At the convention our MCs, Albert and Maru García, from Texas, reminded us that the face of Schoenstatt around the world is the apostolate of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother. That is so true! And, we are her missionaries! We carry her mission with us wherever we go, wherever we take her. As we gathered this weekend of the national convention, we welcomed representatives from over 15 states, from: Alabama, California , Florida , Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington state, Washington DC, and Wisconsin.
In the past three years, we had focused very strongly on the three graces from the shrine. Through them we have become aware of the importance of our continuous cooperation with God’s grace. This year, the theme of our convention took us a step further in our commitment with the apostolate as we said: Our Covenant for the Church. We prayed and we also sang it to a beautiful melody made by one of the Schoenstatt Sisters. The goal was to leave the Retreat Center with sufficient tools, guidelines, and material to introduce our pilgrims and missionaries to the covenant of love. Through us others may discover the richness of Schoenstatt’s message and spirituality.
When we look back to the convention weekend, we can say that the goal was accomplished. We left the place knowing that we have been sent out as missionaries. On that account, we need to embrace our reality as people on a mission with the heart of a missionary. Many sacrifices are part and parcel of our common tasks. But, that fact should not keep us from daring to go there where we are needed.
Inspired by the words spoken in 2010 by Father Guillermo Carmona, Schoenstatt Father from Argentina, we pondered on the character of the missionary. This is the person who:
- Takes the image of the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt
- from the Shrine and in union with it
- to many people, especially families
- so that through the rosary, the Covenant of Love, the information and the Catechesis which is received,
- the Blessed Mother can act as the Great Missionary
- for the renewal of families, the Church and the world.
First, we stressed and zoomed into the message of the covenant of love. What do we bring to our pilgrims? What do they need to embrace of the covenant of love? According to Father Joseph Kentenich, the founder of Schoenstatt, anyone who makes the covenant of love with the MTA only needs to embrace the Schoenstatt secret (cf. Conference 1951). What does that mean?
We are called to believe in the
the local attachment and universal fruitfulness of our Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt.
In other words, we are called to believe that
the MTA dwells in and works from her shrine!
Therefore, we need to learn about the history of Schoenstatt. How else we will find out the process by which the MTA took possession of the shrine?
We are also called to believe in the unique
connection between Divine work of grace and free human co-operation.
Said differently, we should
Believe that God has wanted to bind the work of the MTA to our free human cooperation!
Therefore, it is important to learn about our practical faith in Divine Providence. Isn’t this how we, in Schoenstatt, highlight and bring to practical life the idea of collaborating with God’s plan for us?
Lastly, we saw how embracing the Schoenstatt secret is as simple as bringing contributions to the capital of grace. We can certainly talk to our pilgrims about it and teach them to bring their gifts of love to the Blessed Mother in the shrine or send them to the shrine. In this way, we
prove our love for the MTA through deeds, for the fruitfulness of Schoenstatt’s fountain of graces.
Of utmost importance is the idea of capturing our proofs of love in simple little things. They can range from a glance, to a small piece of paper with a note, a stone, a bean, or however we give expression to our contributions to the capital of grace. Through our work with the Pilgrim Mother we share the fire of the covenant of love with countless people, whether we speak of it or not. We simply bear that live bond in our hearts! Let us bring it to everyone as missionaries of the covenant!