Wounds of Divorce & Marian Consecration with Maximilian Kolbe


Mary in AdorationI’d been struggling before beginning my Marian Consecration. Maybe struggling was too strong a word, but I’d certainly been floundering. It seemed I’d hit brick walls at every turn. Things personally and at home were disappointing. My life coaching website, Strahlen Grace, was not coming together at all. I was frustrated and tired and stuck. I wasn’t sinking, but I was just sitting in stagnant water, pruning up and going nowhere. I had a feast of goodness all around me, yet I hungered for something I couldn’t define. Marian Consecration and growing closer to Jesus by loving His Mother seemed to be a nice step in the right direction.

But it wasn’t a nice step. I began the Marian Consecration by reading Saint Louis DeMontfort’s call to Love the Blessed Mother and was feeling icky about his strong wording. DeMontfort called us to give all of ourselves, not to God, but to the Blessed Mother to bring to God.

Marian Consecration & Wounds of Divorce:

I am a victim of divorce. Divorce marred my childhood. Divorce mars my children’s childhood. I vowed if I ever got into another relationship, God would still always be first. Any man I got involved in would have to love the Lord more than he loved me and I would have to love the Lord more than I loved any man. I knew this man would be hard to find. I knew this man might not exist, but as much as I hungered for such a love, I was not willing to turn my back on God.

Yet, here I was in this Marian Consecration being asked by the Church and some of the greatest saints to have walked God’s earth to give all of myself to Mary to use as she wanted. It felt uncomfortable. It felt wrong. It felt like I was cheating on God. I would not divorce God even for His most precious human child, our Blessed Mother. I certainly did not want God to divorce me for adultery of my heart or for any other reason!

DeMontfort also called us to take all our good works, heartfelt prayers, and redemptive sufferings and offer them to Mary to redistribute as she wished to souls who needed them most. That meant any pain suffered in divorce that might bring me closer to Jesus could be used to bring souls who hadn’t suffered such trauma closer. What was the purpose of my suffering if it didn’t help redeem me?

I am a Joe the Plumber fan. I believe each of us should work for what we get. I believe if I earn something, it should not belong to you. I also believe we find dignity, not in telling people they can be or do or have anything, but in work, sacrifice, and putting personal happiness aside for what is right.

If someone truly cannot work, I am all for helping that person, but spiritually, aren’t we all capable, to some degree, of putting personal happiness aside and work for what is right in God’s eyes? Don’t we often find the greatest personal happiness comes from such sacrifice? If others didn’t accept this and chose to sacrifice less and live more for themselves, especially if their choices made my loved ones suffer, shouldn’t that be on them?

I hadn’t thought of how redistribution of wealth could apply to my hour of judgement until I read Saint Louis DeMontfort. DeMontfort asked that I give, not only my hard earned temporal goods, but all my hard earned spiritual value as well. I was to give anything I’d hoped would help me find eternal comfort to those who hadn’t worked as hard as I had at biting my tongue or researching the Word of God or living His Commandments or keeping holy His day or making use of the Sacraments or…?

I had worked hard to build my treasures in Heaven rather than on earth. Where was Justice in DeMontfort’s redistribution of wealth?

Marian Consecration Got Harder with Saint Maximilian Kolbe:

Maximilian Kolbe was a Catholic priest taken away by the Nazis in WWII. In the concentration camps, if a prisoner escaped, ten others were forced into a cell block to await a long and painful death through starvation. During Kolbe’s imprisonment, one man got away, and the Nazis chose their ten.

One of the chosen broke down, begging for mercy. The Nazis showed none, but the amazing Maximilian Kolbe offered his and took the man’s place. Rather than the cries and screams that usually arose from the cell, Kolbe led the entrapped men in prayer and songs of thanksgiving and took their confessions until the end.

Kolbe had been filled with burning questions about Saint Bernadette’s visitations with Mary at Our Lady of Lourdes, France. There, Mary said she was “Immaculate Conception.” Catholics celebrate Mary’s Immaculate Conception. We connect the God in overseeing the making the Ark of the Covenant, the vessel that held the 10 Commandments as God’s written Word, to the care taken in His creation of Mary, the vessel which held God’s Word made flesh. No sinful Mother could have been good enough to carry the Savior of humanity.

Yet Kolbe questioned Mary’s calling herself, the “Immaculate Conception.” Why not simply say she was immaculately conceived? That would be far more understandable. Coincidentally, if you believe in such things, two hours before Kolbe was taken away by the Nazis, he understood and wrote about the meaning of Mary’s words, “I am the Immaculate Conception”

Kolbe stated that the Holy Spirit is the uncreated Immaculate Conception but Mary is the created Immaculate Conception. He crowned her with the title Mediatrix of All Graces. Kolbe spoke of the union of Mary and the Holy Spirit and called for a militia of the Immaculata, an army of earthly soldiers doing God’s bidding.

I loved the powerful imagery but struggled with the idea of Graces coming from Mary. I read a brief portion on Our Lady of Fatima and the rays coming from the Blessed Mother’s hands. When asked why rays seemed to be missing, Mary said those were Graces no one asks for. I longed to ask for those Graces, but I can’t figure out what those Graces are. How can I ask for Graces I don’t know exist? Graces were something I thought I understood, but this Consecration left me struggling to understand what even the simplest of Graces are.

After experiencing such clarity in God these last several years, giving myself over completely to Mary in the Immaculata seemed to confuse even the basics of what I thought I knew. Was this confusion a response to my “cheating” on God? How could I give myself over to Mary and not divorce God?

Kolbe’s Teachings in Marian Consecration Widened the Pit in My Stomach:

This was not a nice consecration. How could Mary and the Holy Spirit both be the Immaculate Conception? Besides, don’t Graces come from God? This sounded like Kolbe was saying Mary was God, and,I KNOW, Catholics do NOT believe Mary is God!

Darkness clouded my judgement, and I longed to hear the interpretation of faithful Catholics in my group. I needed insight, clarity, wisdom, help.

Instead I got snow and cold, darkness and silence. I got isolation and misery.

I was ready to give up…

*Please don’t think this is all there is! If you’ve read this far, please read through my last post on Marian Consecration! 

God Bless…

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3 Comments

  1. Manny on February 18, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    You know, sometimes I get a qualm that we Catholics go a little too far with Blessed Mary. But there are so many saints that refute that notion. I did not know St. Max Kolbe was so devoted to our blessed mother. Actually other than the concentration camp part of his life, I know little about him. That thought that the Holy Spirit is the uncreated Immaculate Conception but Mary is the created Immaculate Conception.is brilliant. I will have to remember that.

    By the way, you are always so hard on yourself, Strahlen. I understand it’s been hard. Five boys as a single mother has got to be excruciating. My wife and I struggle with one child, and there’s two of us! From what I can intuit, you’ve done a great job. Try not to be so hard on yourself..God loves you.



    • Strahlen on February 21, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      There is SO much I don’t know about MOST of our saints. I don’t remember studying ANY of them as a child. I feel like I have SO much work to do and am always playing catch up!

      As far as Mary, I often got squeamish about the devotion Catholics seem to have for her too! Please read Saturday’s upcoming post! I don’t think I’ll be able to shed true light on my enlightenment, but it suddenly came clear to me! I GOT IT!!! After decades of not understanding, it cleared up instantly in literally 36 hours before Consecration. I still struggle with some of it, like getting a COMPLETE understanding of the Immaculata Conception – both created and uncreated, but I am SO understanding LOVE better!

      Thanks for the words of encouragement. I am hard on myself and probably (definitely) on others too sometimes. My boys really are amazing. They make me laugh ten times more often than they drive me crazy – okay, that’s probably not quite true, but it’s close! I hope and pray I am doing a good job and that one day, maybe years down the road, they’ll be farther along in their faith than I was in mine at the same point. This will make all the difference! For now, I have to remember to have fun just for myself sometimes! It doesn’t happen often enough, but I’m ready to embrace it now! Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder that God Loves Me! 🙂



  2. […] Saint Maximilian Kolbe came next and my darkness deepened… […]



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