Posted On 2020-05-11 In Covenant Life, Covenant Solidarity in Times of Coronavirus

A May 31st that coincides with Pentecost – in the middle of a pandemic

CHILE, editorial staff •

May 31st, the anniversary of the third milestone in Schoenstatt’s history, which marks the commitment of Father Kentenich and his Schoenstatt to think, act and love organically as the fruit of a profound conversion and as a condition for a new Pentecost in the Church, this year 2020, coincides with Pentecost Sunday. It is being celebrated, at the same time, during a world pandemic; and in Chile -where this milestone occurred in 1949- at a time of a profound ecclesial crisis at the root of the abuses and a social breakdown that exploded just on October 18th. In this context, the Schoenstatt Family of Chile is preparing to live the May 31st. —

The pandemic with all its health, social and economic consequences, with all its restrictions of movement and meetings, touched the Schoenstatt Movement of Chile in full preparation for a crowning, concretely, the crowning in the Shrine of Bellavista, where on January 18, 2018, the last day of the Pope’s visit to the country, the crown given by Father Kentenich on Pentecost 1949 was stolen. The crisis of the Church and the social crisis made it clear already: a merely pious act, an act that “fills the emptiness of a crown that is no longer there, to calm the pain of the loss of something that should be there” cannot and should not be a response in the spirit of the 31st of May.

Schoenstatt was born for these times and from there it projects itself into the future

A message from the Chilean National Presidency, sent after Easter, reads:

“In our country and throughout the world, we are suffering from a serious pandemic with profound consequences that we have not yet been able to measure. Directly or indirectly, we are all touched by this experience, we suffer the difficulties and we glimpse an uncertain horizon.

As the National Presidency of the Schoenstatt Family in Chile, we want to manifest our closeness, our prayer and the invitation to reflect and to confront together, seeking the will of God, in the situation in which we live. Only together we will be able to respond and collaborate effectively with the Lord and the Blessed Mother.

All human and social situations, as difficult and terrible as they may be, represent a call from God and the possibility of being faithful, productive and creative in them. The experience of the Schoenstatters during the world wars is an example of this. Schoenstatt was born for these times and from there it projects itself into the future.

Only together we can discern the signs of the times and collaborate fruitfully with the Lord and the Blessed Mother in the reordering that this crisis is causing in the world: from the life of the families to society in general, from the life of the cities to our social responsibility, from work to the world economies, from the limits of circulation to the ecological balance, from the pastoral family life to a new way of being Church. The whole organism of bonds is being shaken by this crisis”.

Five concrete actions for the “nothing without us” of the coronation

Five concrete actions are proposed – that emerge from the reality of Chile and of the Schoenstatt Movement in that country, with its particular characteristics, but actions that at the same time give the crowning (in the midst of something that some already call “a pandemic of crownings” in Schoenstatt) a solidary and organic distinction. The message of the National Presidency of Schoenstatt Chile reads:

1 – Support those who will be most affected by the economic crisis.

The economic crisis of the people and families will probably worsen in these times of quarantine. We have a human and religious responsibility in the face of this. It is part of our responsibility for the New Social Order announced by our Father. It is part of the mission associated with our Covenant and our shrines.

We are called to be in solidarity when members of our Family or community are experiencing the harsh consequences of this situation.

If it is within our scope of decision, we are called to collaborate in maintaining the income for living of those who cannot attend their jobs because of quarantine and to do everything possible to preserve their sources of work and income. We also strongly invite all those families who regularly pay services to people, whether they are hired or not, to please make a generous and supportive effort to continue paying those salaries that are a worthy and necessary support, especially during this time. Those who can influence the decisions of companies, we ask them to be concerned so that this issue is addressed with generosity. We invite you, as Saint Alberto Hurtado says, to “give until it hurts”.

In addition, there are always opportunities to be financially supportive by making special donations to people in difficulty or to institutions that help those in need.

2 – To accompany, with the means that quarantine allows, those who are most alone.

Making showing them our love and solidarity, praying for them and joining them in their needs and pain. Calling others and listening to them, maintaining contact through messages or transmitting things that exalt them is a way of being with them, especially the loneliest and in the most risky situations. It is an opportunity to offer ourselves, in the spirit of the Covenant, so that God and our Mother may act from our Heart Shrine.

3 – To grow as a family as a conscious contribution to our society.

The quarantine has forced the majority of us to be confined to our family, which represents a great opportunity, not without difficulties, to grow in mutual love and in the development of a family style that dignifies its members and that represents a Schoenstatt contribution for the Chile of today and tomorrow. The experience of the Home Shrine, as a place for the renewal of our Covenant with our Mother and a place of family prayer, also allows us to build a new world from the simplicity and intimacy of the home.

4 – Open yourself to God in prayer and give yourself time to listen to him.

This time of quarantine is, in many cases, a good opportunity to meditate, discover or rediscover the most central aspects of life and to allow oneself to be conquered by the loving presence of the Lord and his Mother. It is also an opportunity to deepen our Covenant of Love from the Heart Shrine, which requires giving oneself adequate time for this.

5 – To open oneself to the will of God with peace.

This includes the economic difficulties we will possibly experience, illness and death. What is to come will not be easy. The epidemic is growing in our country and has not yet stabilized; it is possible that many of us will become ill and some will die. Also the economic situation, especially for those who receive income directly from their daily activity, is difficult. Even if we act responsibly we cannot know what will happen. It seems to us that it is a call, to deepen our Covenant of Love in the spirit of the Blank Power.

In this context, and with material prepared for personal and community work, the Schoenstatt Family of Chile is preparing for the May 31st. An expression of that conversion will be the new crown with the star of Chile.

Original: Spanish 2020-05-04. Translated by: Maria Aragón, Monterrey, México.

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