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Apostolic Movement

The Daily Life of a Consecrated Person – Between the Natural and the Supernatural

By: Harald M. Knes

The alarm clock goes off at 5:30 in the morning. I feel joyful when I manage to link my first thoughts with God right away. In doing so, I also create a connection that allows my concerns and the people I carry in my heart to be touched by God’s omnipotence.

Going to work

My current students are 8 or 9 years old. They have plans for the future, they have talents, they have frailties, they have needs.

We begin our school day in class with morning prayer. If I forget, my students remind me. At the moment, I am still the one who is mainly responsible for praying. My current class has very good singers. So, we often sing the morning prayer or I spontaneously do it hoping that my students, with whom I have been working for four months now, will soon have the courage to lead the morning prayer in front of the class.

The “harmony of nature and grace” lives through concrete experiences.

The path to a vocation for the consecrated life

My longing to consecrate myself completely to Our Lady and to God was naturally nourished by many “small springs”. But there were also two “Iguazu Falls”, which were, so to speak, intense bursts of grace, which I experienced firsthand. When I was 13 years old, I was very troubled by one thought. I did not doubt God’s existence, but rather his vitality. The beautiful experiences in the Bible were impressive, but why wasn’t God as tangible and real today?

However, that is exactly what He is, as He demonstrated to me in an impressive way: especially in my pilgrimages. For 7 years, I often went on pilgrimage alone, without money and without arranging accommodations beforehand, on numerous trips through Europe, the last one with the South American Boys’ Youth from Mendoza across the Andes to Santiago de Chile; all those pilgrimage trips combined covered about 3200 km. Cell phones did not exist then.

My experiences then are difficult to describe in words. They led me to the certainty that indeed, God can still be experienced today as vividly as in Israel’s Covenant history and in the biblical accounts. The tangible closeness to Him during the pilgrimages was so exhilarating that for me there was only one logical conclusion: my whole life was to become a pilgrimage, one of clearing the way for God.

Since I felt a strong vocation as an elementary school teacher and this professional activity was to be my pastoral work, in which I wanted to be there for others in order to bring God’s grace into contact with them, my path led me to the Institute of the Schoenstatt Brothers of Mary.

At the end of the day

I often don’t get out of school until six o’clock in the evening. Then I go straight to evening Mass and sometimes return home afterwards to shop for groceries. Cooking is usually based on what is easy and quick to make.

Elementary school children usually have their own vision of things. Sooner or later, my students ask me about the ring I’ve been wearing on my finger since my eternal consecration. Then I usually tell them that I am “married” to God. The students’ reactions vary greatly, but they are always spontaneously direct.

Our ideas about God always reach their limits. God is someone completely different who does not conform to our image of God. And, at the same time, he is the Father in heaven, who cares for me, his deeply beloved child, in a very touching way. These thoughts flow in my evening prayer, during which I often simply sit in front of my home Shrine, quietly reflect on the day and place my intentions and experiences in God’s merciful hands.


with your loved ones

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