Pope to Schoenstatt Fathers: Intergenerational alliance can save humanity
By Francesca Merlo
Addressing Schoenstatt Fathers who are gathered in Rome for their General Chapter, Pope Francis spoke of the mystery of redemption, which Our Lord Jesus Christ "accomplished for the benefit of all humanity and the whole world." This mystery, the Pope said, "has the characteristic note of the Hebrew word for a covenant."
"The blood of Jesus poured out on the Cross and offered as a sacrifice of love for us all established an irrevocable relationship between God and mankind: a covenant of love, a covenant of salvation."
A service to Church and world
Pope Francis went on to note that the Schoenstatt religious men "perform a beautiful service to the Church and to the world".
They do so, especially, by accompanying families in the different events and difficulties of life, "proclaiming to all their members the beauty of the 'Covenant of Love' that the Lord has established with His people.
Moving with the times
It is true that the world increasingly demands that we give answers to the questions and anxieties of the men and women of our time, said the Pope, adding that "we often see that the nature of the family is attacked by various ideologies, which shake the foundations that support the personality of the human being and, in general, the whole of society."
Furthermore, the Pope noted that within families, on many occasions, we see a distance of understanding between the elderly and the young. He reiterated that "the alliance between the generations is what can save humanity", because in this way personal and family identity is preserved.
With that in mind, Pope Francis highlighted the model offered to us by the Holy Family, and especially the Virgin Mary, "who cares for all her sons and daughters with a tender and dedicated love, especially those who are poorest in body and spirit."
The Virgin Mary as example
The Blessed Virgin Mary, continued the Pope, who is venerated with great love by every member of the Schoenstatt community under the title "Mother Thrice Admirable", is a fundamental model for all.
Our Lady, he said, urges "us to build bridges based on fraternal charity and the communion of goods with those most in need, and at the same time giving us wisdom and courage to reach out to those who have drifted away from friendship with the Lord, to recover them with the witness of new life in Christ, characterised by mercy."
Bringing his discourse to a close, Pope Francis encouraged all those present to strive ahead in their apostolates, "always renewing yourselves with the grace of the Holy Spirit and showing courage to open up new paths in the service of families, to make the beauty of the Covenant established between God and man shine forth, with spirituality and the lived experience of Christian values."