Father Adolfo Losada answers today, he belongs to the Federation of Priests, Tabor de María Course- Shrine of the Presbyters Fathers of La Plata, Buenos, Argentina •
Six months into the pilgrimage through the covenant of love’s second century… what is your dream for this Schoenstatt in who we are and where we find ourselves in the church and in the world, and in our mission?
Two things come to my soul like a voice: An echo that we repeated a year ago without tiring “Your Covenant, our mission”, and two of Father Kentenich’s phrases that I recently read in the book “Huellas de un Padre” [Footsteps of a Father”] by Father Esteban Uriburu and that translate that mission of taking the spirit of the Covenant everywhere, and they express something of what I would desire for our family the first refers to her:
“Schoenstatt can be understood as a great an efficient movement of ideas and of education. But it cannot in any way be appreciated correctly if it is not considered as a powerful movement of graces that in overwhelming plentitude impels forward. In troubled times, the crux of the question is in the current of graces. There where the Devil hastens to convoke a markedly apocalyptical time, everything depends on the great one who crushes the serpent to put into play all the power and force of her graces…We believe – and we contribute enough proof of this – that she has done this in Schoenstatt, and this how she wants to do it everywhere that pictures of the MTA and chapels of the MTA as Schoenstatt daughter shrines emerge.”
The second refers to us:
“The new man – the new kind of holiness – should be like those suspension bridges that do not have feet or a column to hold them to the ground to keep them firm; their moorings are on high. However, their resistance is many time superior to bridges that are set on the ground. That is what the training of the members of the Movement is like: they should be like suspension bridges, freely and voluntarily attached to the love of God on high.”
It continues to be the same secret of the fruitfulness of these one hundred years, our accepted and self-educated weakness in living contact with the beauty of her gaze and of the Child in her arms, to make soft violence on her with our poor and loyal concrete love, so that she will establish herself in our shrines and work her miracles of transformation in her children and instruments in us and through us. Living and selfless service that we can give as a family to the most urgent need of the man of today, to feel as child, beloved child, knight or queen, with a home and with feeling of existence, with an identity that will take him/her out of the loneliness and isolation that consumerism and mass production offer us. We know about the Kingdom of the Father that the Blessed Mother gives us in her Shrines, how we became new creatures in Christ through the resplendent influx of her presence in them, how she returned the sense of mission in life, giving us a Father and a Family. How can we not serve the same table?
In order to fulfill this dream, what do we need to avoid or leave behind?
It seems to me, and I say it with respect, that we should avoid a “fashion” Schoenstatt, filled with photos, slogans and theoretical meetings, where we only please ourselves. I do not say not to have these things; but to place them at the center would make us forget that the first sodalists went through war, that our Father suffered cold in Dachau, that the sisters who founded these American lands went through necessities and work that overcame their strength, that Sister Emilie suffered loyally…that Don Joao died on the road, carrying the Blessed Mother. There is no wine without a wine press… and I am not referring to a hard, dark enclosed volunteerism, but to one of generous heroism and a secret of life offered for love of her and her mission in the West.
In order to fulfill this dream, what practical steps do we have to take?
To follow Father’s footsteps with creative loyalty. But to follow Father’s footsteps. We did not invent Schoenstatt, like we did not invent the Gospel. We live both in an original way, but we live them. Undoubtedly and in the Spirit of Father’s respect without limits for every man, each one is an active participant, free and new of the Family, each relives Schoenstatt in a unique way, but communes in Spirit and Mission. There are goods that are everyone’s and for everyone, and we should care for them by conquering them for the generations to come.
I dream that everyone will develop that supernatural instinct that Father had to understand the living God and to discern His voices, a special sensitivity to understand God’s movements and His grace in the midst of daily events and in the heart of men/women.
The Blessed Mother gave this to Father, and the Blessed Mother also gives it to the Family, but with many fruitful hours of silence in the Shrine.
For that reason, I dream about a renewed current of life toward and from the Shrine as a vital center in the Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother.
To go to the Shrine in any of its forms many times and well– alone, or with your group, or Branch, to contribute to the capital of grace, to show her that we truly love her, to make soft violence for 100 more years and to become sensitive to the work of God. Sensitive to the grace and the graces that surge from the Shrine like a river.
I also dream about each Schoenstatter with his/her Pilgrim MTA…our feet will not be worn out. Will she work this miracle? To present her with a new sensitivity, with instrument consciousness to help that many others will know the Shrine. How beautiful to open the Shrine for the first time to someone who has lost the meaning of life, the inner home or the feeling of a child! With the awareness of being a living Shrine for the lonely and anguished, to be an apparition of her; strong, kind, joyful, simple, very simple. Like her. Profound in the encounter. That takes time and gazes aware of being bearers of someone, not something. We lack our inner detachment.
I dream to believe and to communicate the Covenant to the Church as a road of healing, human growth and holiness, to be a living instrument so that others– will freely and lucidly seal their Covenant of Love. How can we keep this treasure that modified our life for eternity?
May our Shrines be filled with youths, many of us (born with them!) and of the elderly with memory of Family.
I dream that we make the prophetic, not the domesticated thinking of Father Kentenich, known to many, his diagnosis about the man of today and his offer of healing, that he experienced…and to have them taste the medicine in the Shrine, with the Blessed Mother and placing our committed heart as a pledge.
The Blessed Mother in the Shrine has saved my human and priestly lives many times, and the life of many that Jesus the Good Shepherd has entrusted to me. That is grace. Nothing without Her. Nothing without us.
Fortunately, it still does not cost anything to dream.
+ Virgin Mary bless us with Christ her Son…
Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA