Foundation Document of the Virtual Shrine
5. August 2006
Dear Fellow Campaigners,
we have come together on a significant venture. We want to establish a Virtual Shrine for our Schoenstatt Mother of Grace. At this eventful hour, Father Kentenich - our Father and Founder - is the true initiator. He tells the Blessed Mother: “Come and take up your abode on the Internet! And therefore, give rise to a new place of grace. Draw the youthful hearts to you and allow them to find a home in your own heart. Give all who enter this space a burning apostolic fire.”
Thus Father Kentenich is the actual leader of this venture. But he does not do it without us. This always was the case in Schoenstatt history: without his followers, and without their following, he did not take any action – this continues even unto today. And we go with him.
The internet, unlike a library, is alive! A library, though good, is simply a collection of ‘canned information,’ unmoving, stagnant, even dead. Whereas the Internet is living, ever-changing, and growing! When do we speak of ‘life’ in general? We speak of life when three conditions are given: metabolism, change of shape, and irritability.
Ad 1) Metabolism: The living organism builds up, maintains, and breaks down material substance.
Ad 2) Change of Form: A living organism never remains in one form.
Ad 3) Irritability: A living organism can respond to changes in its environment.
Our capital of grace in Schoenstatt – the international community of people who are gathered around the shrines of our Mother Thrice Admirable – is very similar to the living environemnt of the Internet: Constantly new material is appearing, and some is eliminated.
Metabolism: Within the Internet this means: The material is constantly changing. New information and ideas suddenly appear, and some of the old fades away. Metabolism within the capital of grace in a Schoenstatt Shrine functions in a similar way: New users and supporters appear, while others are getting tired or going separate ways.
Change of Form: The Internet is changing its form. Constantly new forms of the existing life come into being. New ways to access this life spring up. Something similar happens with the capital of grace. Today it is carried by the youth, tomorrow by consecrated people. Today it is filled by diligent, noble characters, tomorrow by the weak and guilty who have nothing to offer but the suffering of their misery. A change in its form.
Irritability is the ability of a living organism to react to changes in its environment. It is a sign of a living organism. The Internet also reacts, or to be more precise, there is reaction on the Internet. There is not the awe-inspiring dignity of a monastery’s library filled with ancient manuscripts, but there is action, movement, anger, excitement, joy. There is living communication. Even the most senile owners of a web-page are aware that: If there is no change on the web-page for a week, then they will lose the users.
And now we offer ourselves to the Blessed Mother:
First our life. And we are aware: Love may hurt.
Then our faithfulness, which means we want to maintain our love.
Our freedom: We do not bow to the pressure of the masses, but fight for our disposal to ourselves and to be prepared to respond to the silent wishes of God.
We offer the Blessed Mother our work. We are creative in our work and strive to keep constantly growing the quality of our work.
We offer the Blessed Mother our prayers and in our prayers we live in unity with others. We look at our God and discover, that he affectionately turns to other humans who are connected to us here and now.
An now we also ask the Blessed Mother:
Come into our midst, come and build a Schoenstatt Shrine on the Internet! A place of grace and pilgrimage, where people can find you and the heavenly Father. A place where people experience healing, where people offer contributions to the capital of grace in a virtual jar for one another; a place of grace, where you educate people who want to dedicate their knowledge, skills, and love to empower the internet apostolate. May a new community arise: apostles of the internet who live and work in the virtual environment.
Grant us cheerfulness, joy, and a divine smile connected with a human cry. Grant us the grace to live up to the spirit of January 20, 1942 and the life offering of Joseph Engling. According to the will of the heavenly Father and through the radiation of divine love, grant us the strength to overcome the hatred of demonic power.
We say now together in unity with Father Kentenich:
Come into our midst, dear Blessed Mother and make your presence known as a new home in the virtual world. Through your effective presence we wish to establish the virtual shrine as a daughter shrine after the original shrine in Schoenstatt.
Mother of Grace of Schoenstatt.
We call upon the old Schoenstatt law of life “Nothing without you, nothing without us”, as real and true for your presence in the Virtual Shrine. As humans we are always in need of your mercy, through our diligent contributions that we bring humbly for your intercession Mother, stream forth from your virtual Capital of Grace so that we may ask you to guide and educate us.
Do as you will with us. Take care with kind and strong hands, and if necessary also with an iron fist, that the holy will of God is fulfilled and carried out upon us. Let us go towards the heavenly father, in and with Christ on Golgotha. Let us experience in Him and with Him, His glorious victory, joy and resurrection.
Mother of the Users, Queen of the Virtual Shrine, glorify yourself!