April 21, 2020

Open Hearts and a Big Jar

from Sr. Antje-Maria Wunderwald

Easter time 2020

Imagination, projects with heart, impulses that reach many, short videos on the Internet that find a great response … It is impressive what is happening around the Corona crisis. We are proud of our Sisters and Schoenstatters throughout the world who are working in an original way.

Who is my neighbor?

And who are we? What can we Sisters of the Motherhouse on Mount Schoenstatt do concretely? This question is asked again and again in our filiation community. After all, here we have mainly internal tasks, through which we extend our arms to the whole world in many ways, but only some of us work outside the house.

Who is my neighbor waiting for my help or support? We too can ask ourselves this question from the Gospel. When we have open hearts, the dear God shows us – for example through the circumstances:

Home for the whole world

Still in March, sisters from almost all continents came to our Motherhouse for an internal community congress. Even before it was over, it became clear: Because of the Corona Crisis, some sisters will not be able to fly back as planned – or they will have to go into quarantine in their home country. It took a lot of unseen service, a lot of detailed work and an unsuccessful airport trip until all possibilities were clarified and weighed up. Some of the sisters were able to return home just before closing time, so to speak. But for seven sisters all attempts were unsuccessful. We are happy to accommodate them until the doors open for their journey home – and we are rewarded by their originality!

Love is inventive

But our “neighbors” are also relatives and acquaintances whom we can reach through traditional and new means of communication. Again and again our table talks revolve around this topic and we give each other suggestions.

Almost all of us have single relatives or acquaintances who feel particularly lonely or suffer from boredom. Sister M. Dominika Hügel is certain: “When I send my niece a real letter by mail, she leaps for joy!” – She also encourages me to write a letter to a relative whom I usually only contact at Christmas. And many of us ask ourselves the question: Who can I help now, give them joy by calling and simply listening? Listening is especially important now, we all agree on that!

The jug is filled

One of the painful limitations for many is that they have not been able to attend church services for weeks. Therefore it is very important to us that we include many people from all over the world in our prayers right now. When Sister Birgit-Maria Haennel suggested that this should also be made visible, this immediately met with great approval. We brought a large jar into our house chapel and fill it with slips of paper on which the names of the people for whom we pray especially during this Easter time are written.

Little Easter joys

We experience a pleasant contrast to the seriousness of the Corona crisis through nature in its spring dress, the abundance of flowers, the sunshine. Many a walker, alone or in pairs, enjoys the peace and nature of Mount Schoenstatt and visits to our Adoration Church. Certainly many of them miss the services and therefore come to the church for silent prayer.

All the Sisters in Schoenstatt are very concerned about giving them little pleasures – and there is no lack of ideas: whether it is a bouquet of palms, Easter candles, or Easter cards with our prayer promise for the visitors – everything is very popular and is gladly taken along!