Schönstatt - Oktoberwoche

October Week
Semana de Octubre


in Schönstatt

From the Shrine - A Network of Love

German Schoenstatt Movement Set Out A Task, A Source of Strength and Schoenstatt Joy

Abschlussvortrag bei der Oktoberwoche in Schönstatt: Pater Tilmann Beller, Bewegungsleiter der Deutschen Schönstatt-Bewegung
Neben den Teilnehmern der Oktoberwoche, waren auch Schönstätter aus der Umgebung zur Schlussveranstaltung der Delegierten-Tagung der Deutschen Schönstatt-Bewegung in die Pilgerkirche in Schönstatt gekommen.
Der Schlussgottesdienst wurde vom Institut der Schönstatt Familien gestaltet. Mitglieder des Institutes stellten einen Chor.
Ebenfalls im Einsatz: Die Musikgruppe Esperamor
Die selbstgestalteten Texte wurden von verschiedenen Ehepaaren vorgetragen.
Bei der Gabenprozession wurden verschiedene Symbole zum Altar getragen, so z.B. ein Schönstatt-Heiligtum, Zeichen für den Ort der Gnade und Beheimatung.
Das Netz ist Symbol für die Verbundenheit der Heiligtümer, der Schönstatt-Gemeinschaften, der einzelnen Mitglieder der Bewegung untereinander und mit der ganzen Kirche.
Ein Ehepaar brachte Eheringe als Symbol für das Leben aus dem Ehesakrament.
PressOffice Schoenstatt, hbre © 2000

(mkf) From the Shrine - A Network of Love. This is the German Schoenstatt Movement's motto for the year 2001. It was proclaimed at the closing of the October Week on October 22, 2000. The motto includes the task and the source of strength, as Father Beller explained in his closing talk. The task is a twofold one – to extend the Shrine, the place of grace, to all areas; and to work for a new quality of love. The October Week closed with a festive Holy Mass in the Pilgrims' Church.

The Schoenstatt Movement's goal in the upcoming year would be, as Father Beller said, "to create a network of love around each Shrine, each Home Shrine, each Heart Shrine – at home, in our parishes, at our workplaces. Because we know and experience our limitations, we turn to the source of strength given to us by our God." The younger generation, he said with pride, had worked hard for a motto expressing more apostolic zeal; but this year's motto would have the potential to encourage apostolic zeal.

A New Style of Relationship With Each Other

In his talk, Father Beller then focused on the new quality of love that is necessary to extend the "beautiful place," the Shrine, in the network of love. This "network" means reaching out to each and every one around the individual Schoenstatt member, group, or community.

How do we speak about the people who belong to our "network of love"? To speak in terms of, "Oh, how terrible this world is; oh, how bad these people are" is simply not fitting for an apostle of the Third Millennium.

How do we think about others? This is a matter of a certain noble attitude, and we should ask the Blessed Mother for the grace to see the good in others. As our human nature is too frail to bear with others' limitations, we need to receive the charisma of finding joy in each other.

How do we handle disappointment and hurt? Father Beller said, "We go the Shrine and tell the Blessed Mother that we hurt; and then we give her something for the person that voluntarily or involuntarily hurt us. Maybe this is God's way of telling us that he wants us to support and be present to another person."

A New Style of Prayer

Regarding the source of strength - the Shrine, Father Beller mentioned four points of a new style of prayer:
Resting in the Shrine – not to be busy thinking, studying, talking, but just to rest in the Shrine; this would also have an apostolic implication because "relaxed people are far easier to bear with!"

Lamenting about the hardships of life – being present before the Blessed Mother in a very personal and concrete way. "It does not free me from oppression when I say, 'I suffered from the meanness of people.' We get to tell her the details of who and when and why. That's freeing!" We should also lament about ourselves; the evening consecration in Heavenwards, Father Beller said, is the lamentation of a person who suffers from not being as he wants to be.

Telling her all that we have experienced - although she already knows. "Telling her what we experienced, sharing our daily life with her, is a very concrete renewal of our blank check surrender."

Constantly speaking with her about the people in our network of love in order to overcome the natural inclination to self-centeredness. Who are the people in this network of love around us? Father Beller mentioned three groups: Those whom we simply and spontaneously like - to know people like that would be a gift from God that we should value; those from whom we suffer; and those whom we tend to ignore. Father Beller inspired all, specially the leaders, to pay attention to the people whom one frequently ignores.

The Network of Love - A Challenge Each Day

Father Kentenich excelled in the art of love – a lonely pioneer in many respects, not only in the time around World War I when, for example, he encouraged friendships among the students, but still today. He founded communities whose members are encouraged to each other. We should be aware of the revolutionary impact of the book "Everyday Sanctity" with its emphasis on the entire world of love, including the natural-instinctive love, and the education of all types of love to ensure the nobleness and reverence in human relationships.

"We want to erect the network of Shrines," he said in closing. "Our Mother and Queen will go with us. From the Shrine – a network of love!"

Holy Mass - Thanks and Joy

The closing Holy Mass was in the Pilgrims' Church so that not only October Week participants could be accommodated but any others who might wish to be present. Institute families and the Vallendar band "Esperamor" provided texts and music. Father Heinrich Walter, head of the German National Presidium, was the main celebrant. Many local Schoenstatt members who had not taken part in the October Week joined in this closing Mass. A Filipino lady from Ruesselsheim, Germany, came with her two nieces from New York. "Yesterday, a bishop from the Philippines who had stayed in my house upon his return from Rome went back home. I wanted to bring my nieces to Schoenstatt today. We can't stay long, but it is a gift that we are here for this Holy Mass with so many people and such lively music!" Her friend, a nurse in a hospital, changed her shift in order to accompany them. "I first heard about this afternoon's celebration when I was in Schoenstatt in September. I am very happy that I can be here today!" Cesar Aguila from Santiago, Chile, just dropped in when the Holy Mass began. "I am in Germany on a business trip. This morning I took a taxi to Schoenstatt, and a sister showed me the way to the Original Shrine. I am here for the first time, and it is a very touching experience to be here for this occasion." He was invited to join in the celebration at the Original Shrine in the afternoon. A couple from Canada, visiting in Germany with relatives, also came for the Holy Mass. "Each morning when I arrive in my office I first check the Internet for news from Schoenstatt," the lady shared. "But it is different to be physically here."

The families had prepared a procession with the gifts that were brought to the altar: the jubilee symbol, a net, a stole as an expression of prayer for priests and vocations, wedding rings, and a Holy Spirit symbol, an expression of prayer for young people to find their personal vocation.

An atmosphere of unity and joy was visible during the Holy Mass, especially when the sign of peace was exchanged. Also – mission zeal, the willingness to set out from the Shrine. "The family is alive," said Susanne Leibrecht, speaker for the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth. "There is an openness to share, and much joy and zeal!"

English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA


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