by Fr. Andrew Pastore on 22/11/2011 -
I am not always sure that people understand this when they come to the Shrine. God really wants us to help in his work of salvation. Just like he chose Mary to bring his Son into the world, he has chosen each one of us to carry the Lord to all the places he wants to be today. In our homes, churches, schools, hospitals, factories, etc… Be warned – once he gets a hold… anything can happen
Fr. AndrewAlready in the talk he gave on 18 October 1914 our Founder urgently appealed to the Sodalists to strive for holiness, because it was this that would prevail upon the Blessed Mother to set up her throne of grace in the shrine. According our Founder’s thinking from the beginning, the condition for the transformation of the Chapel of St Michael into a place of pilgrimage was the Sodalists’ contribution of striving for holiness. In a similar way to the origin of the place of pilgrimage at the Valley of Pompeii, the human initiative from below was connected with the petition to the Blessed Mother for her initiative from above. The transformation of the chapel into a place of grace was founded on both together. This was expressed in the words: “Nothing Without You – Nothing Without Us”, which can often be seen on an altar frontal in the shrine. Against the background of the teaching on the Church’s treasure of grace, and in the context of Grignion de Montfort’s spirituality, the Sodalists soon began to talk about making “contributions to the capital of grace”. Whatever we Christians can do in union with Christ in the spirit of “making a good intention”, can become a contribution towards the effectiveness of the shrine. Our Founder gave expression to this in the Morning Prayer in “Heavenwards”, which is prayed all over the world each day. During the blessing of the shrine at Maria Rast at Euskirchen, Germany, our Founder described these correlated thoughts as typical to each Schoenstatt Shrine.
Nothing Without Us
What is the price that has to be paid if the Blessed Mother is to descend here? I need only repeat well-known expressions. You have just read out, you have spoken and sung those thoughts into the soul: Contributions to the capital of grace! We have personally to become living stones! That is the big difference between Schoenstatt and other places of grace.
In this context, if I recall what happens at Santa Maria in Brazil, it is taken for granted that no one visits the shrine without at the same time giving themselves to the Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt in the covenant of love. Each month on 18th great crowds gather there not only with open hands, but also with filled hands. Month after month a motto is given out for their self-education, and for the next thirty days the crowds then try to offer up the sacrifices connected with training and forming themselves under the protection of the Blessed Mother. They bring these sacrifices to her on 18th. In this way education by others is always connected with self-education.
The Blessed Mother, as the great educator of the people, also wants to initiate our self-education. As we know, Schoenstatt originated as a result of our serious co-operation and self-education. Wherever Schoenstatt develops, it always has to do so according to the same laws. Hence the old saying: Nothing without you, but also nothing without us! The extent to which we offer ourselves to the Blessed Mother through our self-education, depends on God giving us the inner inspiration of grace. That is our work. If also our people expect the Blessed Mother’s blessing here, nothing else remains than that those who come here not only want to receive, but also the bring something. What matters is not their wealth and possessions. They have to offer themselves to the Blessed Mother, they have to consecrate themselves to her, they have to allow themselves to be formed into Christ, so that they are increasingly enabled to oppose the spirit of the devil. It is the Blessed Mother who in fact wants to walk through the world. She wants to give birth to our Lord once again. That is the deep meaning of the simple celebration we are conducting together here today.
The sun is and remains the same, and yet its effect varies. There are certain places where it is particularly effective. So we also have to admit that God and the Blessed Mother are at work everywhere. However, this does not prevent us from upholding and believing that there are certain places where they want to be uniquely at work. We believe that this tiny spot on earth where we are gathered, that this little daughter shrine, is one of these places.
May the Triune God bless us all! May he bless this place, may he bless the crowds we envisage coming here on pilgrimage year after year, above all may he bless the people who want to allow themselves to be educated here, in order to guide a movement of religious and moral renewal into the world.
From: Address at the Laying of the Foundation Stone for the First Daughter Shrine in Europe at Maria Rast, Germany, 25 March 1950
Trackback Permanent Link