MEXICO, Gabriela de la Garza •
In the midst of the pandemic, with all the fear, suffering and the need to be able to “run” to seek comfort and guidance in the arms of Mary, our Mother, we find that the access to the Shrine of Maria Camino al Cielo (Mary Way to Heaven), in Monterrey, is closed to free pedestrian and vehicular traffic, since almost a year ago. This is not the place to delve into the reasons why, but I do want to share how she takes perfect care of her little children and takes advantage of every occasion to continue educating, transforming and sending us in fidelity to her Covenant. —
More than 20 years ago, the conquest of the place where the shrine would be established on top of a mountain began, when the young people made a path to be able to climb with the help of ropes. Then they carried bricks in backpacks to build a wayside shrine… and the rest is history. This holy place has hosted many Covenants of Love, has welcomed pilgrims, has witnessed the transformation of hearts, has sent apostolates… but above all, for me, it has been a second home, where I get in touch with God through his Mother, through the beautiful nature that surrounds it and also, through the people it gathers and who have become an extension of my family.
New paths, new conquest
A few months ago, a family belonging to the Movement that enjoys hiking, managed to open a new path to climb to the shrine. But this new route is a bit complicated, especially for those of us who have knee problems, like me.
More and more people, both Schoenstatt members and athletes, go on pilgrimage – many without knowing it – to this place of grace where Mary awaits them with open arms in her shrine. I see with joy and nostalgia – even with a little “good” envy, if there is such a thing – photos on social networks of these visits and I go back to when we did not have a shrine in Monterrey. When we knew that someone was going to the one in Queretaro, we would send letters with our intentions and gratitude so that they would be placed in the “capital of grace” at the feet of the Blessed Mother.
Let us soon return to your little house in the mountains
I never thought I would miss going to the shrine so much! I empathize with so many migrants I see passing through my city, who surely miss and long for their homeland. I was not aware of how much of my history, of my bonds, of my strength are anchored and come from it.
I have a nice picture of the shrine on a bookcase in my room, and it is the first thing I see when I wake up. I unite myself spiritually to the current of graces and I ask the Blessed Mother that soon we can return home, to her little house in the mountains.
I am sure I am not the only one feeling like this. There are many of us who have experienced it, and although only some can climb the new path, we are all called to win it back, to return to “the first love” that moved so many hearts and to dream of the madness of a place of grace on the top of a mountain.
Original: Spanish 2021-03-09. Translated by: María Aragón, Monterrey, México