The three graces ....
We need and want to experience God’s love and the love of our fellow human beings. Who-ever comes to the shrine receives a deep experience of belonging and protection. This is not a momentary or superficial feeling. It is a very special grace! Mary wants to heal the deep wounds of modern human beings, namely, the lack of deep bonds, homelessness in the natural and supernatural sense and, hence, confusion and a sad lack of identity.
For this reason, Mary offers us a home. In her Shrine, she gives us the experience of being welcomed, dignified, accepted as we are with our light and shadow-sides, our successes and failures, with all that is good and less-good in us. In her presence, we feel sheltered and accepted. In her heart we can take root and recognise our dignity as children of God who are especially loved by Him. At the time of Schoenstatt’s foundation, Father Kentenich told the young boys:
"All who come here to pray shall experience the glory of Mary and confess: It is good for us to be here. Here we want to build our tents. This shall be our favourite place!" (10/18/1914).
“Mary is the great missionary, she will work miracles!” (Vincent Pallotti)
We all long to be great, to be better than what we are. We wish to change ourselves, our situations and surroundings. Our longing is to be the person God wants us to be. In the Shrine, the Mother and Queen of Schoenstatt offers us particular graces which gradually transform our hearts, minds and lives, helping us to become renewed people.
How can we explain the transforming power of the shrine? This power gradually effects a change in us as a result of the sheltering grace we experience. Nothing changes us as much as the power of love. Indeed, knowing that we are loved and sheltered by God and Mary in the Shrine gives us such inner joy and vitality, that it awakens and develops the creative power of love in our own life. We leave the Shine renewed, strengthened and with courage to face our daily trials.
The grace of an apostolic mission
The grace of apostolic zeal that Mary gives us in the shrine is the third grace which builds on the other two. Indeed, the grace of a home and inner transformation are not only gifts of God to us personally, but through us they are a gift to the Church and world.
During his life on earth, Christ entrusted a great mission to his apostles; to baptize, to proclaim the Good News, to expand the kingdom of God and to unite all into one fold under one true shepherd, Christ. Every baptized person is called to share in this mission in a unique way. In the Shrine, Mary reveals to us how we are to bring Christ to others, how we are to love! Not only does she reveal our apostolic task, but she strengthens us to fulfil it.