Posted On 2017-04-02 In Covenant Life

A Heavenwards afternoon: Belmonte retreat

ITALY, ROME BELMONTE, Gianluca Gentile •

19 March 2017. We met at the International Schoenstatt Centre Bemonte for an afternoon of retreat, reflection and prayer, but above all to listen to our deep desire for God.

What Scriptures did our Holy Mother Church give us for this day? It couldn’t have been more fitting! The dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4 is beautiful and touches something deep down inside our hearts.

Jesus is thirsty and tired. It is midday and it is very hot. The Samaritan woman comes to the well, hidden from other women, to draw water and she finds Jesus sitting there. Each one of us can feel Jesus’ thirst, the experience of finding him. This encounter will change us, just as it changed the Samaritan woman.

During the Stations of the Cross we prayed the prayers that Fr. Kentenich wrote during his incarceration in the Dachau concentration camp and which have been collected in “Heavenwards.” It was particularly moving to accompany Jesus in his agony at Calvary.

Before praying the Stations of the Cross, Fr. Marcelo, the rector for the shrine, gave an introduction into the spirit in which Fr. Kentenich wrote the prayers of this book, a spirit that brings us into communion with millions of Schoenstatt members who say these prayers daily.

We ended in the Shrine where the Blessed Mother was waiting to welcome us.  We celebrated a very heartfelt Mass there: the readings and homily were truly healing.

We will meet again in April when we will explore the theme of Easter.  It will be good to come again.

The shrine is our home. We feel that we are part of a family, the great Schoenstatt Family.  The gathering at the end of the meeting was, in fact, very much like a good Sunday lunch!

Original: Italian, 22.03.2017 . Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town South Africa

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