Responsibility for Our Society - for a current reason ...
Schoenstatt Families of the Cologne Diocese: "That He may Change the Course of the World"
(Ruth and Peter Fischer) In the weeks before Pentecost, several Schoenstatt families of the Cologne Archdiocese have been discussing their social responsibility within society in view of ethical questions, focussing on the key question of the value of human life. Understanding that it is not enough to discuss this responsibility but to do something, they made a first step by expressing their concerns during the Pentecost Family Mass in St. Anno's parish in Siegburg prepared by one of the local Schoenstatt Families' groups.
After their discussion, Pentecost Sunday was the next possible date for the Schoenstatt family group to be in charge of the Family Mass in the parish. The families saw the date as a call to work for a "new Pentecost," that the Holy Spirit (usingSchoenstatt families in this parish and beyond) "may change the course of the world."
Highlights of the Discussion
Some highlights of the discusion: What’s the value of human life in our society? The most popular values in our society seem to be goals such as gaining profit, personal power, egoism, fitness and mobility. Family values in general seem to be questioned. By locating the beginning of new life (the fusion of ovum and sperm cell) in the privacy of the human body, our Creator put the beginning of new life under the protection and safety of a family. More and more this safety seems to be put at risk - just think of abortion, gene technology and, as the latest development, the pre-implantation diagnostics. Politicians, scientists and business people empower themselves to decide about which life is called to be worth living and which is not. Profit in business seems to count more than human life.
What can Families Do?
In the course of their discussion, the families found out: "We are convinced that the most important objective for us as a family is to hold to our ethical and religious values. It’s by our deeds and by our education of our children that we pass on to them the love of God for all humans, a love that shows respect for each and every life. Respect for life also means to accept each other as we are, including our weaknesses, illnesses and sorrows. Within the family groups of our parish, we experience the safety that grows from this respect. We learn that we live within the same spirit even if our opinions sometimes may differ.
Our children and we as parents built relationships and friendships with other children and parents as well as we share the responsibility for our parish. We help each other and we support each other and therefore influence everything that happens around us. As single persons and as a community, we will express and publish our opinion about the value of human life." For this reason, on Pentecost they mentioned their concerns during the family service to show other parish members "where we are at and how we think."
What can the Worldwide Schoenstatt Movement Do?
A worldwide and international movement has better opportunities to stand for the protection of human life than any regionally working political or social institution. In Father Kentenich’s opinion, the apostolate of lay persons is to penetrate society in a Christian way and, with this, to support priests and bishops. The families in Siegburg pray "that the Holy Spirit inspires us as an international movement to influence the ethical values in our global world. And that - same as for the apostles 2000 years ago - Pentecost may change our passive attitude into an active one."
For more information, contact and initiatives: familienbewegung.Koeln@schoenstatt.de
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