Fr. Joaquín Alliende Luco •
The Synod on the Family has started. It’s autumn in Europe. Close to the Original Shrine, on the hillsides along the Rhine and Mosel rivers, it’s grape season. A place of wines and wine presses. We should order this differently: a place of wine presses and wines, because as we pray in Heavenwards: “Without the wine press, there is no wine…only dying wins the war (HW 150). We get liquid from the grapes only by crushing them. A very easy way of doing this is to step on the grapes. This is the work of the wine presser. The age old tradition gave rise to joyful winepress songs and dances. Because the grape juice foretells the wine of celebration and encounter. All wine passes through the pain of soaking to the celebration of wine in the glasses and on the lips. All wine is paschal.
One doesn’t need to be an expert to see that the Synod will shake public opinion around the world and will be subject to many misinterpretations. Among the topics that have been prepared, some are complex and delicate. The event in Rome will still show with greater clarity that the languages of the Church and of global public opinion are very distant from each other. We should, increasingly, update the dictionaries, that is true. But we cannot be naïve, it is not just a linguistic question. The mysteries that Christ entrusted to his Bride must necessarily appear strange to the complex reality of Christ-less cultures.
Simultaneously, the Church and, with her and for her, Schoenstatt, have to be vigilant to know how to speak to all peoples of the earth. It is clear that Fr. Kentenich was neither a publisher nor a journalist. He was a great communicator, who was tuned into his listeners and searched for languages that were more apt to share his interior world.
Our father was a master of communication who, in his time and his circumstances, achieved some that is always difficult and necessary: to proclaim the living God in the history and the contexts of very diverse peoples. The Synod will search for clarity, prophecy and language. The topics are delicate and the media simplifies and even misinterprets them. The Church needs Schoenstatters to be alert and calm, who look for the depth of things, who can be instruments of synthesis, from always and for now. Freedom and obedience. And they must also know how to distinguish between the essential and the transitory, between truth and pedagogy to live the truth. The Schoenstatter should be wholly active in a missionary “setting out” to those around and beyond.
October is the month of the rosary. To follow Fr. Kentenich during the Syond means to have our hand on the pulse of time and information and our ear on the heart of the God, with the rosary between our fingers.
Very recently Pope Francis said: “The Synod is not a congress or a parliament, or a senate where people have to agree. It is someone who asks himself about the faithfulness to the deposit of the faith, as a living fountain…to read reality with the heart of God.” A Synod can also be paschal wine.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa