December 7, 2017

What do a Heater and a Cyclamen Have in Common?

Sister M. Linda Wegerer, Germany

The postulants during their schooling days in the training center “Marienland”

What do a Heater and a Cyclamen Have in Common?

This question was answered by our five postulants, who came to the training center “Marienland” on Mount Schoenstatt for schooling days from November 13-15, 2017. These five young women from Germany, Hungary, Austria, and the Philippines began their postulancy in Schoenstatt in August 2017. The postulancy is a time in which they continue to strengthen their decision to become a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary and can get to know the community more closely.

Seeking God’s Traces in Everyday Life

“Both are a message from God,” is the postulants’ answer to the question posed above. A heater tells us something about the “warm love” of God. The plant tells us that God wants us to blossom and bear fruit.

Discovering God’s loving providence in one’s own life is an exciting affair! And it is so much in accord with the spirit of our founder, Father Kentenich. To follow in his footsteps means to discover God’s footsteps – not only in the overwhelming situations of life, but also in very normal everyday things. If our interior and exterior senses are sharpened for this, even objects can speak of God. So the postulants continually find new messages from God on their way through the training center.

Discovering God’s Providence in Your Own Life

“Wouldn’t it be nice to hear from each other how God’s providence led each of us to  the Schoenstatt Shrine?” This question meets with joyful agreement. After all, more exciting than anything are the life stories of human beings. So Hazel, Verena, Orsi, Maria, and Lea share about this with each other one evening in the cozy Black Forest Room.

For one of them, the first encounter with Schoenstatt’s place of grace was so impressive that she found her vocation to be a Sister of Mary there. Another one grew up with the shrine, so to speak. But all of them know that the home they have found in Schoenstatt is the soil in which their vocation grows. Trusting in the covenant of love with the Blessed Mother, they now want to keep going along their way into the community of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary.

Lived Apostolate

The fact that the Sisters of Mary are an apostolic community is experiential in Marienland. On this the postulants all agree. The training center is marked by the women’s branches that are at home here. So the postulants don’t have to learn the broad structure of Schoenstatt by heart – they can experience it.

Sister M. Margarete, who has worked as a secretary in the women’s and mothers’ branches of the Schoenstatt Movement for 32 years, is a good source of information for this. Her office is piled high with boxes because – as at this time every year – tens of thousands of items have to be sent out. But precisely that is the atmosphere in which Sister M. Margarete feels at home.

“Don’t think that I’m wasting away here. I love this work. It is my Schoenstatt apostolate!” as she tells the postulants. The postulants can also experience that she’s always thinking of the persons involved as she carries out this task. They leave her office enriched – also exteriorly.

These days of schooling on the fundamental messages of Schoenstatt go by quickly. What lies at the end is a newly strengthened gratitude for their own ability to believe and for God’s desire that we blossom.