850 youth from six schools recently sealed their Covenant of Love at the Schoenstatt Shrine in Guayaquil, Ecuador. A group from the Family Branch of the Schoenstatt Movement has taken on the apostolate of providing spiritual formation to young adolescents from six schools. Each of these schools has a Schoenstatt couple in charge of the formation of these teens. The students in these schools are usually from low-income backgrounds, and are therefore exposed to greater difficulties, drugs being one of them. The spiritual guidance that the adolescents receive is geared towards inner freedom and organic growth of the dignity of each individual.

This is the profound manifestation of the Covenant of Love with Mary in the Schoenstatt Shrine: We give her our heart and our life, and the Blessed Mother commits herself to give us hers, and to help us to form our personality by bringing us closer to Jesus.

Normally there are 600 young people from these six schools who seal their Covenant of Love with Mary in the Schoenstatt Shrine in Guayaquil every year. This November there were 850, since some 250 were added who could not make it on time due to the pandemic. Many of them had, in addition to the formation during the year in the schools, two additional days of formation in the Shrine, as a way of deepening the preparation for the Covenant.

We share here the words that Joaquin Martinez Amador, a member of the Schoenstatt Movement, director of the Holy Spirit School, who dedicated his life to the education of adolescents, addressed to these students:

Living for eternal life

Today you, boys and girls from schools in Guayaquil, have had a moment to think about your lives.
Something you did not do before.
I would like to reflect on this.

I am old now, but I remember well when I was your age.
I remember the dreams and the fears, the uncertainties, and the hopes.
How will I end up doing in school?
What career will I choose? The adults around me insist on this one or the other, but I’m not sure.
Will I stay with my high school boyfriend or girlfriend, or should I think about a future relationship?
Will I get a job?
Will my idea of starting a small business work out?
Will I get married, and have children?
Will I stay in this country, with my family, or will I emigrate?
Will I live financially comfortable or on a tight budget, healthy or sick?
How will I do?
For me to do well, how should I live in this life ahead of me?

When one is young and observes the old, life seems long, but it is not.
It goes by as a lightning bolt.
And suddenly, everything that seemed important to us before is no longer important.
We realize that these are things that will stay here after I’m gone.
I will face the reality of real life.
Eternal life.
Because life on Earth is only a brief step toward eternity.
Doesn’t it make more sense to work for that eternity than for the few years I will spend on Earth?
I must live on Earth for eternity.

When I stand before God, at the final judgment, how will I answer the question: did you work for me or for yourself?
Were you a neighbor to those around you, or did you only care about yourself, about fulfilling your goals, about satisfying your ambitions and whims, without thinking about the rest?
What will I answer?

Today, as we ask Our Lady to support us on the path of life, you have to start asking yourself, what am I here for?
Jesus makes it clear in the Gospel.
Do I heed his teachings, or do I only care about impressing others?
Do I live a Christian life thinking that, sooner than I think, I will be in front of Him?
Or do I remain in the idle chatter, in the tasteless jokes, in the banter, in the fashion trends, in the comfort, in looking good in front of others and not in front of the Almighty and eternal God?

Let us ask Our Lady what is really important, that she may enlighten our way to eternal life.