Guillermo Parra, Chile •
Allow me to comment on the many exchanges of ideas that have taken place between us regarding the mission and our founder. I would like to do so in the light of a phrase of the Christian philosopher Soren Kierkegaard that seems to me very accurate: “Although life can be understood looking backwards, it must be lived looking forward”. I believe that in this phrase there is a key to understand much of our present situation as Schoenstatt and also of our relationship with the founding father. For a simple reason: it seems to me that, as Schoenstatt, perhaps without realizing it, we have inverted the meaning of this phrase, we make efforts to understand Schoenstatt looking forward, but in reality, institutionally, we live looking backwards. —
We declare ourselves to be custodians of a charism of Practical Faith in Divine Providence that precisely implies trying to understand the paths that Divine Providence presents to us “ahead”, but we seem to live looking “back”. Our special efforts are to remember, celebrate, commemorate, maintain and convince ourselves again of what we are already convinced of.
This inversion is, it seems to me, a great internal obstacle (there are other external ones) to not advance more, both quantitatively and qualitatively, in the missionary vision that the Founder wanted to mark his foundation both in the ecclesial and social aspects. On the contrary, we seem to be going backwards.
We must look forward, where Schoenstatt’s mission is at stake, both ecclesial and socially
With my experience in Schoenstatt, I look back and I see, at least in this place where I live, that we are no more, in the broad sense of the term, than 50 years ago. Of course, this may be a statement based on nostalgia and also unfair to many, and it may also upset many others, including several of you reading this. What I am trying to say, modestly and with difficulty, is that I believe that we must try to turn the philosopher’s phrase upside down, let us look back but trying to understand our life well, what we are, what we have received, the mission of which we are allies and how we are living it personally and institutionally (which makes very valid the questions on the subject of the founder, of the statutes, the Universal Apostolic Confederation and others), but, in the light of the Divine Providence Practical Faith, we must look forward, where Schoenstatt’s mission is at stake, both in the ecclesial and social spheres, what God is specifically asking of us for this time, what this time needs from Schoenstatt’s missionary charism, which undoubtedly, in terms of objectives and methods, are not those of 50 years ago (is it also time for an institutional – missionary “synod” of Schoenstatt in the light of Practical Faith in Divine Providence? ).
What is the missionary charism, what is the missionary epic that the founder would want for his work today?
To think about these does not seem to me any “heresy” or Schoenstatt “infidelity”. The Founder, with a prophetic gaze and with much more audacity than we do, called this process nothing less than “re-founding Schoenstatt every 50 years”. And in this sense it is also valid to ask how the charism of the foundation (the Work through time) has been assuming or living, from the charism of its founder, the needs of the times. In short, what is the missionary charism, what is the missionary epic that the founder would want for his Work today, that the Church needs and that society, the one we live in and no other, should demand from us. And furthermore, because a Schoenstatt without an up-to-date epic and with a future view of its missionary charism is a “decaffeinated” Schoenstatt; almost no one, in these times, likes decaffeinated coffee. And that explains a lot.
Original: Spanish 2022-02-19. Translated by: Maria Aragón, Monterrey, México