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The Face of the Covenant of Love

 

Thobeka George, South Afirica
  • Where does one start?
  • How can one express this bond?
  • How can one explain something that is beyond human understanding?
  • How can one explain something that no human being has ever invented, something that was there from the beginning?
  • Why me? Why not me?

These are the questions I've asked myself when I heard that I need to write about my covenant of love with the mother of God. Why not me ? I guess I'm the best candidate, because Mother has done so much for me. I call her mother, because that is who she is: my spiritual Mother. Before I made my consecration, I knew that I was committing myself into something that is beyond human understanding. Something deep, something wonderful and that was the contract (covenant of love ) between my Queen and I. She knows me more than I know myself. A mother knows when her baby is about to harm herself and she rescues her. This is how my mother is with me.

I live my covenant of love by continuously praying to the Mother of God for strength. I have discovered that there is no greater way to start a day other than to consecrate myself to her and to ask for guidance through the day. Just by entrusting myself to her, everything works perfectly. I do not even have to make a big deal by screaming in order for her to hear, all I do is whisper silently and she can hear my cries. Sometimes she shows her presence even before I cry. She knows when I'm troubled and she comforts me.

In life you grow up, you experience things. We are growing up in a world which has many choices. There are so many things out there which only satisfy the body, but destroy the soul. I have come into contact with so many youths with different beliefs and morals and on this journey, my covenant of love with Our Lady has opened my eyes in order to see what is right and what is wrong. It has helped me to know myself and through this I have accepted others for who and what they are and equally see myself as an individual in my own right and with my own morals.

The test for our humanity

I have realized that it is not the status of the person that is important, but what is inside that person. The way that person treats people is what colours their humanity. The way you approach people is what makes you the person you are and also makes them the person they are. For instance, at work I meet people with different personalities. They may be rude to me but that might not be the way they are, it might be stress or some worry. The Covenant of Love has helped me to be calm and not to react to that anger. In fact, I’ve been able to calm that person too. I can react in this way because I know I am loved: in the Covenant of Love my Mother has taught me that it’s not necessary for me to treat others in the same way they have treated me. I can understand others and accept them for them- as they are. In other words, a person is a person because of other people, ie how we treat them. This is the test of our humanity. In Xhosa, my mother tongue, we say "umtu ngumtu ngabantu". This concept of "ubuntu" ie "humanity" is one on which most of African society is based. African society is people-centred and "ubuntu" means helping others and seeing them as your sisters and brothers. This does not necessarily mean helping them financially but rather being there as a person for them- not to turn your back on them, but to acknowledge their humanity. This goes far deeper than just giving a financial handout. If someone is angry with me and I react with anger back, I become less than the person I am and so do they. No-one gains anything, we both lose the good example, the good belief in each other. We lose something of our humanity.

The Covenant of love is what has helped me in my humanity. My loving Mother gives me the strength and courage to be the person I should be. It also promotes a family or "nation" of people united in a covenant of love under one mother and this mother leads us to our Father. So in a difference of opinion over a job to be done at work, I can "give in" to someone else’s way and not insist on mine. This does not mean I am a doormat, it means I am humble in God and His Will which will come in the end because we are all children of the one Father.

She chose me

I know now that I did not choose Our Lady, she chose me, because had I chosen her, I would have given up on her a long time ago. If I had chosen her, then it would have been my faith and knowledge and my will and goals that I would have to rely on and I know that even in the everyday things I encounter, this would not have been strong enough. No, because the Mother chose me, it is her strength and guidance I rely on.

I have discovered that the covenant of love truly leads a person to a good life. The world has its own method of achieving this "good life" which is not so good. Behind the covenant of love there is a face and that is the face of a caring Mother. For example, during my years of studies there were times when it was difficult and I wanted to give up. It was not the idea of a nice house that made me pull through those difficult times, but the actual face behind the covenant of love, this face of a loving mother. I study and work, but these are the things of this world. The face of this world is impersonal and fickle - it is the face of things and achievement or a year’s fame and then the world moves on. I do not find this comforting or helpful. In the Covenant of Love, I have realised that I have a goal and that is to reach the Father. My diploma or the nice house I would like to have some day will not help me to reach the Father. It is how I live my life in the process of getting these things.

I am too weak to reach my goal on my own, but Mother encourages me to move forward and even though I have no faith in myself, what helps me to look forward is my faith in the Mother of God. Our Lady did not just become the Mother of God. She was also in the process of life - she also had to decide between the world and God. She also had to say her "yes". She has been through what I have. She was able to say yes through her trust in God. She is therefor my role model and can help me to say yes. Her goal was to reach the Father and so I follow her in this in my way of the Covenant of Love.

No matter where I hide myself, she always finds me and shows me the way. I have discovered that as stubborn as I am, she always finds a way to humble me in order for me to come closer to her. I need to be humbled so that I don’t think I know everything. When I stumble and fall, then I am more ready to listen to advice and to take her help. I am forced to rely on her and not so much on myself. Her presence is my all, my life is in her hands. I am her instrument. An instrument makes beautiful music to the owner's ears and so should I to her ears. I always hope that my laughter would bring joy to her ears. She has helped me to bear fruit how ever little it may be and I am confident that she will help me bear much more so that the Father's will can be done. I have discovered that in life we are all like soldiers going to the war, we are fighting with the hope to return home. Most soldiers went to war without love, no one to fight for , with no one to go back to. It is so difficult to carry on when you haven't found love, haven't agreed to love, but when you find love and have a goal to reach, it makes things easier.

I am in a journey and through my faith in my Mother I receive strength to stand up when I fall and move forward. Every minute of every hour she gives me a chance to reach my goal. You may say to me right now, this is all very nice, but how did you get there? Which steps did you take? Well, it is difficult to explain, but at least I am speaking to people who have an understanding of what I am talking about.

Inviting her into the daily activities

I have discovered that it doesn't happen only by kneeling down and praying in the morning and evening, there is more to it than that. It is also by inviting her into your daily activities. When moments of struggle strike you, just call on her to be with you and that, I have found, makes things easier, because you know that you are not alone and believing that she is there with you becomes a part of you. For example, the night before my final exam, I struggled to remember the things I had studied and I told myself to calm down. I actually saw this as the great opportunity to ask Mother to help me. So I just shut my books and went to sleep. To my surprise, the next day when I was busy writing my exam, in my imagination I saw the MTA picture there in front of me. This brought a smile to my face, because

she was there as she had promised to our Founder that she would be there and that calmed me and I have never finished a paper as quickly as I did that day.

My Mother is like my compass that shows me which way to go. Through my covenant of love, the Mother of God leads me to the goal of my life, the Father. And on this journey she helps me to be the best possible person I can be, by showing me her caring, loving face, the face of my Mother.

 

 



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