Schoenstatt Fathers Nigeria

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There is something about divine initiatives. Every divine initiative, as exemplified in the Incarnation, is God’s choiced medium for ‘being-with’ his chosen people. This is why every divine initiative always involves the divine coming down to communicate himself with humanity and touching the very depths of our individual lives and beings. In so doing, every divine initiative always has a personal and transforming effect on the personal life of every person.

The above was the case about the remarkable event of October 18, 1914. When our father and founder, Fr. Joseph Kentenich, on October 25, 1912, was appointed spiritual director of the Pallotine minor seminary in Ehrenbreitstein, Schoenstatt, the situation of stringent rules and maltreatment which in turn engendered a kind of enslavement and incited the young boys to revolt, as well as the sudden onset of the first world war which would now see to the recruitment of the young students as soldiers inspired Fr. Kentenich to lead the boys to a novel form of self-education, novel because this particular type of self-education would involve a consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Blessed Mother would chair this herculean project of their self-education. On that solemn day of October 18, 1914, Fr. Kentenich and some young sodalists at that time, in that little chapel of St. Michael which has now been replicated in many parts of world and has become known as Schoenstatt shrines, implored the Blessed Mother to look lovingly on their little efforts and strivings for sanctity, come down and graciously erect her throne in that little chapel and from there work miracles of grace, education and inner transformation. She erected her throne as Mother, Queen and Educator. The later fruits of this day convinced Fr. Kentenich, the young boys, and indeed all who have been inserted into this covenant history that the Blessed Mother really took the plea of these first schoenstatters seriously. She really has erected her throne in our midst and is really working miracles of grace and education. But this truth is not just one of those arrays of truths that are affirmed intangibly, I have come to really believe and make bold to say that this fact is true.

I have been into this covenant of love with the Blessed Virgin Mary for six (6) years now. As a person, the covenant of love with the Blessed Virgin Mary has been a real and personal experience of love. First, just like covenants in human and salvation history, there are always demands and promises on the parts of each covenant partner. When the covenant is between either equals or unequals, not fulfilling one’s part could either be an invitation to war or a submission to the greater. But in the case of God, the Blessed Mother has made me understand that She, and her Son, is more interested in my growth and salvation than I even am. She is more the one who seals the covenant of love with me and desires it earnestly far more than I can dare to undertake. The covenant was first her initiative, and its sustenance is dominated by her. There are times when I am unable to fulfill what is expected of me (often times knowingly and sometimes unknowingly) and fall deeply in my weakness. But she doesn’t abandon me. She doesn’t deny me the food of her love because I do not merit it. She continues to mediate graces for me and provides me with so many opportunities for growth and change. When I may sometimes fall, I feel and hear her saying to me in my heart, “Stand up my baby boy”, “I still love you and I will still remain your mother”, “You can do better”, “Come! My Son is waiting to receive you”, “You will be fine”, “It is not over.”

Second, the covenant of love has given me sure reasons to know that the Blessed Mother is mother of both our spiritual and physical lives. While, in Schoenstatt, we want her to work more miracles of grace and education, I have also recognized, just like Fr. Kentenich did in 1942, that the Blessed Virgin Mary’s motherhood cannot be limited. In dire times of physical needs, in very tough times as a young-growing student and in the difficulties of my friends and families, the Blessed Mother has had my back. She has provided for me in situations when I couldn’t have imagined the emergence of any possible solution. I simply go to her, tell her my needs and say these words at the beginning and at the end of my prayer to her, “Dear Mummy, you know I am your precious son, you know you love me. Please intercede for me to your Son that I overcome this or that problem. Do not forget that your son cries at your feet for this need. I know you love me, I love you too Mummy.”

Dear friends, these have been my experience of the covenant of love with the Blessed Mother these six (6) years. I strongly invite anyone who reads this to dare to enter into this loving covenant with Mary in Schoenstatt. For those who have already sealed this covenant, please strengthen and renew it daily. The Blessed Virgin Mary is a mother, a model and a friend. She has taught me that her love (and God’s love for me) for me is not based on my merits but on her deep desire to make me better and make me live as God’s precious child; she has taught me that her motherhood is real and vivid even in the tiniest details of my life and daily needs; she has taught me that my growth is of utmost importance to her and her Son. She will teach you more, She has a place for you in her heart. TRY HER OUT MY DEAR FRIENDS.