They have condensed the various aspects of Schoenstatt spirituality into the guiding principle of the seven pillars. The concept comes from the Old Testament, from the book of Proverbs (Prov. 9:1): "Wisdom has built her house, she has set up her seven pillars".
22. January 2021 Claudia Brehm
The Austrian Schoenstatt Movement began in Vienna. On October 11, 1991, the first family meeting with Father Beller took place in the home of the Fellhofer family. Using a lemon seed as an example, he explained how important it is for a seed to sprout so that it can fulfill its purpose. Equally important was the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles at Pentecost. Through the action of the Holy Spirit, the apostles received the strength and courage to work in many countries. In the same way, it is very clear that this Holy Spirit is especially present in the Kahlenberg Schoenstatt Center in Vienna and in many families. The families want to build a holy city at home, in their parishes, businesses, in the Church, and in the world. Through their magazine FAB (Family as Vocation), they offer many families abundant help for marriage and family life through very practical examples from life in Austria and beyond.
They have condensed the various aspects of Schoenstatt spirituality into the guiding principle of the seven pillars. The concept comes from the Old Testament, from the book of Proverbs (Prov. 9:1): “Wisdom has built her house, she has set up her seven pillars”.
These pillars help the Movement to cope with difficulties in all life situations and to find its way again, especially now in the pandemic crisis. The text in italics contains impulses for the current pandemic situation
First pillar: Growing from within. This is about the development of one’s own personality and the greatest possible appreciation in the encounter with other people and their originality. Being patient in a crisis, not to be disturbed by difficulties and not to be infected by irritability.
Second pillar: Radiating joy, attracting hearts and giving guidance. The constant media coverage of the pandemic does not help. How do we spend our time meaningfully so that we can radiate hope to others?
Third pillar: Being creative, taking responsibility, helping build the Church and the world, connecting faith and life. Seeing the positive challenges of the crisis, getting out of our routines, looking for new ways, including for the work of the movement through digital opportunities.
Fourth pillar: Living heart to heart in connection with and among each other, experiencing that “we are a strong team”. Being cautious especially with at-risk groups, applying protective measures with calm and peace.
Fifty pillar: Finding home – giving home. Living in connection with the natural and supernatural world. Inviting others to help build the holy city – it is there for everyone. Making your home available to others. Reducing contacts to a minimum. But strengthening others through the telephone, letters, signs of solidarity, prayers.
Sixth pillar: Spirit of the founder. Taking part in the spirit of the father and founder, Father Kentenich. Doing this leads to firmness in a pluralistic society, respect for others, and courage to do new things. Creating something new together with others in the charism of Father Kentenich.
Seventh pillar: God in our midst. Deepening our daily life in faith through the home shrine and using it as a source of graces, offering suffering and wounds to God and the Virgin Mary, experiencing healing. Connecting to our source of graces and uniting our strengths. Offering the wounds and sufferings. Each contribution changes the world.
The first six pillars represent a path of development: from the first approach of self-education and original development under the motto of “growing from within” (new man), to the creative founding personality that creates a new Christian culture together with others (new community). These six pillars are linked to the source of graces of the shrine – “God in our midst” – and thus ensure a credible connection between faith and life (salvific mission of the West).
Just as St. Benedict created a profound renewal in Europe through his monasteries in times of collapse and migration, the Austrian Schoenstatt Movement wants to renew its country in a remarkable way through a network of homes from which a vital, Christian life emanates.
At the moment there are numerous interesting resources in the online format due to the pandemic. These show a lively and original movement that approaches the pulse of the times and the life situation of the individual, and with it, of families, and connects them to the God of life, as well as using challenges as opportunities to strengthen people, to build a holy city, to shape the world in a meaningful way.
Translation: Marisa Lencina