Fr. Guillermo Carmona, National Director of the Movement in Argentina •
Let us go out to the encounter to build peace. Peace is a primary need of man and of Argentina at the present. Christians – also Schoenstatters – go out to the encounter to be builders of peace. We make a Covenant with Mary, like our Founder did, and we crown Her Queen of the Universe: “For your holy heart is the world’s harbor of peace, the sign of election and gateway to heaven.” (Heavenwards, American Edition, p. 141)
The lack of peace is fruitfulness of the evil one – he is the liar, the one who scatters, he is hatred and war. The history of humanity is tainted with diabolic blood.
Peace, on the contrary, is the great sign of Christ’s victory:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body [a] through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.[b] So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; (Eph. 2:13-17)
Peace is the joy of the Father
Thus we recall this each Christmas, upon adoring the Word and assuming this as a mission: “We will then joyfully carry your Word to the world so that it hold its breath in amazement and always find the peace of God which the angelic hosts proclaimed.” (Heavenwards, American Edition, p. 23)
Peace is the joy of the Father. In Dachau, Father Kentenich meditated on the gaze and the hands of God the Father and concluded:
“Your gaze rests benevolently on the restored happiness of humankind. You extend your fatherly hand to it again, transforming it into a prosperous land of peace. You sow blessings on field and plain and show us the signs of your presence everywhere.” (Heavenwards, American Edition, p. 33)
Peace is as much a gift as it is a task. How can we be builders of peace?
- The starting point is inner peace. Peace is chosen in the heart: to reconcile with oneself, with one’s past and fears, with the phantoms and the guilt, with the people we have wronged or who have hurt us. There are people who want to be “soldiers,” but not “builders” of peace.
- One must generate a climate of peace in one’s surroundings. Attachments are the cords that bind our life together; but they can also be motives for conflicts. Peace is learned, and the best school to learn it in should be the family. At table daily, in the intimacy of spouses, in the room shared by brothers or sisters, there the peaceful and pacifying heart is formed. It is also attempted in workplaces, at school, at university, at “places where you have membership,” religious and apostolic confines that amasses our history.
- Thirdly, peace is generated with unrestricted respect for others. Insults, yelling, expressions of hate, ill intended criticisms, epithets we give to others – be they in social, political or sports venues do not contribute to peace. “Daily violence” should cease and allow the “daily bread,” the bread of respect, confidence and love to grow.
- The Schoenstatter knows that peace demands resolving the most remote causes of violence. Behind hatred blossoms a wounded heart hungry for caresses, acknowledgement, genuine motivation, an inclusive working together, misery, or a lack of education. Drugs, alcohol, sexual assaults, violations, the “comings and goings,” the homicides, lastly demonstrate an absence of love.
- There must be no fear in working for peace eradicating “structural violence” such as a lack of justice, misery and corruption, political manipulation, or social and cultural discrimination. “The new name of peace is justice,” recalled St. John Paul II and other Popes.
Mary will lead us to Jesus
Facing this scenario, many will ask, “What can I do if I have no power and no political position? It is not this way! We can proclaim peace; we can live it. We can vote responsibly according to our conscience without being coaxed into things by particular points of view. It is possible to participate in massive demonstrations where one can express one’s dissatisfaction with abuses and corruption (“getting hit on the head with a pan”).
The society we dream of is always somewhat utopian: a constructive dream that comes along step by step. The only sin, I think, is to evade it:
“Use us to crush the head of the serpent who constantly robs you of souls and violently disrupts in this world the peace you promised the nations.” (Heavenwards, American Edition, p. 21)
We also build peace when we go on pilgrimage to the Shrine or a Wayside Shrine. We greet Blessed Mother and ask her to transform us into “a firm guarantee for peace among the nations and for unity in the City of God on earth.” (Heavenwards, American Edition, p. 143)
She will lead us to Jesus, especially in the unimaginable gesture of unity and peace that is communion with the Body and Blood of the Lord:
“You are the pure fountain of peace, the bond which unites all nations, the power which overcomes discord, the light which brings warmth and brightness. (Heavenwards, American Edition, p. 38).