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I Accept …

August 30, 2013

What makes man a martyr? I have desired to know the fuller meaning in this. It says in 2 Timothy …

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus, will suffer persecution.

Is man a martyr if he toils night and day in the Lord’s Name his entire life? Is man a martyr if he dies unto self, and rises reborn? The word martyr in Greek – martur – means witness. What makes a man a martyr? Witnessing? Witnessing while under persecution? Which is more difficult, a sword through the heart, or a sword to the heart? Honestly, I believe martyr to be amateur witness. Angel Stephen was an amateur, and they slew him right out of the gate. He barely had time to realize what had taken hold within. Does this make Stephen any less godly than, say, someone like Angel Maximilian Kolbe? Or what about an infant of six months starched by chemicals in the hell of man? Was he a witness of God by his own legacy of being left at the altar? Who feeds off of this poor soul? The media? Those who watch the news while eating their Tai, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, and Big Macs … out of styrofoam, paper containers …

Orthodox theology teaches that the bliss of heaven consists (1) in deliverance from suffering, pain, grief, corruption, etc. (2) the enjoyment of the vision of God, (3) the reunion with all other righteous souls. page 118 of Introducing the Orthodox Church: It’s Faith and Life  by Anthony M. Coniaris.

I disagree with the above instituted by the Orthodox Church, in part, for it places God above man, instead of God in union within the Relationship in the Promise of His Love.  Heaven is in the know, and the known. It’s parley is in the repentant rise of self to Self, our higher calling. It’s a waking out of darkness, which is spoken in a language unknown to man. This would be our uniting with Angel.  Heaven does not speak English or Chinese or even Ronald McDonald. It’s food is of Another.

While Maximilian Kolbe sang to Theotokos, Theotokos, through God’s great Love, sent Maxilmilian his Angel, and Maximilian was strengthened in his last days. What was a deteriorating flesh body when he had union with Angel? Was he amateur in this? How could he not be? Is he a specimen of tremendous wealth? A Spirit within The Community, growing, uniting, building in the servitude of God? Hell yes.

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Peace and Love

Alfred: I agree that Kolbe is a remarkable example of a priest who became an angel. His life showed a remarkable evolving into something authentic. As a child he had a vision of our Lady, who presented the image of to crowns to him. The crowns represented purity and martyrdom, which Kolbe accepted.

After becoming a Franciscan priest Kolbe zealously promoted the veneration of Our Lady. This, his formation of the “Army of Mary” and his writings at the time reveal a kind of “Queasy Mariology.” This was pure dogmatic Mariology.With the outbreak of the war, we see Kolbe going full circle,  moving from this, back to that purer childhood vision.  He sheltered some 2,000 Jewish refugees , spoke against the Third Reich and, predictably, was eventually arrested. He was sent to Auschwitz in 1941.

When three prisoners escaped the camp, ten other prisoners were chosen to die as punishment. One man, a father and husband, cried out for his family. Kolbe volunteered to take the man’s place and this was accepted. The prisoners were locked in an underground bunker and, over a two-week period, were starved to death. Kolbe celebrated mass each day and sang hymns to Theotokos, assuring his fellows that they would soon be with Her in heaven. When the camp guards opened the bunker, only one prisoner was still alive: Kolbe. Weakened, Kolbe lifted his arm to the executioners so they could inject a lethal dose of  carbolic acid. He was cremated on August 15th, which happened to be the feast day of the Assumption.

Canonization, stained glass widows, medallions cannot capture the smallness of Kolbe’s life in the death camp, his voluntary sacrifice, his leadership and inspiration to all in that bunker, their slow starvation, and his “dirty death.” This was an authentic “Imitation of Mary.”

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