Fr. Guillermo Carmona •
The last few weeks have been intense in regard to social, religious and sports events. “Life,” said St. Thomas, “is a constant movement” whose goal is to grow toward greater fullness. From among all those events, I pick out two for our meditation: the Pope’s encounter with the Youth in Poland and the Olympics in Brazil.
“With a hand on the pulse of time…”
I was overjoyed to breathe anew the fresh air entering the Church like a breath from the Spirit. The Pope’s message does not have validity only for the Youth. We can all be re-enkindled in the fire of Pentecost. It is the budget for living “Schoenstatt on the way.”
In Jordán de Blonia Park, Francis recalled his years as a bishop in Buenos Aires. He appreciated the surrender and passion with which many youths lived their lives: “It is stimulating to listen to them, to share their dreams, their questions, and their desire to rebel against all those who say that things cannot change… To say mercy is to say opportunity, to say tomorrow, commitment, confidence, openness, hospitality, compassion, dreams.”
What a challenge for us Schoenstatters! It is Blessed Mother’s promise always in force: “I will draw youthful hearts to myself and educate them to become useful instruments in my hand.” How can one not recall the youthful heart of Joseph Engling, Don Joao, Barbara Kast, Sr. M. Emilie, Sr. Fiatis, or Mario Hiriart? It does not depend on age: it is not important to place years on life, rather life to the years. And this is defined each morning when we remember who awaits us and needs a helping hand from our open hearts and us.
It pains the Pope to recall youths who seem retired before their time and who “throw in the towel before beginning the game.” The Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother encourages us not to resign ourselves; she is not a sedative, a soothing and sweet message. The experience of the Covenant should alter our accommodating life and our lack of true action. Life in the Covenant should motivate us towards the highest ideals.
And since many have probably seen the Olympic games during this period,
It will be good for us to recall some athletes who struggled beyond their strength. To win a game you cannot abandon yourself to resignation, but dream of triumph. We have had surprises, illusions, disappointments and lessons, gold medals, silver and bronze. Our Father and Founder exemplified the form of living our vocation, applying the gold image, silver or bronze.
We deserve the gold medal when we make out of each trial an opportunity from pain, an occasion to grow. We know that without grace, we can do nothing, but that grace encourages us to a love that always triumphs. A love which is patient, kind, clever, active, capable of forgiving and always begins anew, as St. Paul said (1 Cor. 13).
To merit the silver medal, one must do all of this, but without ever bartering the surrender. Perhaps something is lacking. It is not easy to live the radicalism of the Gospel: Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
It is already a great prize to win the bronze medal. Enthusiastic fighters reach it, vigorous, but who at some moment become unreliable. We all know that God expects a great deal from us, but sometimes the fear of risking ourselves completely emerges. Nietzche has a phrase that is a great temptation: “Let us place dikes on God, perhaps He might drown us.”
However, there is something that makes us different from Olympic athletes– we know that we might only be able to win one of these medals if we allow Blessed Mother to triumph in us. In addition, this value gives us various amounts of advantage, and it is good to take advantage of it.
Someone mentioned the Assumption of Mary and her Coronation is the great gold medal that God awarded her forever. We applaud her on the podium of our hearts, and we are joyful that she achieved the palm of victory eternally.
Original Spanish. Translation: Carlos Cantú, La Feria, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA