Where George Bush met Saddam Hussein...
World history and conception of the Apostolic League during the meeting of the Professional Womens' League of Northern Germany, March 21 - 23
GERMANY, Jennifer Kempen. The place where George Bush met Saddam Hussein... was neither in Iraq, nor in the United States. It happened far from missile strikes, fires, and media coverage in a small town of Germany: in the Shrine of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt in Frohlinde near Dortmund, Germany. There, the responsible persons of the Northern German Professional Women's branch met March 21 - 23.
Responsibility as key word - that meant for the ten women who could join, to leave some other planned things aside and bring the needs and fears of the world in prayer to God. What better could they do but consecrate to the Blessed Mother the persons whom they were concerned about? During the final Holy Mass on March 23, the women offered a rose to the Blessed Mother for one or more persons they wanted to specially consecrate to her - and so it happened that the rose of the American President stood next to that of the President of Iraq in a vase on the altar of the Schoenstatt Shrine.
Schoenstatt means to be responsible for the world
Already on Friday night they had joined in the consecration of the people of Irak to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, done by the bishops and patriarchs of the different Christians denominations in Iraq at 6:00 PM. Schoenstatt means to be responsible for the world. That means, Schoenstatt members have to become active when it is about to unite the world with God, to bring the needs of persons to the heart of God. - These were the central considerations and conclusions of the workshop, based on texts by Father Kentenich about the self-concept of the Apostolic League. But this was not just talked about at a theoretical level.
Where prayer meets life
Already since about two years they have discovered the "Illumined Rosary" as a way to live to this responsibility. "Our life should become a prayer and our prayer should become life," one of them said. Praying the Illumined Rosary, each "Hail Mary" is said for one or more persons that one wants to specially entrust to the Blessed Mother and the prayer of those present. This is expressed with lighting a candle, and offering a rose, this creating a visible rosary in the room, a wreath of roses and lights.. Inspired by the talk of Father Kentenich about the rosary (available in German and Spanish), the women also during this meeting wanted to "live, pray and offer the living rosary" (Fr. Kentenich, June 18, 1949, Villa Ballester, Argentina). To sense God's voice in the voice of the time, to put the wishes and needs of concrete persons in connection with the voice of God - this they saw as a challenge of this time, and that is why they took more time for prayer than for discussion.
"... and then all will be new"
It was sure just a very small contribution to peace at a place of marginal importance - but maybe these small contributions will make the difference and help bring about the big peace.
Studying the talk of Father Kentenich about the living rosary, the women found an uplifting and inspiring sentence: "When we do it this way, when we pray, live and offer a living rosary, then, I am sure, the Blessed Mother will soon come and dwell in our midst, and then all will be new."
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