Easter 2016

Dear Schoenstatt Young Women,

Heartfelt greetings from our Shrine, in the spirit of our year’s motto: Be Love. Live Truth. Reveal Mercy.

The light of Christ’s Resurrection has been lit at the end of a week that began with another blood-shed. The events we commemorated during the Holy Week and this recent event remind us that suffering and persecution are part of a Christian’s life. And, as we have reflected during these past days of retreat, we are convinced that Christ’s mercy is to be revealed in this barbarous world through us. But, we can only reveal Christ’s mercy in our lives, in our countenance, as long as we hold on to that face we have encountered, his goodness and nobility – the kind we have experienced, most of all, through the Covenant of Love with our Mother and Queen in her Shrine.

Mary, too, had to suffer with our Lord, and she too, triumphed over sorrow and violence through her complete trust in God’s goodness, “whose mercy is from age to age” (Lk 1; 50). Both, Jesus and Mary, show the power of life, of love and, of trust. Both show to us the power of God’s mercy. We only need to open our hearts to forgiveness, to nobility, and to the simple recognition of the everyone’s limitations. We only need to open wide the doors of our hearts to our Lord and let him come to life in us.

In our Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother, we actually take a very conscious step toward bringing Christ to life in our hearts and in our souls, toward letting his light shine through us. We only need to live out of it, trust in Mary, and like her remain very close to our Lord. In the words of Father Kentenich, the founder of Schoenstatt:

…if the consecration [to Mary] is looked upon in this expanse and depth, its meaning for individual and community, for peoples and nations is not just a far-reaching, well-deliberated, and conscious decision to strive for the highest of Christian perfection; it is also, because of its Marian character, a proven, a classical way of securing this striving and our salvation, and of bringing about a deep reform of individual and community, of nation and society. (…)

Our efforts in striving to be a little bit like Mary in our daily lives are indeed a very small contribution to such a greatly hostile world. And yet, should we not take the following prompting from Father Kentenich very much to heart during this season of Easter? A woman recalled a number of years after World War II:

Right after the war I traveled for the first time with acquaintances to Schoenstatt. There I got to know Schoenstatt in an introductory course. Father had just returned from Dachau.

One day I was waiting in the hallway of the Retreat House for one of my friends. Fr. Kentenich camp up to me and greeted me cordially. He asked me if I was in Schoenstatt for the first time, where I was from, and a few things about my parish. He said good-bye with the words, “And now… let there be Mary!” I was so impressed. No one had ever spoken to me that way. His words were an incentive for me to strive in my daily life for the high goal to “let there be Mary!”

Should we not also take this tip sincerely into our lives, into our hearts and daily living, so that we can reveal Christ’s mercy, so that we can reflect something of Mary’s love and goodness? Should we not make of our way of being our simplest apostolate? It can become our greatest, and at the same time our smallest, contribution to the salvation of our violent and yet God-needing world: to just simply “let there be Mary” in us, in a world that confines women to rules and prerogatives of a materialistic view, leaving very little room for spiritual growth.

In a few months we will have a great opportunity to discuss in greater depth in our BLOOM2016 conference, in Waukesha. We will start on Friday, June 24 and end on Sunday, June 26. If you have not registered, please make sure you do by using this link: http://sgyusa.com/register-for-bloom2016/

If you have any question, you can always contact Elizabeth Felsheim: elizabeth.felsheim@gmail.com

May this time of Easter be a time of deep renewal of your Covenant of Love! May it be a time to repeat the ‘yes’ you have said to representing Mary for others. In our Covenant of Love we have already heard those words from Father Kentenich. In our Covenant of Love with the MTA we have already set out to bring Christ’s light and life to our world. Let us just simply give way to Mary in our lives, and reveal Christ’s mercy!

May you have a blessed Easter!

Sr. M. Isabel