Schönstatt - Begegnungen

The Dawn Breakers

The central elements of this life stream: Attachment to God, To Each Other, A Place, A Time...

Walk-talk during the meeting of dawn breakers by the Shrine of La Serena.
Lebhafter Austausch beim Treffen von Madrugadores beim Heiligtum von La Serena
Essential part of each dawn activity: the common breakfast after the hour in the Shrine.
Gehört wesentlich zu einer Masdrugada: das gemeinsame ausgedehnte Frühstück nach der Stunde im Heiligtum
Rancagua: real artists...The songs and music are important elements.
Rancagua: echte Künstler... Guter Gesang und Begleitung durch Instrumente gehören dazu.
Puerto Montt, breakfast: it is important to share joys and ideals... and have time for a good joke.
Puerto Montt, Frühstück: Freuden, Ideale teilen ... und Witze machen!
Fotos: Galarce, © 2002

CHILE, Octavio Galarce B.In Chile. a life current which began 12 years ago from the Shrine of the Family in Rancagua has strongly flourished. In the context of the 50th anniversary of the mission of May 31st and in the strength of the Cenacle Shrine of Bellavista it received an extraordinary increasing impulse. Currently, communities of dawn breakers exist in almost all of the Shrines our Mother has in Chile. Since our aim is to have a community of dawn breakers at each Shrine, we are presenting the central and fundamental elements of this life current.

We dawn breakers have experienced a flood of graces in response to a modest initiative. We rise early to pray at the Shrine on Saturdays at 7:00 A.M. This simple activity unites young men, laymen, who want to guarantee in a manly way their heroic attachment to the place of grace: the Shrine of our Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt. The periodic encounters seem low, but the perseverance has brought unexpected consequences for those who initiated it and now many perceive it as a divine gift. The graces which Mary gives us in Her Shrine, which are received and renewed by the simple act of rising early every two weeks, corresponds to graces of attachment, attachment to God, to our ideal, to the place of grace, to the time of grace and to the life community.

The Most Important Attachment: God

In the foundation of our organism of attachment is prayer. One of our favorite songs says: "To praise and bless, to adore and give thanks, we are here, Lord, at your bidding." In addition it is said: attachment to God guarantees and orders the whole organism of attachments. This fundamental aspect—the supernatural organism of attachments—can only be given when we are silent and we dare to speak to God. The risk consists in that God answers and the voice cannot be heard of who is the way, the truth, and the life, without seriously questioning my comfortableness, my following the easy path in life, and my egotism. One learns to pray by praying and to meditate by meditating. The content and the destiny of this encounter cannot be predicted. The personal God, the God of history speaks to me personally and takes me where I should go even if it costs me something.

The Vital Attachment: The Personal Ideal

The encounter with God inevitably produces a comparison between my reality and the ideal which as a male I am called to embody: to be father and son. Through meditation God takes me to confront my actual situation with the destiny to which I must direct my steps. In meditation my order of being and the steps I must follow to fully realize it are made clear. Through meditating on life, I open my heart to what God had said to me in the last two weeks, his wishes, his gifts, his requests; it is the moment to ask for the necessary help to discern, to make clear to me, to encourage me and to take up the cross which may have been sent to me. Without losing sight of the the context of layman, male, father, husband, son, finally whatever God wanted me to be so I could be His Face in this comtemporary world.

The Local Attachment: The Place of Grace

We believe that in the shadow of the Shrine the destiny of the Church will be co-decided for centuries to come. This confidence has been reinforced by the fruits we have seen, the frecuent crowds at the Shrine. The graces of a home, transformation and a mission have been given to us and we can give witness to this.

Our encounters in the Shrine are original expressions of loyalty to the Covenant of Love. The presence of Mary in the Shrine is given through the petition of her children. Ours is not a Shrine by Mary’s decision, our Mother, but by our pleading and persistence so that Her staying depends on the conditions of the initial contract: that is, our contributions to the Capital of Grace.

Temporal Attachment: The Time of Grace

Dawn is the moment we adopted at the beginning of our life current because it was the most practical moment to be in silence, without bothering work schedules and family obligations which belong to us as everyday, ordinary fathers of families. Selecting the time was Providential. As the years pass, we have discovered that just as space has special places, time has special hours and the dawn is an especially blessed hour. In this eccentricity of the dawn, we are not alone. We feel inserted in a current begun in Bellavista by lofty persons of the likes of Mario Hiriart whose legacy we pick up and guard with affection and gratitude. For the Jubilee in May of 1999, when the dawn breakers began in Bellavista, there were Sisters of Mary, the oldest ones, who spontaneously made a parallel with the first dawn breakers and they filled us with pride.

The Community Attachment: The Community of Grace

To all the previously numbered graces we must add the community of hearts which blossoms with the dawn breakers brethren. To pray next to another young man who has realities and problems so similar to mine, makes me understand him, appreciate him and love him with greater strength. To share his joys, his efforts, the uncertainties proper to our time and economy, to find support in his example and his contributions to the Capital of Grace to better fulfill my task as a father, as a husband, as a laborer is a blessing and a consolation which cannot be easily expressed. The community of hearts is expressed at breakfast which is also an essential part of the dawn and it is a time to laugh with all of the antics which belong to a group. But this is also the moment that requires a major delicateness in the treatment and style of the celebration in order to maintain a serene and transparent joy which speaks well of our condition.

The Grace of Perseverance

There is a simple moral to our history: the perseverance of attaching ourselves to a place of grace brings us as recompense the capacity of organic attachment with certain aspects, some unsuspected, of our natural and supernatural lives: bringing into harmony contemplation and life in the world; that which is personal and that which belongs to community; anchored in our homeland and yet open to a wide horizon of challenges which the present moment offers; rooted in our dearest traditions and opening a path to the future.

We have the certainty that each life current is an original offer, fruit of the 31st of May, to the concrete experience of contemporary Christianity and which allows encountering the living God in one’s life, in the daily common labor of an actual lay person without hiding oneself in the sacristy and without abandoning oneself to the prevalent paganism.

For those who wish to know more details about this life current, we invite you to visit our web page:

Translation: Carlos Cantú, LaFeria, Texas, USA

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