First of all, the Schoenstatt covenant of love aims at bringing us into fervent union with the Blessed Mother. She is in the foreground. The members belong completely to her, they are at home in her and she educates them. “The new person” should be formed in and through the covenant of love.
However, this fervent union is not an end in itself. It also serves a task and mission for others, for Schoenstatt, the Church and world. The disciples have to become apostles. So the spirituality and message of the covenant of love naturally gives rise to the message of faith in our mission. This, in its turn, serves instrumentality.
It was not by chance that these categories of our spirituality – faith in our mission and the spirituality of an instrument – developed in the period of conflict with National Socialism and the growth of the members into the Second Milestone of 20 January 1942.
The Second Founding Document appeared on the threshold of this period of development towards the Second Milestone. The text that follows on the subject of faith in our mission is taken from this document.
It was published as “Words Befitting the Hour” (Second Founding Document, 18 October 1939) in: The Founding Documents. The numbering of the paragraphs follows that publication.
Take great care to cultivate the awareness that we have a divine mission and are God’s instruments!
All who are better informed about the order of redemption and the circumstances of our times will know how important it is to stress the awareness that we have been given a supernatural mission and are God’s instruments.
All along it has been a law that we have taken for granted that only those people and communities may exercise a profounder influence in God’s kingdom who have been given a distinctive calling and mission. This is proven not only by the priests and prophets of the Old Testament, but also by our Lord, the apostles, the understanding of the Church, and the feeling of Catholic people.
Our Lord withdrew in order to pray, and then sent out those he wanted. So he found it important to impress upon his followers: “You did not choose me, I chose you!” (223) And in his prayer as High Priest he tells the heavenly Father that he had kept his followers, whom the Father had given him, safe from the world. (224)
The apostles, chief among them the Apostle to the Gentiles, insisted that they were the ambassadors of God and Christ.
In theory and practice the Church upholds the law that no one can be chosen and commissioned who has not been called as Aaron was.
The feeling of Catholic people has reserved the expression mission and vocation for those people and communities that have a distinctive, divine mission.
The circumstances of our times remind us of the law Donoso Cortez (225) deduced from the history of the world and Church. According to it there are epochs in which the Church is pushed back in every way. Despite straining all its forces, it does not manage to lift itself out of the catacombs. Only when it has recognized deeply, and acknowledged vitally, that the human element is limited, does Almighty God again appear on the pinnacle of the temple of time, blow the trumpet, and the walls of Jericho collapse. Whoever is not equipped at such times with the rocklike conviction that they have been given a special mission by God, and hence bear divine forces within themselves, will be condemned from the first to unfruitfulness, to listlessness, inactivity and collapse. Only those who are endowed with unshakable trust in God’s powers and mission will be able to dare to launch out onto the towering, storm-whipped ocean of life.
Today we are surprised that our young Founder Generation was borne by such a profound awareness of its mission and instrumentality 25 years ago. We are justified in asking for the reasons that induced it to do so. We know them. Many of us would hardly have managed with them at the time. In 1919, at the end of the World War and after five years of existence and fruitfulness, we were better able to understand the argument that confirmed this divine mission. We have heard it and repeated it on countless occasions. It revolves around the well-known statement: the insignificance of the instrument, the magnitude of the difficulties and the magnitude of the success. What we have battled through and achieved since 1919 confirms this argument in a very profound way, and hence also our faith in our mission and awareness that we are instruments. So we have every reason to thank most sincerely all those whom Divine Providence has used to create difficulties for us. Without them we would not stand so steadfastly today in our joyful and victorious faith, hope and love, when so much is collapsing, and the paralysis of discouragement is so widespread.
It is now up to us to deepen this faith in our mission through prayer and studying the history of our Family and our times.
The more, and the more effectively, we do this, the greater and richer will be the fruits we will harvest. Our awareness of our inner dependence on the living God will grow. Our mistrust of our own strength and purely human means will increase. Our sense of being sheltered and at home, our calm and security in God, will consolidate us and give us sureness of touch. Our trust in the victory of divine forces in the Family and through the Family will become invincible, so that in the end we will be able to say with utter conviction: If God is with us, who can be against us? (226) I can do all things in him who strengthens me. (227) We will experience the truth of St Augustine’s words: Whoever loves the face of the Almighty, will never fear the face of the mighty ones of this world. Even if God should demand our lives and the temporary dissolution of the Family, we will see this as the most perfect opportunity to prove our faith in the divine in our Family. We will become like our Lord, who through word and example set up the great structural principle of God’s kingdom: When I am lifted up on the Cross, I will draw everything to myself. (228) The seed must first be planted into the earth and die, then it will bring forth much fruit. (229)
All who are deeply filled and gripped by the Blank Cheque they have given, will live with all their soul from this faith that they have been given a divine mission, and the awareness of their instrumentality. It would be absurd to invest all the abilities of body and soul, all our intellectual and material goods, indeed our entire lives, in a work that promises absolutely no earthly benefits, unless this faith existed as a major power in the background. In order to intensify it, let us examine the life of our Josef Engling in detail and open ourselves to its influence. Without this divine element his life and work would simply be incomprehensible and inconceivable.
(223) Jn 15,16.
(224) Cf. Jn 17,12.
(225) Donoso Cortez (1809-1853), Marquess of Valdegama, author and diplomat. His most notable work is an exposition of the impotence of all human systems of philosophy to solve the problem of human destiny, and of the absolute dependence of humanity upon the Church for its social and political salvation.
(226) Ro 8,31.
(227) Phil 4,13.
(228) Cf. Jn 12,32.
(229) Cf. Jn 12,24.