S. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, whose feast day it is today, willingly gave up his life for his fellow man, surrendering himself to death by starvation in Auschwitz so that Franciszek Gajowniczek, a father of a family, might live
Would I ? I don’t know; but I fear the answer is probably not . . . but then when I think about I, I am forced to realize that I might not have had the chance, because I might not have got to Auschwitz in the first place.
Would I even have been arrested ? Or would I have yielded, and gone along with the atrocities of the Nazis for the sake of a quiet life ? Might I, even, have said that I should not adhere too strictly to the Faith, for fear of upsetting, and driving away, others in a time of difficulty ?
I just don’t know.
What I do know, though, is that God thought that he did the right thing, and has given proof of that in the miracles which led to his canonization - in the presence of Franciszek Gajowniczek for whom he had died.
Ultimately, we have to make choices; and those choices all have price tags . . . and sometimes we have to be brave enough to pay prices which look impossible : lose friends, even family; lose jobs, money, anything . . . even lose life itself.
What he have to remember, as S. Maximilian obviously did, is that in God’s service, ‘he that endureth to the end shall be saved’.
In these days, when God’s Church is under constant attack, sometimes even from within, may S. Maximilian pray for all of us who want to stand up for God and His Church, that we may have the opportunities to do so, and the strength and integrity not to pass them by.