Day 1 ~ “CHILD, DO NOT FORGET YOUR MOTHER”
On this day we pray for the first pilgrimage grace from the Schoenstatt Shrine, the grace of being at home.
Words from Father Joseph Kentenich:
Child, do not forget your Mother!
It is probably this idea which in the course of the years has been most strongly imprinted upon our hearts, which we absorbed from our infancy, a deep, warm love for the Blessed Mother. It seems to me that this love grew deeper and became more vigorous; it seems to me that the Blessed Mother led us deeper and deeper, all of us as a group and each one individually, into the heart of the eternal Father God. We have been told so frequently that the normal route is: Per Mariam ad Jesum. Through the Blessed Mother to Christ. However, with us everything led a little higher and a little deeper. We must really say: Through Mary in Jesus to the Heavenly Father!
I feel, therefore, that I should repeat once again: “Child, remain faithful to your Mother.”
Here is a little story for illustration, which happened long ago. At the time when our ancestors – I am speaking here primarily to our Germans – when our ancestors had to emigrate to America because the need at home had become so unbearable, there was a young girl among those who, as she had to leave, prepared to receive the blessing of her parents. Since they were close to each other, the farewell was extremely difficult for both, the parents and the child. Finally the whistle sounded: the first signal, the second signal, the third signal! There was no end to their saying goodbye. Time ran out and finally they had to part. The last words which the mother called out to her child were: “Child, do not forget your mother.” She wanted to say: From now on I cannot protect you anymore as your mother; I cannot care for you anymore as your mother. Therefore, child, do not forget your mother. This should be imprinted upon our hearts, too.
Child, do not forget your Mother!
As you welcome the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt into your home, make room for the graces which she brings directly from the Schoenstatt Shrine. Those graces are a powerful stream of life and love flowing from this place of grace, as a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s working.
Do not forget that the Mother of God dwells in her Schoenstatt Shrines, guarding this powerful source of grace and strength for the modern people of today. All we need to do is to approach her in confidence either physically or spiritually, so that God can work his miracles in us.
The grace of being at home can also be understood in terms of a deeper growth in childlike love for God, that is, when we become aware of being children of God. For, it is impossible to feel at home where you do not feel taken in as a child, by a family atmosphere, as part of the family. In the Schoenstatt Shrine, Mary takes us into her heart and through her deep personal attachment to our Lord, she, so to say, makes us part of God’s family in a personal way, taken into her motherly heart through our childlike dedication to her. Looking at her, trusting in her, we come to her and tell her about all our wants and needs.
She, in turn, will see to it that our prayers are answered the way God has foreseen for us. She will see to it that we find the courage to handle all our difficulties with the faith and hope of a trusting child. She will help us meet the one requirement to enter the Kingdom of Heaven: to become like little children.
When she visits us in the image of the Pilgrim Mother, she brings with her this special grace of being at home. When we visit her in her shrine, physically or spiritually, she pulls this grace directly from the merciful heart of our Lord and makes it available to us. Therefore,
Do not forget that Mary dwells in the Schoenstatt Shrine as Mother of Mercy. If you are burdened with cares, concerns, problems and anxieties, fears and doubts, come to Mary in her Schoenstatt Shrine, her mantle of love and grace will protect your soul and the souls of those you pray for.
Do not forget that Mary dwells in the Schoenstatt Shrine as Queen of Mercy. She has the power to intercede for you special graces to live up to your call to holiness as a Christian in these modern times. If you feel the sting of persecution, ill-treatment or rejection because of your principles and moral standards, come to Mary in her Schoenstatt Shrine, her penetrating glance will comfort you in your loneliness.
Do not forget that, in her Schoenstatt Shrine, Mary shows to us the merciful countenance of God through her victorious action. If you have gone astray, have failed and given in to temptations, but have found the gentle hands of Mary pulling you out of darkness into light, come to Mary in her Schoenstatt Shrine, her love and mercy will surround you and help you overcome the gloom of the sinfulness you bring.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, my hope and my home are found in you and in your Son. God the Father has turned his glance toward me through your loving eyes. In the shrine, let me look at your loving glance, O Mother. God the Son has poured his mercy into my heart, through your motherly heart. In the shrine, let me rest in your presence. God the Consoler has protected us from evil through your powerful intercession. In the shrine let me find you, Refuge of Sinners, Mother Thrice Admirable.
My Queen, my Mother,
I give myself entirely to you,
And to show my devotion to you,
I consecrate to you this day,
My eyes, my ears, my mouth,
my heart, my entire self without reserve,
As I am your own, my good Mother,
guard me and defend me,
As your property and possession. Amen.