Manuel de la Barreda, Spain •
In several articles and comments that I have read for some time in this medium, I seem to glimpse a need for change, even a desire for change in our Family, in our Movement, although it is also true that this vision, this need that some of us see, is not shared by all. —
It also seems that we need someone else to come to us with the given change, someone else to put the bell on the cat. As much as Schoenstatt pedagogy speaks of generating life, of open doors, even if we have to evaluate later, society and the present world drags us to the contrary. To sit and wait for someone else to do it, for someone else to pull the cart.
We have become contaminated internally with the mechanicism against which Father Kentenich fought..
Didn’t we want to be new men?
“The smoke of Satan has entered the Church” said Paul VI. And I think we in Schoenstatt can say the same thing, because we are part of the Church. The smoke of Satan has entered Schoenstatt, and it has done so through lies and self-deception. Satan is tremendously legalistic. He grabs hold of those laws that we have, whether they come from God or we impose them on ourselves, to use them against us with lies and deceit, making us feel guilty for not complying with them, and making us feel so self-satisfied with their fulfillment that we get lost in the letter of them and forget the Spirit.
Didn’t we want to “self-educate” ourselves? Didn’t we want to fight against mechanicism? Didn’t we want to be new men?
We have self-educated ourselves in the lie that we are “special”, self-deluding ourselves, and we have ended up feeling especially immobilized.
Mechanism has been incorporated into the Family so that no one moves outside of political correctness. Don’t even think of criticizing this or that Community, lest there be a schism! It doesn’t matter if they make mistakes, lest they get angry.
New men in 1920; a hundred years later we are already old men and we do not realize it. We have been mowed down. They have put on glasses that make us look “young” and we remain happy.
“Whoever moves will not be in the picture”
In short, we have cut ourselves off from the possibility of being a living movement, a dynamic movement, capable of adapting to the needs of the Church, which we serve, and of society. That “whoever moves will not be in the picture” that we criticize so much to our political parties has ended up infecting us, and as it happens in society, the only thing that remains is a space for complaint and regrets, knowing that it is not easy to get out of it, because you will be complacent saying, “at least I have done something”.
But no. This is not the end of the game.
What a fellow Jesus invented 2,000 years ago
To all those who think that this can be redirected, I would invite you to use a super new, but tremendously powerful tool. It has no gigabytes or teras. It does not work on battery or connected to the network. It doesn’t need wifi or anything else, but its data transmission is tremendously efficient. It is the Testimony. It was invented by a fellow Jesus about 2000 years ago, and it helped him to convince 12 men to change their lives and with it millions of people since then.
About 10 or 12 years ago, a friend of mine who belonged to Regnum Christi told me that she wanted to join Schoenstatt because everyone she met in Schoenstatt had a special smile. Well, we have to achieve, each one of us in particular, that this becomes a reality again. Not only in the smile, yes, but in building and being a Schoenstatter in the way we think we should be.
To be a Schoenstatter in the way we think one should be
Do you think that Schoenstatt should not close in on itself, but go outside? Do it. Go to the parish, go to other parishes less favored than yours or to other places, NGO’s or whatever, to help. But it should not be a self-satisfied help, but a committed one.
If you don’t like something internally? Then say so. Respectfully, but with absolute freedom, even though there may be “retaliation”.
Are you burdened by such fancy internal language that makes it difficult to tell others? Then don’t use it, but tell them the truth of what you have known and how it has moved your heart.
Would you prefer to pray for a serious intention to any other “powerful” saint in the Church rather than to Fr. Kentenich. Then do it. It seems that Fr. Kentenich is still in practice and does not have good results.
Testimony and prayer
But don’t forget one thing. The 12 apostles did not go through life as cowboys. They knew they were chosen for a mission that far surpassed them and that is why they had to nourish themselves, to regain strength with the only thing, taught by Jesus, that could sustain them: prayer. We are very action-oriented in Schoenstatt, and this has led us on countless occasions to forget prayer, that personal and privileged encounter with Jesus, through his Mother or directly, the strength of our own strength. Let us recover or learn to pray. With humility. With confidence, with perseverance, knowing that it is our fuel. Let us fill our shrines, our home shrines, with prayer, with presence.
Testimony, testimony, testimony. Prayer, prayer, prayer. With patience, with education, with truth, with freedom.
We can write here or complain there, but the only thing that will drag others will be our testimony, strengthened by our prayer.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Marcela Fernández, Toronto, Canada