April 18 - Covenant Renewal in Schoenstatt
International Schoenstatt represented with songs, flags, and prayer
(mkf) Schoenstatt members from various countries, together with the local Schoenstatt family, got together on April 18 to renew the covenant of love and remember the Schoenstatt members and friends all over the world, in Schoenstatt.
Several Schoenstatt members joined the usual holy Masses in the Original Shrine - to renew the covenant and represent all those who spiritually touched this holy place on this covenant day.
At 7:30pm, the local Schoenstatt family, Schoenstatters from various German places who had already arrived for Easter retreat in Schoenstatt, and Schoenstatt members from many countries who are in Schoenstatt for schooling programs, got together in the adoration church for the covenant renewal. Members of the Men's Youth, and Brothers of Mary, provided the music. Fr. Beller lead the celebration, remembering all those who are associated with Schoenstatt via Pilgrim Shrines, Replica Shrines, Home Shrines - all those who are united in the covenant of love.
Flags stood the left side of the altar - among them the recently sent flags from Poland, South Africa, and Australia, and a flag from Nazareth representing Schoenstatt in the Holy Land.
The "power" of the Capital of Grace
Paragraphs from the Founding Document were read. Fr. Beller pointed at the capital of grace as Schoenstatt way to unite with Christ's suffering for the redemption of humankind. "We can grant others the "right" to be a burden to ourselves - in covenant love," he said. "With the Capital of Grace, we can actually do something for one who needs us." Fr. Beller emphasized: "We all do always have loved ones, persons entrusted and close to us, who need us - and who we often cannot reach or help with our human means. But still we can with our contributions to the Capital of Grace."
All, then, were invited to reflect on the gifts, graces, and challenges of the past month, and on the experiences of being personally loved by the Blessed Mother and by the Triune God. The sheets of paper with these contributions to the Capital of Grace were collected by some of the young men and filled into the jars by the MTA picture. Then, all renewed the covenant of love, spiritually united with all Schoenstatters in the whole world.
Outside, the fire was lit, and all processed to the lower part of the place before the adoration church – as the upper part is still a construction site! "Protect us with your mantle" was sung, followed by "Dios te salve, Maria", "As I kneel before you", and a song from India. A beautiful sunset "gilded" the evening of this covenant day, as several small groups of young and old people stood sharing their joy in the covenant of love.