Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who is the patron saint of addicts, speaks to us in recovery. He wrote, “My beloved, may every fall, even if it is serious and habitual sin, always become for us a small step toward a higher degree of perfection. In fact, the only reason why the Immaculate permits us to fall is to cure us from our self-conceit, from our pride, to make us humble and thus make us docile to the divine graces. The devil, instead, tries to inject in us discouragement and internal depression in those circumstances, which is, in fact, nothing else than our pride surfacing again. If we knew the depth of our poverty, we would not be at all surprised by our falls, but rather astonished, and we would thank God, after sinning, for not allowing us to fall even deeper and still more frequently.”
The work of our recovery is to “circumcise our hearts,” to cut away all that distorts and blocks our ability to love, most especially our pride. Our wounds and addictive sins become the very pathway to allowing Christ’s mercy to enter and heal us if we become “docile to the divine graces.” Our journey through the Twelve Steps, nourished by prayer, the sacraments, fellowship, and service, is a path of conversion that saints like Saint Maximilian Kolbe would recognize and encourage.
In his lifetime, Saint Maximilian Kolbe had an intense devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, entrusting his love for Jesus to her Immaculate Heart. Let us pray his Marian Consecration prayer as we offer our lives in recovery to Mary: “O Immaculate, Queen of heaven and earth, Refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to You. I, an unworthy sinner, cast myself at Your feet, humbly imploring You to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to Yourself as Your possession and property.”
Saint Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us!
- How do Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s life and words speak to you in your recovery journey?
- “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15). Consider how these words relate to your relationship with Christ in recovery.
Daily Mass Readings
First Reading: Deuteronomy 10:12-22
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
Gospel: Matthew 17:22-27
Reflection by Pete S.