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Prepare for War … Prepare for Paradise

March 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Book Club, Mercy, Vicki Burbach

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Prepare for War … Prepare for Paradise

The Second Greatest Story Ever Told (Week 6 of 8)

So what made the Poles so extraordinarily great in the midst of their suffering? Fr. Lucian gave the answer with one simple statement: “Father Maximilian prepared us for the war” Yes. The Pole’s heroic goodness was Kolbe’s doing. Or, more accurately, it was Our Blessed Mother’s doing. She used Kolbe, her faithful knight, to accomplish her mission of helping her children. — The Second Greatest Story Ever Told, p. 157.

There is a certain despair making its way through the streets of America. Like a steady flow of water, it finds its way into our hearts and minds, despite our best efforts to shirk it. Streaming into all cracks and crevices, enveloping and suffocating the hope of the old, the young and everyone in between. It isn’t selective. It is all-inclusive. And that despair is gathering strength and steam as it builds to a crescendo with explosive potential.

The foreboding in the air is palpable. Admit it. You feel it too. Threats that were not here even a decade ago loom large. Threats from without, yes. But even more, threats from within. And when I speak of within, I am talking about institutions that are at the epicenter of American life.

We seem to be a people without a future. We are unsure how to address the unknown. We look around and see the nation’s most important institution – the family – deteriorating to virtual non-existence in many places. We see the economy being built on a tight-rope of government-created security, which is not security at all. We watch our nation’s debt continue to climb, now reaching nearly unshrinkable levels, and we watch our education system plummet yet further into the abyss of nothingness. We witness world relationships in shambles and national relationships between classes and colors at record lows. God has become but a pipe dream for the naive among us.

We feel alone and afraid.

What do we do about it?

There is but one thing we can do. We must look ahead to eternity with every decision we make. We must be willing to sacrifice for our families, our communities, our country. We must pray and fast. The only part of the problem that I can truly attempt to solve is my SELF. By God’s grace, I can learn to make sacrifices for the good of myself and my family before I am left with no choice.

We must turn our heads from the false promises of this world. We must turn instead to God, giving our all to Him through Mary, Our Mother. We prepare ourselves for the world to come. In that way, we will find goodness in this world. Ultimately, we read the advertisements for the Militia Immaculata and find new inspiration in time-tested truth:

“The gates of the city of Mary Immaculate are always open! Enter by those gates all young men (and women) who seek to serve Mary without counting the cost! In work without end, in abandoning self, in penance — this is the way to that peace which the world cannot give.

Whatever your skill, your trade, or talent — there is  room within the City’s gate. If you can strive after poverty and heroic chastity in a spirit of humility — your place is here. In return  — the joy of Paradise, of the vision of the eternal God.” — The Second Greatest Story Ever Told, p. 155.

Our passions are strong and our wills are weak. But love can do all things.

…for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. — 2 Timothy 1:7

Like St. Maximilian Kolbe, we can turn to Mary for strength. Shadows may loom in times to come, but if we persevere, glory will be victorious in the end.

NOTE: For more discussion on sacrifice, check out my new blog at

NOTE: We are taking a break next week (Holy Week), and will resume our discussion over Chapter 10 on March 29. Additionally, for those who wish to plan ahead, we begin The Life of Christ by Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen on April 12. For now, may you and your loved ones enjoy a Blessed Easter!!!

Reading Assignment:

Chapters 10

Discussion Questions:

1. How do things in the news or the culture affect your spiritual life? Are you able to remain hopeful, and if so, how?

2. Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!


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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at

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