Dear Knights of the Immaculata,
Whenever St. Maximilian Kolbe speaks about Our Lady, he usually uses the same titles: "Immaculata", "Heavenly Mother" (who he usually addresses with the affectionate nicknameMamusia — little mother), and "Queen of Heaven and Earth". We would like to examine these last two titles in a little more detail, indeed it is the goal and the great aspiration of the Knight continually to better know and love the Immaculata and that all others likewise know and love HER. All faithful Catholics pray and sing to Our Lady as Mother and Queen, therefore it might seem superfluous to spend time with such self-evident facts.
Nevertheless, I dare say that we’re using words here which we will never understand in their full depth:
What does it mean to be a mother? A good mother is totally taken up with her child, loves it wholeheartedly, and would like to give it everything that she herself possesses. She gives birth to the child, nurtures it, clothes it, provides for its physical and spiritual well-being, educates it, and introduces it into life. She protects the child from dangers and sacrifices herself simply to see that the child is well and happy.
If we apply all of this to Our Lady, than we must be convinced that SHE is not just most probably a mother of this type, rather that her motherhood almost infinitely surpasses these terms and definitions. St. Louis-Marie tried explaining Our Lady’s love for her children in the following way: "She loves them tenderly, more tenderly than all the mothers in the world together. Take the maternal love of all the mothers of the world for their children. Pour all that love into the heart of one mother for an only child. That mother's love would certainly be immense. Yet Mary's love for each of her children has more tenderness than the love of that mother for her child." Reflecting on these words is enough to make one dizzy! And here we arrive close to the secret, to what it really means: Mary is my Mother! But it’s very difficult for us to even really believe that: "My Lady, I believe that you love me! But that you love me so much is simply stupefying; not just more than St. Monica loved her St. Augustine, not just 10 times more, but millions of times more!"
And it’s exactly the same for us when it comes to the famous titles, for example "Mother of Perpetual Help": At every moment, day and night, in all situations, Our Lady yearns to bestow all her help, all power and grace, all light and strength in abundance upon all of us. Or "Mother of Good Counsel": not only now and again a bit of good advice, but for every moment and every situation and every event to offer light and understanding of what exactly should be done or avoided.
We can continue similarly for all of Our Lady’s titles, and each time be appalled to find how little we actually know HER, and how little we actually know about her love as a mother.Therefore, it’s imperative that we resolve to make a permanent correction; in other words, we have to look deeper into HER heart and ask HER to lead us into the secret of HER heart! And that is exactly the essence of devotion to her Immaculate Heart!
There is nothing more intimate than the relationship of a mother to a child and in this sense Our Lady wants to be closer to us than the best of all mothers, indeed even closer to us than the closeness to the children of all of the best mothers put together. She wants to draw us close to her and be one heart and one soul with her. But if we live this reality, we could run the risk of not seeing the entire reality of Our Lady. Imperceptibly, our childlike love might become sentimental, or we would pull down the mother to our level, since SHE is just so close to us. In doing so, Our Lady would be too humanly understood; SHE would be as it were just a step higher than our purely natural understanding of the relationship of a mother and child.
Therefore the title "Mother", as encompassing and unfathomable as it is, doesn’t say everything about the Secret of Mary. It is completed with the aspect of "Queen". Here authority is particularly expressed, the might of Our Lady over all of her subjects; but also the aspect of the defence of the fatherland and all institutions, since royal authority also always expresses the highest military might, which protects the subjects from enemies and combats the assailants.
With Our Lady, it is the complementing aspect of her royal dignity, especially the understanding of her MAJESTY, that more so than all creatures takes part in the infinite Majesty, Omnipotence, and arranging Wisdom of God. Let’s just imagine what power and majesty even a single angel possesses. Now there exist as many guardian angels as people that ever were, are, and will be until the end of the world. But these are only the lowest choirs of the heavenly host. At the head of this inconceivably great, almost infinite number of exalted heavenly spirits is St. Michael the Archangel. And now all the angels throw themselves at the feet of their Queen, considering themselves dust before HER MAJESTY. We can say the same for all of the saints. Whoever meditates on this in a little more depth, will never cease to be astonished: "HOW GREAT THOU ART, O MARY!"
And who am I, miserable worm and unworthy nothing compared even to just one saint or angel? And here I behold all the angels and saints kneeling at HER FEET singing, "Regina Caeli Laetare, Ave Regina Caelorum, Ave Domina Angelorum etc." How can I even dare to gaze upon her feet, let alone look her in the eyes?!
We must be permeated by the royal majesty and unspeakable greatness of God’s Masterpiece, next to which all other works are like a pile of stones compared to an almost infinitely tall mountain!
Now it is not easy to unite these two realities: the most tender mother and the tremendous queen! Therefore we must always meditate on both truths so as to avoid falling into an extreme: that we, on the one hand, due to her majesty, shy away from approaching her, or on the other hand that too great an intimacy causes us to forget that our "dearest little mother" is the Lady of the Universe, at whose feet God has placed everything and all creatures.
But what then should be our relationship to Mary, the "mater et domina"? Very simple: if we strive in everything, always and completely, to be her obedient children, then she will reveal ever more to us, what an infinitely loving "Heaven-Mama" she is. But at the same time we must recognize in everything that we are her subjects, meant to obey the queen like slaves and to never do, think, or say anything without her consent.
What then does our Queen want from us? What assignment does she give to her children and subjects?
The commander in all God’s battles is surrounded by her host: all the saints of all times understood this call of the King and Queen, and for this reason we have received a special sacrament, that enables us to follow this call: Confirmation! The Holy Ghost with His seven gifts was granted to us on the one hand in order that Christ’s work of Redemption be brought to perfection in us, and on the other hand to enable us to take part in the building up of the Mystical Body of Christ; in other words, to live our deepest calling and to fulfill the assignment that Divine Providence has designated to us. And this assignment consists of being soldiers and instruments of Christ and saving so many souls from eternal damnation. But Christ appointed His mother, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, to lead the battles of God and to crush the head of the devil. He wants all members of the Mystical Body to be subject to this Queen, to join HER army and fulfill their task of their lives: to give God the greatest glory and save as many souls as possible.
According to the revelations of Our Lord, however, there will come a time when the battle will rage at its worst, namely in the end times of world history. At that time the enemy, having not much time left, in increasing rage will double his attack daily, and (of course, in vain) attempt to defeat the Queen. But one thing he will succeed in doing: he will drag many of HER children down into the eternal abyss! That is why Our Lady appeared 100 years ago in Fatima, to impart to her children her entire motherly love as well as her queenly calling. Fatima is the calling of the Queen in the end times: the consoling message of her certain victory in the end, but also the urgent request, until the very end, to get serious about our dignity: to be HER children, servants, slaves, soldiers, legionaries and knights!
More than 300 years ago, St. Louis-Marie prophesied that, in the end times, only the faithful "Apostles of Jesus and Mary" would obtain victory, that is, all those who live the "Perfect Devotion to Mary", who are faithful children and slaves of this best Mother and Mistress.And more than 100 years ago, St. Maximilian Kolbe gave us an important supplement, in order to be able to very concretely understand and accomplish our task in the end times:
Mary will only be recognized as Mother by us when we hear her supplications and solicitations: "Help me my child! Without you, I cannot pass on to souls the fullness of grace which my Son has granted me! Only when I find instruments who allow like a channel the graces of conversion and sanctification from my heart to reach the hearts of poor sinners, only then I will be for all the MEDIATRIX OF ALL GRACES!"
The Immaculata will only be honoured as Queen when we surround HER as a small army of faithful knights, who defend HER great cause and who effectuate and accelerate HER victory. And what is this victory? The salvation of souls: "To work for the conversion to God of all men, be they sinners, heretics, schismatics, Jews, etc., in particular the Masons; and that all become saints, under the patronage and through the mediation of the Immaculate Virgin" (taken from the original statutes of the MI).
Rheinhausen, on the 31st of May, 2017
Fr. Karl Stehlin
P.S. Invitation to the anniversary celebration with Bishop Fellay in Fatima
I would like most sincerely to invite all knights to the anniversary celebration of the MI in Fatima! We will perform the commemoration ceremony of the 100th anniversary of the MI on the 20th of August following the official pilgrimage program of the SSPX (approx. 4:30pm). You’ll find the detailed program on the MI website. Please come in great numbers to this unique celebration, to commemorate this grand anniversary and to thank the Immaculata for all graces together with knights from all over the world! Those who cannot attend are invited to unite with us spiritually and to renew at the same time with us the Consecration to the Immaculata.