by Katie I.
“Mercy. When I think about my journey to join the Fraternity of St. Maximilian Kolbe, I sense very personally God’s mercy toward me. I came back from my mission in Ecuador three and a half years ago and, to be honest, have struggled quite a bit with the question of how to continue living out the Heart’s Home charism in the United States, especially apart from my community, a daily apostolate, and the rich prayer life of a mission. I never lost faith in the fact that it was possible to live out compassion in a new situation. I just didn’t have confidence in myself that I was truly “living out Heart’s Home,” whatever I thought that meant.
And, though it might seem backwards, I also resisted joining the Frat for a while. After trying to live out the Heart’s Home charism in my new mission as a Master of Divinity student at Notre Dame, I became perhaps too aware of my limitations and my many failures. I felt like most of the prophets of history who, when God called them, said, “That’s nice and all, but you don’t really want me.” It took a lot of time for God to convince me, through prayer and many conversations with friends and family, of what should have been obvious to me. Just as it would be silly for me to say, “I am cold, so I should warm myself before I go sit next to the fire,” it was silly for me to think that joining the Frat was about proving myself worthy, or even about me at all. In fact, the Frat Max is an incredible gift that is teaching me, along with my brothers and sisters in the Fraternity, how to die to myself from a place of love, to be a “martyr of charity” like St. Maximilian Kolbe who gave his life for another man at Auschwitz. After my mission, joining the Frat Max is like entering into the kindergarten of love all over again, and as a grad student who often gets carried away by my mind, I am so grateful for this family that teaches me how to live from my heart.”
Our Lady of Compassion, pray for us.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.