By Pablo d’Amico – OBSERVATIONS FROM SEATTLE (1) •
Dear Schoenstatt Friends:
If we take “Let us Walk Families, let us continue to walk” by Maria Fischer published on 10 April, referring to the Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” about love within the family, we find words of love, the language of which touches us interiorly in a simple way, concrete words of life experience.
Fr. Guillermo Carmona (National Director of the Schoenstatt Movement of Argentina) explains it clearly in his Covenant letter about “The Family, God’s dream”:
He says, it could be “the family Gospel” and also applies to our Schoenstatt Family.
“The family is not an idyllic or utopian reality… it is necessary to cultivate attitudes that are expressions of the Father’s mercy”…and he offers seven “sacramentals of Love”. For example (some of these):
- THE FAMILY GROWS WHEN WE ARE READY TO SERVE: to serve is to know the needs of others(…)he/she who serves, reigns (Fr. Kentenich) => Schoenstatt family.
- RESPECTING OTHERS AS THEY ARE WITHOUT TRYING TO MAKE THEM FIT MY MOULD: we all have different family histories and inheritances. Without giving or receiving “tenderness for the soul”, life becomes more hostile.
- FREEDOM AND CLOSENESS: healthy autonomy, close and attentive presence. The risk of freedom requires trust, dialogue and shared values.
- OPENNESS TO GOD’S GRACE: be grateful for the “gift” of others. This gives joy to the family’s each morning.
And as if, it was the other side the same coin, we find that “Refugees are not numbers; they are people with faces, names and stories…” that is families who have made these trips to reach a place of security and hope!
Francis begins and ends his trips asking Mary, Mother of the most vulnerable and abandoned, for her protection (for us Schoenstatters, our MTA).
He reminds and tries to remind everyone that refugees are people (not numbers with many zeroes) and families…and he questions us “who of us has cried for the children, men and women who die drowning in the sea”.
I simply travel to “honor them as human beings”, fathers/mothers and children who surely form families like ours. Not expecting anything in return, only visiting the people. Perhaps it can be compared to the “magic” of our Missions and the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, or a work of Mercy.
“Listen to his voice and follow his footsteps”. Let us try it, let us go out to seek opportunities to “save” others (fellow human beings and neighbors), abandoned elderly, street children, families in need… let the Lord’s grace enlighten us (as St. Agustine said: “let us pray, but let us not stop rowing to the edge”)