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 published: 2007-09-21

In the Shrine, we are re-enkindled in the fire of the Covenant of Love, the same fire that Mary enkindled in the heart of our Founding Father

Father Juan Pablo Catoggio –Covenant Mass Homily in Schoenstatt, September 18, 2007


P. Juan Pablo Catoggio – Predigt in der Bündnisfeier Schönstatt 18.09.07

P. Juan Pablo Catoggio – Predigt in der Bündnisfeier Schönstatt 18.09.07


Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

Here we are. We come on pilgrimage to the Original Shrine on this 18th to renew and to celebrate the Covenant of Love. I arrived here a few days ago on Saturday afternoon. I immediately went to the Original Shrine, and I told my co-brother who had taken me, "this makes one feel good!"

Today we say to Her, "Blessed Mother, here we are." And She will say to us, to each and every one of us, "Yes, my son, my daughter, I am here, I am here for you." It’s the experience of Tabor that we can always experience anew in the Original Shrine: "It is good that we are here!" Here we are at home, and at the same for us, as Schoenstatters, it is the cornerstone of the world, the center of the world. We belong to this place, we belong to Mary, we belong to the Shrine, and Mary belongs to us, the Shrine belongs to us. Totus tuus – all yours – all ours. It is the secret of the Covenant of Love. "All my strength is in you." Psalm 87:7

A week ago the Annual Meeting of the Italian Schoenstatt Family took place on the occasion of the Third Anniversary of the blessing of the Shrine of Belmonte in Rome. There was a large fishing net hung on the exterior walls of the Shrine, where more than 400 participants placed cardboard hearts that read, "Mary, I give my heart to you, Mother and Queen of the Family." Mary is a net that "catches" us, She traps us, and She unites us as a large worldwide Schoenstatt Family.

In the Shrine, we are re-enkindled in the fire of the Covenant of Love, the same fire that Mary enkindled in the heart of our Founding Father, the one that burns and should burn in all of us. As a novice, the young Josef Kentenich presented a conference about Jesus’ words, "I have come to set the earth on fire." Lk. 12: 49 These were also the first words Father Kentenich spoke when he stepped on Latin American soil in Brazil for the first time.

It is the fire of enthusiasm. Many years ago there was a children’s song (in Germany) that said, "The Church of Jesus needs enthusiastic people." It is true the Church needs them. The world of today needs these enthusiastic ones. Schoenstatt also needs them. It needs enthusiastic people, who will not make the Good News of Jesus a grumbling litany in the face of the decadence of the time, nor will they be vague like a moral ballast of commandments and prohibitions, nor will they reduce it to a "lite" product or an inoffensive, rosy colored talk. No! We need enthusiastic people who are convinced, who are convincing, and who give testimony to the fact that to discover Christ is the most valuable thing, who decide for Him and who follow Him. He is life, our life in abundance. Our way, our truth, our life. He is our freedom and our love. He is our most profound happiness and joy. As the Holy Father always says, "…the beauty of being a Christian is the joy of sharing it."

And we owe this experience to Mary; through Her, we know this: She opened the way. She conquered our hearts. Just as in those days when She opened the hearts of the disciples wide open for the Holy Spirit in the Cenacle. Close to Her, their hearts became enthusiastic; they were trapped and profoundly moved by the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit opened their eyes, inflamed their hearts; the Spirit transformed each sadness into joy, and each fear into confidence. This was the spirit of the disciples and of the apostles, the spirit of the Cenacle, and of Pentecost, the spirit of our Father and Prophet. It is not a fleeting or superficial enthusiasm; it is the enthusiasm of the Holy Spirit that demands radicalism and the seriousness of a love that is proven. Love, in the Covenant of Love, is shown with deeds of love, in the seriousness of the commitment: this is our Capital of Grace.

Now as we go on pilgrimage to the Original Shrine to renew the Covenant of Love, let us implement this enthusiasm, being possessed by God for the mission of all the worldwide Schoenstatt Family, so that we can give testimony to the beauty of living the Covenant of Love and of sharing it before the Church and the world. May this profound joy in Schoenstatt be our strength and testimony.

Our Father called the eruption of life of grace in Schoenstatt an earthquake of graces. May we, all the Schoenstatt Family, experience a tsunami of life and grace when we celebrate the Centennial of the Shrine in 2014!

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA /amj


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