GERMANY, Maria Fischer •
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Mt 10,29f.)
If, in the middle of planning a project concerned with mediating God’s mercy to people, a Holy Year of Mercy is proclaimed, a whole new dimension enters into the preparations. … “The Church feels the urgent need to proclaim God’s mercy”, Pope Francis stated in Misericordiae Vultus.
“God loves me personally. … If we were really convinced that God as a Person loves us personally …, you would see how quickly our lives would be turned upside down.” Those were the words of Fr Joseph Kentenich on 30 October 1966 in the Schoenstatt shrine in Cologne when, to the surprise of those present – who actually “only” wanted to put up the Father Symbol in the shrine – he entered into the covenant of love with God the Father on behalf of the whole Schoenstatt Family.
The project “Trust in GOD”, which aims at mediating this message to many on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of this event, will now become one of Schoenstatt’s contributions to the Holy Year of Mercy.
God has something to do with my actual life
In the Summer of 2016 a pilgrimage on foot lasting a number of days, with the subject “Trust in GOD”, will take place from the shrine in Cologne, passing via Brühl, Bonn, Remagen, Bad Breisig, Andernach and Koblenz to Schoenstatt.
With the question, “May we celebrate the Holy Year of Mercy with you?” we want to create a culture of encounter with many people along the way. We will tell them, “We are keen to discover new experiences with this God that will make us richer. Yours!”
That is the wording of the invitation to a meeting that will take place on 20 September in the Schoenstatt Centre Maria Rast near Eurskirchen. It is addressed to all who are moved by “Trust in GOD” and want to be set afire by it: Come and join in!
The idea to take the covenant with God the Father onto the streets arose quite some time ago with families belonging to the Family Federation. In the meantime many others have joined them. From the beginning it was also clear that it would not become a pilgrimage designed for our own spiritual renewal, but a way to meet people and bear witness. Or, to take up Pope Francis’ words to the Schoenstatt Fathers, it is a way in which the charism of trust in GOD is exposed to the concrete realities of life, in which its interaction with that life can help it to develop further.
“You know that a charism is not a museum piece, which remains intact in a showcase, to be contemplated and nothing more. Fidelity, to keep the charism pure, in no way means to shut it in a sealed bottle, as if it were distilled water, so that it is not contaminated by the outside. No, the charism is not preserved by keeping it put away. It must be opened and allowed to go out, so that it enters into contact with reality, with people, with their anxieties and problems. In this fertile encounter with reality, the charism grows, is renewed and reality is also transformed; transfigured by the spiritual force that the charism holds.” (From Osservatore Romano)
Meeting God – it’s possible
“We are people with a great longing: the longing to experience God’s very personal love. We also do not want to keep this experience to ourselves”, the handout of those involved with this project states. It is being distributed at those places where the group of pilgrims would like to celebrate the Holy Year of Mercy with the people. The first reactions are extremely positive.
The message to all is simple:
Meet God – it’s possible.
Trust God – it’s possible.
Get to know God – it’s possible.
Because God has something to do with my actual life. I can get in touch with him. I can come to rest with him. I can count upon him. I can set off towards him.
More on this subject – Bible texts, texts of Fr Kentenich, actual experiences – can be found at www.gott-vertrauen.net (German)
And you can simply join in with your prayers or interest: [email protected]