COSTA RICA, María José González •
A few days ago I was asked to write something for the Schoenstatt website about the Opening Day of the Aliados [Girls’ Youth] in Costa Rica. I was touched that they asked me for this and I spent a lot of time thinking about what to write. I decided that right now, the most beautiful thing that we Costa Ricans can show the Schoenstatt family is the impact that Ignis and Hineni have had on our youth. —
Undoubtedly, Ignis and Hineni are a milestone for the Costa Rican youth. We don’t know how long we’ll have to wait until the WYD comes this way again and when we will again host an event of this magnitude and importance. It was a unique moment for the Costa Rican youth, a gift from the Blessed Mother for our Family of Hope to become known. We gave it “all for love with joy”, we generously worked and prayed as a way of thanking the Blessed Mother for having given us this opportunity. This was a call and challenge for our youth.
Five months of emotion and fire have passed
Five months have passed since all this and now a new chapter begins for Schoenstatt in Costa Rica. It’s been 5 months of emotion and fire in our hearts. I’ve been able to observe the impact that this milestone has had on our family, especially on the youth which is growing exponentially and visibly making significant changes in the hearts of each person in our Family of Hope.
Pope Francis’ message resonated with each of us and now is the time to put into practice everything we learned and experienced, so that it doesn’t remain only a feeling.
To be “the now of God” and to be like Mary, “the influence of God”.
A few weeks ago, the Aliadas held their Opening Retreat and I was very impressed by the changes in each of the girls and how we all have the desire to make a change, inspired by everything we experienced at WYD and Hineni. While we were searching for our motto for the year, in which we took into account the different voices (of being, time and soul), I was very struck by the attention that the Aliadas gave to the voices of time and soul, what is happening now and what is God telling me? They showed great concern for world events, such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, violence, and others.We saw a desire to change, to be light. The Pope’s message resounded in each of our hearts and we were all very clear about what the Pope proposed after WYD:
We must be “the now of God” and be like Mary “the influence of God”.
All this led us to find our motto for the year:
“Reflections of Mary, light for the world.”
That is, to be light in the darkness as an authentic reflection of Mary.Right now, we are called to share the fire that remained in our hearts after all we experienced in January and give Hineni to the Blessed Mother and God.
Since January of this year…
It’s the first time in my life I’ve the opportunity to attend such a big event and I know it’s completely different to be part of the preparations, instead of just attending. Based on my experience, I have no words to describe the emotion and fire that awakened in my heart when I speak about what happened at Hineni, Ignis and WYD. I thank God and the Blessed Mother every day for having given me this great opportunity and the privilege to know them and draw closer to them.
Since January of this year I’ve wanted to get more involved in the movement and show other people the greatness of the love of God and our beloved Blessed Mother. Ignis and Hineni was an impulse to move forward, a call from the Blessed Mother not to give up and realize how great our little Family of Hope is, and it is a call for young people to be authentic and go against the tide.
The culture of encounter is a call inviting us to dare to keep alive a shared dream.”
Original: Spanish, 29 June. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa