GERMANY, Peter Hagmann •
In Marienberg in the house Tabor in Schoenstatt, 21 men gathered and some other participants from all the men’s communities, connected, for the 2nd Marienberg Forum on the topic “Being men today – listening to God as men”. —
Father Elmar Busse celebrated the opening mass on Friday evening. In his homily he explained that on that same day he had to remove the wilted roses from the vase, whose capillaries were clogged because the water was in bad condition (Fr. Elmar Busse has an article on this subject, from the series “Another look at Father Kentenich”, which will be published in the next few days). This could also be an image for us that we have to take care of our spiritual capillaries in order to remain receptive and do not dry up.
Complementarity between the feminine and the masculine
On Saturday, Father Busse added another impulse on the theme of “being a man today”. He introduced it with the lyrics of two songs “Men” by Herbert Grönemeyer and “Men are pigs” by the German punk rock band “Die Ärzte”.
According to Fr. Busse, the world suffers from toxic masculinity, which brought us two world wars and more in the 20th century and is still present in the 21st century. Fr. Busse gave impulses on how men can recognise, accept and promote our feminine side.
Busse demonstrated the complementarity of man and woman using vivid examples and also included numerous scientific explanations of where the thinking, feeling and resulting perception of men and women differ significantly.
Of course, every person has parts of both polarities, male and female, and everyone is challenged to be able and willing to complement each other and to seek the necessary complement in dealing with the other sex.
A concrete application: feminine thinking tends to be experienced as circular in the sense of inquiry and reflection, whereas masculine thinking tends to be more argumentative and linear. For us men it is a triumph if we can learn to ask questions and empathise and thus improve our interpersonal relationships.
A glance at Mario Hiriart
In the afternoon, Pedro M. Dillinger introduced the Chilean Mario Hiriart as the master of “faith in everyday life”. Mario Hiriart was born in Santiago de Chile in 1931 and became an engineer and university professor. As a teenager he got to know Schoenstatt.
Pedro Dillinger was able to highlight unknown aspects and parts of Mario Hiriart’s life, who died of cancer at the age of 33. He consciously felt called to the vocation of the Schoenstatt Brothers of Mary, but he also examined the priestly vocation for himself.
In fulfilment of his vocation as a Brother of Mary, he directed all his energies as an engineer to link everyday life with faith and thus to make his work more and more an experience of faith.
After the two impulses, there were working groups in which the participants exchanged ideas quite openly about the figures who have marked them in their own lives. With testimonies and personal experiences, the participants deepened the theme of “Being Men”.
In the evening, the men seized the “Hour before the Lord” in the Trinity Church on Mount Schoenstatt, in silence and prayer, also to savour what they had heard.
Looking back on Sunday, the high standard of the meeting was praised. On the board were written impressions of the participants, such as: “It’s great to be a man and to cultivate friendships!”, “Great community experience, deep exchange and enough time to think!” or “It’s nice and motivating how we, as men’s communities, are growing together here, everyone can participate: this is the future!”.
The date for the next Marienberg Forum has already been set: from Friday 2.2.2024 to 4.2.2024.
The topic “Being man today” will be supplemented by “Theological-philosophical aspects of being man” with Prof. Dr. Manfred Gerwing, who deals scientifically with this question.
Original: Spanish 2023-02-20. Translated by: María Aragón, Monterrey, México