“Hatred is not a creative force. Love alone creates. Suffering will not prevail…it only melts us down and strengthens us.”
~ Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941)
Kolbe, a Polish priest, died in the place of another man in the German death camp of Auschwitz. Franciszek Gajowniczek was chosen for the starvation bunker. When he lamented, “My wife! My children!” Kolbe was moved with compassion and volunteered to take his place. Kolbe survived the two week sentence and was put to death by lethal injection. It is reported that he calmly raised his arm for injection.
The hatred of others stirred Kolbe’s soul and awakened him to the evil around him. The love of Christ that he held deep within his soul created life for another. The love of God became his courage and the presence of Christ became his strength. Even in chains Kolbe was free.
Hatred may awaken us, whether it comes from others or from our own hearts. But hatred does not offer solutions. Only love can do that. Love alone creates. Love alone liberates.