Thy will be done
Encounters in the Original Shrine at the beginning of Lent
SCHOENSTATT,mkf. Authenticity, trust, hope, overcoming pain, death and a new life: through these themes the Pastors of the Shrine in Schoenstatt offer pilgrims, Sunday by Sunday, an impulse to live the Lenten season as a time of grace and renewal.
Sunday, February 13th began with a festive Mass with the beautiful presence of the Vocal Music Choir Rhein-Lahn, and with the people forming long lines at the moment that the ashes were imposed.
In his homily, in the Mass in the Pilgrim Church, Father Franz Widmaier mentioned the pastoral letter of the Bishop of Trier, Mons. Reinhard Marx, who referring to the two great themes that mobilize people today - unemployment and the tsunami, with its enormous toll of victims - emphasized that we are at the point of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the closing of Vatican Council II, that opened new horizons to the Church, especially in its relation with the world. The Bishop emphasized that although the situation of the church changed much during these 40 years, and although the number of faithful decreased, there is no reason to be pessimistic. Not only is it important not to wear oneself out in a sterile struggle trying to preserve what can and should be left behind, but to also accomplish that " the people who are looking for God today, will find him in our churches, parishes, and communities, through people who live their faith joyfully, and who joyfully pray and celebrate the Eucharist, people who, joyfully know how to be church."
Precisely, a few days ago, in Schoenstatt, one could see people who joyfully pray, live and sing their faith: five young girls from Chile's Girls' Youth, scattered throughout Germany thanks to a student exchange program, met on Thursday night, February 10th, at the station in Koblenz to make their way to Schoenstatt together, where Maria Jesus, who is also a schoolmate, waited for them along with their hosts. They had arrived in the morning.
Carrying a guitar and joy
It was a special encounter which took place that night in Sonnenau: the six young girls from Chile; a couple from Parana, Samuel and Corina Madrid Paez, along with their son Lucas, an exchange student in Miltenberg, Germany; and another young girl from Spain, who participated in an exposition in Franfurt...they unanimously felt surprised to find that everyone spoke Spanish, including Sister Lisann, who as usual, did her best to offer everyone a warm welcome on this dark, rainy and stormy night.
Those who were in Schoenstatt during the following days had the joy of seeing the youthful enthusiasm of the girls from Chile, who - with guitar in hand- sang in each place and for everyone...Some 90 mothers from the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, who arrived in Schoenstatt on Friday, stopped by Sonnenau for coffee before going to their lodging in their Retreat House on Mount Schoenstatt, and they encountered a spontaneous concert.. they did not want to leave!
The Way of Jesus
On Saturday, Febraury 12, at 9:00, Father Patricio Ilabaca, Schoenstatt Father from Chile, celebrated Holy Mass for the youth from Chile in the Original Shrine, where Maria Jesus made her Membership Consecration with the Blessed Mother. The Madrid Paez also participated - twenty years ago Samuel Madrid Paez sealed his Covenant of Love in the Original Shrine - other participants were: Sister Gloria, from Spain, a young man from Chile loaded down with a backpack and much joy - who a Sister of Mary, around ninety years old, found lost on the road, she did not speak Spanish and he did not speak German, but they understood each other perfectly. Together they happily arrived at the Original Shrine just as the Mass began. It was later known that the young man was looking for Father Patricio Ilabaca... Sister, who was surely guided by the MTA, had guessed it!
Father Patricio expressed, in his sermon, that recently, not too long ago, we celebrated the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, but that now the Church calls us to follow a Jesus on his way to redemption, his way of accomplishing the will of God. Although it is not always easy, that way of saying yes to the will of God is what allows us to accomplish our mission in life. Living the Covenant of Love, day by day with the Blessed Mother gradually takes us to the point of offering to God, through her intervention, our will and we are disposed to give an unconditional yes to the will of God - who is always the manifestation of the love of a Father of infinite love.
It is not everyday that a Queen physically accompanies us on the way
That same Saturday, at 11:00 o'clock, 11 volunteers from the Office of the World Youth Day arrived in Schoenstatt, escorting the Queen of Heaven and Earth... Monday, during the carnival procession, a volunteer from Paraguay from the Office of World Youth Day in Cologne encountered another Paraguayan - a volunteer from the Schoenstatt Office of World Youth Day. When Christel Sonnekalb, from Venezuela who is a volunteer in Cologne, found out that this Paraguayan "colleague" of hers had been invited to Schoenstatt, she sent an email inviting all the volunteers from Cologne to participate in a pilgrimage to Schoenstatt. "The other Schoenstatt volunteers, Christine and Gregor, had a previous engagement, and for whatever reason some could not come, but here we are with 11 persons!." commented Christel upon arriving at Schoenstatt. Truth be told, there were 12 persons since after taking her with her to Venezuela and several encounters convened by the Office of World Youth Day, on that day Christels sadly and with much gratitude returned the Pilgrim MTA. "It is difficult to say good-bye because it not everyday that a Queen physically accompanies us on the way," she wrote in the notebook for testimonies. "Thanks beloved Mother, and Victorious Queen for these weeks. I hope I was your best and most loyal instrument. Beautiful Blessed Mother, pray for us and for the great success of the XX World Youth Day in Cologne 2005!" Although Christel will not remain alone for much time...since in less than 15 days Manuela Mananes, a World Youth Day volunteer from La Plata, Argentina, will arrive in Cologne bringing her Pilgrim MTA with her! The Blessed Mother never abandons her small and loyal instruments.
Translation: Celina M. Garza, Harlingen, Texas, USA
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