April 28, 2020

The Corona Crisis and My Vocation

from Sr. M. Anika Lämmle, Liebfrauenhöhe

My vocation dates back a good 40 years. If I do not see vocation – and I add: my vocation – as an event to be fixed in time, but as a process or a path, I certainly experience a connection to the Corona crisis.

In the past 40 years I have experienced my vocation as something dynamic. There were and are the high altitude paths with summit experiences; the valley bottoms and desert paths with dry periods. And in between there are the everyday paths.

I am extremely grateful for all the impulses and organizational opportunities in our community to live out one’s own vocation, to “renew first love”, to return to the beginning of my path and to come into contact with what filled me “back then”. In May 2019, I personally felt very much what Sister M. Aleja Slaughter, our Superior General, recommended to us during an intensive time within the community: We should consciously cultivate the joy and gratitude for our vocation, which will set free forces for trials of all kinds. And this is exactly what I am experiencing at the moment.

Two aspects: being “for” and “important and needed”

For me, two aspects have been crucial in my vocational history: the “for” and the experience of being “important and needed”. “There is me for something great!” This is how I could summarize my insight and motivation at that time. This great thing was simply Schoenstatt and Schoenstatt for the Church. To dedicate myself completely to Schoenstatt, to the Church, was only conceivable for me as a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary. Because we were founded as a community for Schoenstatt.

To become Mary for today

With the growing into the community and into the spirituality of Schoenstatt, the “great” has received a profile, a name: To become Mary for today. That means to become a woman – like Mary: completely given to God and completely turned to the people.

It is precisely here that the limitations of the Corona Crisis offer opportunities: to develop and implement ideas, both personally and as a community, how we can now accompany people, strengthen their faith and support them in prayer. It fulfils and motivates me to participate in this.

In preparation for the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, we prayed the novena “Whatever is: With Mary” and the rosary and invited people to pray with us through the Liebfrauenhöhe website.

Before Holy Week we launched the initiative “Full Church”: that we celebrate our daily Holy Mass on behalf of the many on whom renunciation is imposed. To this day, people still come forward to participate in this initiative. We place their names, petitions or photos in a box of hearts that is placed on the altar during Holy Mass and in the chapel with the Blessed Mother during the day. It means a lot to me that I can carry this box of hearts daily from the church to the Shrine and back again in the evening.

At Easter we sang and played Easter songs over our outside sound system so that many could hear them. And we took inspiration from the project “Silent Easter Flashmob” and wrote the Easter message with street chalk on the popular bicycle path below our compound.

I have become grateful anew to be a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary, in and with my community, to use the present challenges as an opportunity to live what we have been asked to do in a new, different way and to again live this way consciously in our daily lives.