman | September 16, 2017 3:51 pm
“We must be willing to recover the zeal and the spirit of the first century Christians … unless we are willing to do what they did and pay the price they paid, the future of our country, the days of America, are numbered.” -Fr. John Hardon, S.J.
The relic you see in the image was just given to me by my good friend, Fr. Carlos Martins. He knew I had a great devotion to St. Maximilian Kolbe, and he came across a very rare First Class relic. Remember, St. Maximilian Kolbe’s body was incinerated in a Nazi concentration camp, so it is near to impossible to find a relic. Thank you, Fr. Carlos Martins!
In this centennial year of Fatima, I claimed St. Maximilian Kolbe as our patron saint for these days of prayer – Novena for Our Nation. In fact, I created a new edition for the 54 Day Basic Training in Holiness book we use for this Novena for Our Nation. The new edition includes Kolbe’s Marian Consecration on Day 54, which we will ask the over 50,000 Special Forces Prayer Warriors to make on October 7, 2017. Some will be ably to join us for the National Rosary Rally in Washington DC on that day, while others will join us in prayer, from around America and beyond, as we make this Consecration together on that day.
Here’s why I recruited St. Maximilian Kolbe as our Patron (by the way, you can see I have a kindred spirit with Fr. Max in this description) …
Military Spirit – While Kolbe had a passionate interest in all things military, as he had hoped for a military career defending his beloved Poland, complications caused him to abandon these plans and he entered the Franciscan noviate late in 1910 and was ordained in 1918. He still had a soldier’s heart, but now waged a spiritual war. With several friends a new type of army was founded to convert sinners and bring all to love Mary Immaculate. St. Maximilian Kolbe had this strong sense that something was coming when on October 16, 1917 – just 3 days after the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima – he founded the confraternity known as “The Militia of the Immaculata,” a movement whose purpose is to convert sinners, heretics, and especially Masons, and to sanctify all under the patronage and through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary.
Push for Consecration – “While St. Maximilian Kolbe’s push for consecration was the largest,” according to Father Michael Gaitley, “the one going on right now is the second-largest ever, and the largest since St. Maximilian Kolbe’s.” Father Gaitley went on to say “now is the perfect time” to consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary. He said the “culture of death is strangling our country right now.” He added that Our Lady is trying to “bring Christ back there,” saying she comes when things look hopeless. There’s a “historical reason” for the new push to consecration. Fr. Gaitley said. “there’s something happening, something moving, something ahead,” while no one knows specifically what is coming. “Our Lady wants to be embracing all of us,” he added.
Consider Cardinal Pacelli’s remarks before he became Pope Pius XII:
“I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul … A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God.”
Pope Benedict XVI (then, Cardinal Ratzinger) implores us to seek the strength of Mary:
“The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God.”
Yes! The fiat of Mary! This is the key to everything! We must learn this sweet and loving obedience that brings new life into such a soul. Obedience brings grace! So we ask ourselves, what has God shown us, and how can we obey? Here’s what we do to prepare for “something coming” …
In order to prepare for the “something coming” St. Maximilian Kolbe sensed, he simply had to get as many as possible consecrated in the shortest period of time. Hundreds of thousands of people were consecrated to Jesus through Mary, seemingly overnight.
Master of New Media – Much like those who are utilizing “new media” today, to better “win the world for the Immaculata,” he and his fellow friars utilized the most modern printing and administrative techniques. This enabled them to publish countless catechetical and devotional tracts, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 230,000 and a monthly magazine with a circulation of over one million. Maximilian started a shortwave radio station and planned to build a motion picture studio–he was a true “apostle of the mass media.”
Up until the emergence of “New Media” in our times, we had been losing the communication battle. In 2011, Jeffrey Kuhner of the Washington Post lamented,
“For the past 50 years, every major institution has been captured by the radical secular left. The media, Hollywood, TV, universities, public schools, theater, the arts, literature — they relentlessly promote the false gods of sexual hedonism and radical individualism. Conservatives have ceded the culture to the enemy. Tens of millions of unborn babies have been slaughtered; illegitimacy rates have soared; divorce has skyrocketed; pornography is rampant; drug use has exploded; sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS have killed millions; birth control is a way of life; sex outside of wedlock has become the norm; countless children have been permanently damaged — their innocence lost forever — because of the proliferation of broken homes; and sodomy and homosexuality are celebrated openly. America has become the new Babylon.”
It seems that every venue for communication and, therefore, indoctrination has been seized by those voices contrary to the Gospel; contrary to Truth. However, social media has served to be a powerful tool to mobilize “other voices” from the Heartland of America that have managed to hold these liberal ideologies accountable.
Such giants as Bishop Athanasius Schneider acknowledges this battle and he recognizes “new media” as a very necessary and effective tool, and seems to root on the faithful to utilize this new and powerful medium to counter the “singular” view we have been subjected to for quite some time:
“We must make use of all the resources that the modern world offers to us. We are not confined to waiting for the media to spread these messages. We do not have to wait for each individual pastor to preach them from the pulpit. We should embrace the new media forms that allow us to spread the Gospel and the teachings of our Holy Mother, the Church. We should take our message to the Internet, publish it on websites, blogs, and social media.”
Even Fr. Robert Barron implores us to “use the new media!”
“Become very adept at old media of books first. Immerse ourselves and others in the tradition of the Church. But, yes, yes, yes to the new media. We would be horribly derelict if we don’t use the tools we have before us. We can’t allow others to control the world of new media. The majority of those that become atheists are doing so through new media, stats show … We need to declare the Lordship of Jesus Christ always – with new expression, method, and ardor.”
Think of Fulton Sheen who did not waste a minute to use the new media of his day. Even Father Maximilian Kolbe was said to be ahead of the game in his usage of the most advanced tools to spread the gospel and consecrate to Jesus through Mary hundreds of thousands of souls.
Fr. Robert Barron points out that, “Facebook has 1.1 billion users, and half of them log in everyday … There are 400 million unique tweets on Twitter every day. Every month, people around the world watch 6 billion hours of videos on Youtube. It’s staggering! … The tools we have now!! If we do not use them, we are not acting as Elijah!! We cannot allow the priests of Baal and the new atheists to get control of this world … we gotta get in there!!”
St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us!
(Fr. Barron begins to talk on new media at 47:00)
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