Different Men and Women

We have to act in a different way in marriage, in family life, in business, in politics, in relationships with other men and women. In all of these areas we have to distinguish ourselves from the present society and its values.
by Father Nicolas Schwizer | Source: Schoenstatt Press

When looking at the world today, we should ask ourselves: Why have Christians changed the world so little in more than 2,000 years? Why has the spirit of conquest from the apostles and first Christians been lost? Could it be because Christianity has been lived in a selfish and individualistic way? Something similar also happens with some Christian Shrines: they become places of refuge where people revolve around their own problems…..where they hide from the demands of the world and life.

Our temples are not places of refuge but places from where God sends us forth. He sends us forth to renew our present culture and society…..to change the history of the Church and the world.

Now, how can we collaborate with this grace?
How can we contribute to the transformation of the world? I believe we have to begin by transforming our own small, personal world: our home, our family surroundings, the environment at work, neighbors, friends, groups, etc.

In general, it will not be about doing extraordinary things, but about fulfilling our daily duties well and with love. It will be about seeing these daily duties, no matter how monotonous and heavy they may be, in the light and service of the great mission because they are the contribution at that moment which God asks of us to build a new world.

We can also come out of our small world and help to change the large world which is our country: for example, politics, culture, means of communication, our communities. Many and great tasks await us.

To be apt collaborators of God and the Virgin in the transformation of our world we must:

1. Be childlike men and women. The child always says YES to the will of the Father. The child strives for a world worthy of the Father where brotherhood, justice, and peace reign. That openness and childlike availability before God is what allows new ways toward a new world to open because it is the attitude which leaves room for the paternal activity of God in history…..just as Christ did it.

Here it has to do with a mature childlikeness, not childish! We seek to be an adult child of the Father and corresponding to his work in the measurement of the graces he has given us. It is the person who faces history confident in the Father and is therefore daring and creative. Let us remember that the greatness or the misery of our life is not measured by our abilities nor our limitations, but by the magnitude of the work to which we consecrate ourselves: “A hero is one who consecrates his/her life to something great,” Father Kentenich, Founder of the Schoenstatt Movement, would often say to us.

2. Be different men and women. I think that we all become aware that this mission of transforming the world and creating a new world, converts us into different men and women who live in a different way from others. We have to act in a different way in marriage, in family life, in business, in politics, in relationships with other men and women. In all of these areas we have to distinguish ourselves from the present society and its values.

The first Christians also had the audacity to be different, and therefore, created a new world, a world impregnated with Christian values. To be different often means to appear crazy, just as the first Christians were thought to be.

It also means to struggle against sin in all its forms, beginning with oneself, but also to struggle against the many occasions of sin in the world that surrounds us. For that reason, the ancient Christians would say: “not without blood.” The Kingdom of God does not advance without blood, without sacrifice, without pain, without a struggle. The world is not transformed without blood, therefore, we have to dare to be different, to appear crazy, to strive against what is bad in ourselves – and thus live in advance the world of tomorrow. 

Questions for Reflection
1. Do I feel I have been sent to transform my environment?
2. As Christians, how are we different from others in our daily life?

Translation: Carlos Cantú Schoenstatt 

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