“I am the Immaculate Conception”

Anthropological Implications for a Pedagogy of Holiness in the Teaching of John Paul II and Father Joseph Kentenich 

 

Danielle M. Peters

This paper was presented during the Twenty-second International Marian and Mariological Congress in Lourdes from September 4-8, 2008. The topic of the congress was: The apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in history, faith and theology.

 

 

Here in Lourdes, Our Lady identified herself as the Immaculate Conception. This self-revelation belongs to the core of her message to Bernadette and is unique compared to other apparitions.[1] As the Immaculate Conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary resembles and proclaims the immaculate concept of the human person as image and likeness of God. To say it differently: in Mary’s person radiates forth the ideal blueprint that God designed of the human person. She is the personification of the re-created order in Christ who challenges us to perseveringly live up to our human and religious identity. She is our eminent and transcendent model of what it means to attain the fullness of life in God and to be completely committed to the vocation received. Thus, the immaculate concept is our model of holiness, and through her being she also presents us with a pedagogy of holiness.

 

The quest for a pedagogy of holiness was voiced by John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (NMI) of January 6, 2001 at the close of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. In this letter the late pope insisted that also in the third millennium “all pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness.”[2] He asked for a concrete pedagogy of holiness, which above all must include a “spiritual path” without which “external structures … will serve very little purpose.”[3]  Elsewhere the Polish pontiff suggested that we should attend “the school of Mary”[4] where saints are educated.[5]  During his first visit to Poland, he enumerated four aspects which characterize Our Lady in her apparitions: 1. Sorrowful Mother; 2. Educator of faith and holiness; 3. Messenger and 4. Evangelizer.[6]  With the following I wish to highlight Our Lady’s role, as the immaculate concept of the human person, in a pedagogy of holiness as depicted in the teachings of John Paul II and by Father Joseph Kentenich (1885-1968), founder of the international Schoenstatt Movement.[7] 

 

 

 

1.            John Paul II: In the School of the Immaculate

Mary’s special predilection as Immaculata points to the sublime degree of her holiness. Her spiritual wealth constitutes that dimension of her being which is veiled to the outside and transcends time and matter. In its depth it is fully known only to God. John Paul II emphasized that on one hand Mary’s earthly pilgrimage can be compared to that of all human persons bound to “the concrete circumstances of history.”[8] At the same time however, the privilege of the extraordinary gift of her Immaculate Conception highlights that “Mary is wholly exceptional and unique” which refers above all to “the singularity and uniqueness of her place in the mystery of Christ.”[9] Long before Mary had reached the state of consciousness, the interior disposition of her personhood had already been determined. In the words of John Paul II:

 

The title “full of grace” shows the deepest dimension of the young woman of Nazareth’s personality: fashioned by grace and the object of divine favor to the point that she can be defined by this special predilection.[10]

 

From a theological point of view John Paul II argued that grace builds on nature leading it to fulfillment.[11] Thus, the fullness of grace that Mary had received does not eliminate her freedom.[12] On the contrary, having been pre-redeemed, and fully redeemed Mary is supremely receptive for God’s gift. The interpersonal dialogue between the Immaculata and the Angel illuminates the effect of grace in her life and action. The pope observed that “grace never casts nature aside or cancels it out but rather perfects it and ennobles it.”[13] This perfection consists in generating a profound harmony between body and spirit, while the primacy of the latter is safeguarded. For that reason Mary’s fiat is an expression of the integration of her person in action leading her to self-fulfillment.[14] Hence, John Paul II considered the fiat of our immaculate Teacher to be the God-willed paradigm for human cooperation with the will of God: she was instrumental for the Word of God to become flesh and by her presence on Golgotha she “made her own the attitude of Christ.”[15]

 

The fact that Mary’s earthly journey was marked by darkness and anguish shows that in spite of her unique election as Immaculata she still had to tread the same valley of tears that all human persons have to endure. Experiences of grief and distress disclose her attitude of actively seeking communion with and thereby participation in her Son’s suffering and cross.[16] Above all, Mary’s attitude in her sorrow is archetypal for all humanity. It is in this context of assimilation and appropriation with Christ’s redemptive act that her strong union with Christ matures and is perfected in her own kenosis.[17]  John Paul II marveled at the unsurpassable degree of submission achieved by the Mother of God at that moment of utter darkness on Golgotha (cf. Jn 19:25).

 

How completely she "abandons herself to God" without reserve," offering the full assent of the intellect and the will"to him whose "ways are inscrutable" (cf. Rom 11:33)! And how powerful, too, is the action of grace in her soul, how all-pervading is the influence of the Holy Spirit and of his light and power![18]

 

At this climax of her earthly pilgrimage we see that Mary’s communion with Christ has reached the point when amidst her immense pain “there radiates and spreads out the prospect of that blessing of faith.”[19] Etymologically, blessing and bliss are related. In his philosophical study on The Acting Person, Wojtyła writes that bliss is obtained through self-fulfillment in action.[20]  Through her assent at the Annunciation as well as on Golgotha, our immaculate Lady performed the most perfect act of faith expressed in the abandonment or kenosis of faith. Consequently, in the thinking of our author she should also have had the experience of the highest expression of bliss in her “eschatological fulfillment,”[21] the visio beata

In virtue of her Immaculate Conception, Mary is the first to share in the “new self-giving of God.”[22] Her extraordinary privileges enable her to cooperate in the salvation of the human race like no other human person.[23] For that reason John Paul II advocated her as the teacher par excellence who as “the chosen model of holiness … guides the steps of believers on their journey to heaven.”[24] Being enrolled in Mary’s “School of Holiness”[25] exposes the student to a “school of life”[26] in which apostles of the past and the present are formed.[27] John Paul II observed that Our Lady’s school of life imprints a “Marian dimension on the life of a disciple of Christ”[28] which “has its beginning in Christ but can also be said to be definitively directed towards him.”[29] The late pope enumerated the various lessons men and women are to learn in Mary’s school of life. Above all, she teaches us to gaze at Christ “with adoration and wonder” for He is truly our God and Savior.[30] As teacher Our Lady embodies in herself the lesson she passes on since “in a unique way the face of the Son belongs to Mary.”[31] Hence, it follows that the school of Mary offers a unique lesson on how to “contemplate the face of Christ.”[32]

 

Contemplation of the face of Christ with and as Mary implies “a remembering” of all events and thereby “making present … the works brought about by God in the history of salvation.”[33] In reliving and meditating on the various mysteries of her Son’s life, Mary “relates her personal account of the Gospel”[34] and teaches us to discern our own.  Moreover, by contemplating the face of Christ in the school of our immaculate Teacher, we learn “through … the heart of his Mother” to grow “in living communion with Jesus,” a relationship which ideally seen “marks the rhythm of human life.”[35] The pope acknowledged that like Mary our pilgrimage of faith will at times have us contemplate Christ with “a questioning look, a penetrating gaze, a look of sorrow, a gaze radiant with the joy and a gaze afire.[36] The instruction then consists in assimilating the meaning of God’s intervention in our life so that it “shapes our existence.”[37]

 

John Paul II was convinced that above all Our Lady desires to have influence on our hearts in order to make them more appreciative and enthusiastic for the vocation and mission we have received.[38]  In her school we are to grow in the conviction that “God has called each [one] … by name to live his own communion of love and holiness and to be one in the great family of God's children.”[39]

 

There are two aspects of Mary’s school to which John Paul II referred particularly in his two pastoral initiatives in response to Novo Millennio Ineunte. They are Mary’s School of Prayer[40] and the School of the Woman of the Eucharist.[41] Among the prayers taught in Mary’s school John Paul II highlighted the rosary which equips us with a “profound and inward knowledge of Christ.”[42] In this context the pope stressed the “anthropological significance of the Rosary, which is far deeper than may appear at first sight.”[43] According to him it is during the prayerful recitation of the rosary that Christ is more fully revealed whereby we also perceive “the truth about man.”[44] Contemplating the mysteries in the life of Christ and Mary should help the believer to incorporate his own rhythm of life into “the ‘rhythm’ of God's own life, in the joyful communion of the Holy Trinity, our life's destiny and deepest longing.”[45] 

 

Moreover, John Paul II notes that repeating the Hail Mary constitutes “the psychological dynamic proper to love.”[46] He observed that “although the repeated Hail Mary is addressed directly to Mary, it is to Jesus that the act of love is ultimately directed, with her and through her. The repetition is nourished by the desire to be conformed ever more completely to Christ, the true program of the Christian life.”[47] Thus praying “the Rosary helps us to be conformed ever more closely to Christ until we attain true holiness”[48] after the example of the Immaculata. Another important aspect of the rosary is its method. John Paul II explained that the prayer respects “our human nature and its vital rhythms … [by] engaging the whole person in all his complex psychological, physical and relational reality.”[49] Seen from this point of view the rosary in John Paul II’s thought would truly make a contribution to a holistic act of prayer.

 

In the school of the Woman of the Eucharist[50] we learn to assimilate the Eucharistic faith of our immaculate Educator. She who “was a witness to the historical unfolding of the saving events is [also] the supreme model of participation in the divine mysteries. … Thus, in daily life as in the Eucharistic celebration, the ‘Virgin presenting offerings,’ encourages Christians to ‘offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ’ (1 Pt 2:5).”[51] In this vein John Paul II was convinced that receiving Jesus Christ in the Eucharist

 

also means continually receiving this gift [of Mary]. It means accepting - like John - the one who is given to us anew as our Mother. It also means taking on a commitment to be conformed to Christ, putting ourselves at the school of his Mother and allowing her to accompany us. Mary is present, with the Church and as the Mother of the Church, at each of our celebrations of the Eucharist. If the Church and the Eucharist are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist.[52]

 

In sum, as the immaculate concept of the human person, the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our training for holiness is to teach us the integration and maturity we are to obtain in order to accept God’s design of our vocation and mission. The education of our immaculate Mother “mirrors the loftiest sentiments of which the human heart is capable: the self-offering totality of love, the strength that is capable of bearing the greatest sorrows, limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to work, the ability to combine penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement.”[53]

 

2.      Father Joseph Kentenich: the Immaculata - Visual Instruction of the Human Person

 

As the Immaculate Conception, Mary “is willingness personified to receive divine grace. This she is for herself; as representative on our behalf for all of creation; for our benefit and as example for our imitation.”[54]  Hence, the Blessed Virgin Mary is simultaneously the human person par excellence and our Model and Educator towards holiness. Father Kentenich emphasizes that the Immaculate Conception draws attention to the dignity and value of the human person. Thanks to her preservation from original sin and her intimate union with Christ, Mary possesses the fullness of natural and supernatural life.[55] The fullness of divine life abiding in Mary and her cooperation with grace effected the integration of her nature. Father Kentenich observed that, thanks to her gift of integrity, donum integritatis, “there is at least one human being who walked upon this earth completely pure and untouched.”[56] He based his conviction on the twofold inner harmony of body and spirit and of spirit with God which Mary enjoyed due to her preservation from original sin and its consequences.  In 1941 he said:

 

The twofold harmony between flesh and spirit and between spirit and God, which we have lost, was certainly not destroyed in Our Lady. However, she also had the task to perfect the harmony between spirit and God at all times. She still was exposed to exterior struggles. Her merits consist in the fact that she has preserved her intactness and that she continuously strove to grow increasingly deeper into God. Think of the daunting sacrifices she had to make in her faith and love throughout life! Above all, from the point of view of humility and obedience. The education she received in the school of her Divine Son exposed her to difficult tests of faith and humility. She too had to be redeemed and increasingly more so.[57]

 

At another occasion he emphasized:

 

The desire for openness, for greatness, for depth, the longing for the complete attachment of all our drives to the Divine, for the perfect harmony between our animal nature and our spiritual nature, and between our spiritual nature and our supernatural nature, is like the eagle's cry of the soul for its home, for the Immaculata ideal.[58]

 

Our Lady’s “endowment with sanctifying grace, with the theological virtues, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and cardinal virtues”[59] was tested severely.[60]  Indeed, Father Kentenich insisted that Mary had to struggle much more than any other human person.[61]  Her life’s battle consisted in gradually increasing and perfecting the harmony between her spirit and God.  Consequently, her merits are reaped in continuous efforts to increase the degree of her communion with Him. “She has gone the way before us which each of us must trod without exception.”[62] Father Kentenich asserted that through these difficult experiences Mary matured in her Son’s school of education and was thus well equipped for the event at Golgotha where she united the pure sacrifice of her own love with that of her Son’s as an oblation to the Father.

 

Father Kentenich liked to employ the trilogy: Credo, Confiteor and Magnificat[63] in order to highlight the aspects of Our Lady’s pedagogical task as Model of holiness.

 

Credo

Full acceptance of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception meant for Schoenstatt’s founder a personal conviction, I believe - credo in the human person as image and likeness of God, in the existence of the supernatural order of grace but also in the existence of original sin and redemption. Just as Mary was uniquely graced through the privilege of her Immaculate Conception, so each human person, no matter his status in life, is elevated to the supernatural order and loved by God through the gift of redemptive grace. Moreover, our credo should confirm the truth that man and woman are created by God as equal in their dignity but complementary in their manner of being human.[64] This means above all that both, woman and man, are called to perfection and holiness. The difference between man and woman surpasses the mere biological sphere.[65] It refers to the existing polarity experienced in the relationship between woman and man, a tension which is meant to contribute to the maturity and perfection of both and not to a “gender hodgepodge.”[66]

 

Father Kentenich was adamant that in Mary, the ideal model of “feminine dignity and beauty,”[67] all confusion regarding authentic womanhood is dispelled.[68] It follows that women share in a special manner in Mary’s mission.[69] In a 1932 pedagogical conference Schoenstatt’s founder addressed this topic which is still relevant for today’s pastoral ministry.[70]

 

 SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Do you sense how and under what viewpoint the Blessed Mother will “save” the concept … of woman’s nature, of womanhood? …Through her being and that to an extraordinary degree.

Do you realize then what should be emphasized especially in Mariology in the future, in conferences about Mary; namely not only Mary in heaven, not only the graced Birth-Giver of God, but also what is authentically feminine, including what is authentically, originally natural in her being. I am sure, you won’t misunderstand this. … She is the most natural woman in heaven and on earth because she is the most supernatural woman. Of course, we have to keep this harmony between nature and grace in mind. We cannot perceive of the Blessed Mother in her original naturalness unless we see her immersed in the ocean, in the world of grace, in the world of supernature. That’s why she is the most supernatural, the most natural-supernatural woman. But we need to emphasize again and again this perfect naturalness, this authentic humanity, this authentic womanliness. … Huge segments of the population lack basic clarity about the significance and the essence of the human person, of woman.[71]

 

The Immaculata also proposes a mission for each man. By looking at Our Lady, Father Kentenich advised, men should correct their image of woman and grow in appreciation of her.  Moreover, in virtue of an effective love for Our Lady, man is led to discover the feminine aspect within him. With the feminine aspect he associated childlikeness before God, spontaneity, surrender and openness to the divine, which are qualities of Mary’s fiat attitude. Father Kentenich observed that man in his relationship to God tends to exhibit an exaggerated volo demeanor which impedes his redemption.[72]

 

For both, men and women, it is vital to learn from Our Lady’s attitude of serving as expressed in her fiat. Father Kentenich stressed that “she did not say: ‘Ecce ancilla viri,’ but: ‘Ecce ancilla Domini!’”[73] This means that Christian service is ultimately rendered to God and in dependence on Him to others. Therefore serving, including in marriage, should not be confused with waiting on others.[74]

             

Confiteor

 

Mirroring ourselves in the Immaculata, the paradigm of the human person implies recognition and acknowledgment of one’s personal guilt and weakness and should lead to a genuine confiteor. From this “feeling of guilt” arises the sincere admission of the “need for redemption.”[75] Moreover, the mea culpa[76] should also include the admission of having freely deviated from the order of grace.[77] To the degree that this process initiates a personal commitment to a new beginning with the help of grace, Father Kentenich stressed that even guilt and sin can pave the way to holiness. Making the words of St. Paul his own, Father Kentenich explained the meaning of a fruitful confiteor: “I rejoice in my smallness so that God’s greatness can radiate forth in me (cf. 2 Cor 12:9).”[78] Just as the awareness of God’s nearness effected joy, peace of heart and bliss in Mary’s life, it should bring about the same in us.

 

In a world where the sense of sin, guilt and shame has weakened, the Immaculata as visual instruction of the God-willed human person is crucial.  Father Kentenich was convinced that the pedagogical and psychological significance of the Purissima is often gravely underestimated. In the image of the sinless one, awareness of guilt and the need for redemption is awakened and gives direction and answer to the deepest longing of the human person.

 

Finally, the confiteor entails a truthful statement concerning human contingency as creature. Taking our bearing from the ancilla Domini who accepted her limitations corresponds to the attitude of creature to creator.  Father Kentenich observed:

 

“Ecce ancilla Domini!” These … are words … above all of heroic smallness, of an abysmal humility. … She who did not experience the consequences of original sin ... her basic attitude was to be the handmaid of the Lord. Lowliness and exaltation are two contrasting states which paradoxically belong together.[79]

 

As our educator, Our Lady as the immaculate concept of the human person would like to transmit to us the paradoxical awareness of being great exactly because and despite of being utterly small. In his retreat course on the Marian Priest Father Kentenich elaborated on this aspect as follows:

 

The awareness of my baseness, my smallness is … awakened in me. ...  If I look at her [Mary] I recognize the existence of the order of grace from which human society has derailed. … But even original sin can turn into glory if I utilize this condition by acknowledging my smallness so that God’s greatness can shine through me. [80]

 

Authentic acknowledgement of the true state of one’s being requires humility. With the help of this virtue and in imitation of the Blessed Virgin, we are led to the self-recognition and self-evaluation as nihilum et peccatum. At the same time humility causes us to acknowledge God as fons vitae et vita vitae, by whom we are known and distinguished as eleemosyna and pupilla Dei. The latter should inspire us to burst forth like and with Mary in a song magnifying God’s love and mercy.[81]

 

Magnificat

 

   In reciting the Magnificat, Mary expresses optimistic realism in God’s power, mercy and faithfulness. With her song Our Lady teaches us an eloquent lesson of a harmonious human-divine relationship. Father Kentenich observed that with the exception of one fragment in which Our Lady speaks of herself (cf. Lk 1:48b), “all other parts of the Magnificat … circle around the eternal God, around His way of government.”[82] What are the implications concerning a healthy human-divine relationship accentuated in and through Our Lady’s Song?

 

Schoenstatt’s founder pointed to today’s danger of anthromorphism. By that he referred to a person’s lack of esteem and appreciation of God’s greatness and power.[83] Mary answers to this danger by acknowledging her smallness before Almighty God. The opposite approach to God is typical for our age as well. When God is acknowledged as the totally Other and Transcendental, we fail to see the divine-human analogies.[84]

 

Finally, Father Kentenich observed a certain tendency of depersonalizing God.[85] This occurs when the biblical-personal God becomes an abstract idea and when love for God is replaced by merely following rules; in other words, when love for the lawgiver is replaced by love for the law.

 

Mary’s Magnificat highlights her personal relationship to God who is mighty, holy, merciful and capable of performing great deeds.  Looking at the Immaculata, we have a presentiment of God’s holiness. Love for Him has made her the sacred space where God abides. By approaching her we find God whose name is unending, overflowing love, mercy and goodness.[86]

 

As object lesson, Our Lady can be likened to a book which leads heavenwards. Father Kentenich encouraged his spiritual family to frequently page in this book in order to gaze at our model whose reflection we may and should become.  With her and like her our entire life should become an unending sursum corda.

 

Conclusion:

 

The human person who most closely resembles Christ’s holiness is the Immaculata. For John Paul II Mary’s total self-giving to Jesus Christ signals her as the most sublime of all saints; Father Kentenich praised Mary as the prototype of the fully redeemed person, i.e. the Christ-formed person. Both stress that due to the privilege of her Immaculate Conception, Our Lady enjoyed this union from the first instant of her life.

 

John Paul II observed that Our Lady was well prepared for her educational task in the Church because of the lessons her Son taught her as she raised Him and followed Him all the way to Golgotha. Father Kentenich likewise drew attention to the fact that Our Lady applies the very lessons which she learned in the Savior’s school of love when forming us. Thus we can conclude that in her self-revelation to Bernadette - I am the Immaculate Conception - the Blessed Virgin implicitly points to herself as a visual instruction of what it means to be an image and likeness of God. At the same time she invites us to faithfully and perseveringly attend her school of holiness.


 

[1] Cf. Hennaux, Jean Marie. "La formule de Lourdes: «Je suis l’Immaculée Conception»." In: Nouvelle Revue Théologique, Jan - Mar 2008, 65-78. Here: 65. 

[2] NMI 30.

[3] NMI 43.

[4] This term is used among others in John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (RV) of October 16, 2002, 1, 3, 14, 43 and in his last encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia (EE) of April 17, 2003, 7, 53, 58.

[5] Cf. EE 62.

[6] John Paul II. Presence of the Mother of God in Life of Church and Country. Homily at Jasna Gora, June  4, 1979. English translation in: OR(E) June 11, 1979, 10f.  

[7] In NMI 46 John Paul II launched a challenge to Ecclesial Movements to enrich the faithful with their particular charism and share their particular pedagogy of holiness with the Church. 

[8] John Paul II. Redemptoris Mater (RM). Encyclical Letter on the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Pilgrim Church. March 25, 1987, 8.

[9] RM 9.

[10] John Paul II. Theotókos: Woman, Mother, Disciple. A Catechesis on Mary, Mother of God. Boston 2000, 90. Henceforth cited: Theotókos.

[11] See: John Paul II. Fides et Ratio (FR). Encyclical Letter on the Relationship between Faith and Reason. September 14, 1998, 42; 108. John Paul II. Veritatis Splendor (VS). Encyclical Letter on the Splendor of Truth. August 6, 1993, 120.

[12] Cf. FR 75.2.   

[13] John Paul II. Mulieris Dignitatem (MD). Apostolic Letter on the Dignity and Vocation of Women. Written on the occasion of the Marian Year. August 15, 1988, 5. Also see: John Paul II. The Theology of the Body - Human Love in the Divine Plan. Boston 1997, 241.

[14] Cf. Wojtyła, Karol. The Acting Person. Translated and revised from the 1969 Polish edition, Osoba i czyn by Andrzej Potocki Dordrecht, Boston 1979, 189 - 258. Henceforth cited: AP.

[15] Theotókos 135. Cf. John Paul II. The Spirit, Giver of Life and Love. A Catechesis on the Creed. Boston 1996, 204f.

[16] Cf. RM 21. 

[17] Cf. RM 18. Cf. LG 58.

[18] RM 18.

[19] RM 19.

[20] See AP 174.

[21] Twice referred to in RM 6.

[22] RM 36.

[23] Cf. Theotókos 60.

[24] Theotókos, 55.

[25] EE 62.

[26] Cf. Theotókos 27.

[27] John Paul II. Pilgrims of the Third Millennium commend yourselves to Mary. Angelus Address in Zadar, Croatia on June 9, 2003. In: OR(E) June 11, 2003, 8.

[28] RM 45. For a discussion on the Marian dimension see: The Pontifical International Marian Academy. The Mother of the Lord: Memory, Presence, Hope. Translated by Thomas A. Thompson. Staten Island NY 2007, 70f. Cf. Scheffczyk, Leo. Die „Marienweihe“ in Leben und Lehre Johannes Pauls II unter systematischem Aspekt. In: Ziegenaus, Anton Hg. Totus Tuus. Maria in Leben und Lehre Johannes Pauls II. Mariologische Studien XVII. Regensburg 2004, 109-124. Here 123f. The author relates that in the thought of John Paul II each Christian life is equipped with a Marian dimension which signals the deepest meaning of the reason for our dedication to Mary. In distinction to our consecration to Christ at baptism, our consecration to her is a freely chosen expression of a special spirituality which is indispensable for the church.

[29] RM 46.

[30] RV 13.

[31] RV 10.

[32] RV 3, 43. EE 6.

[33] RV 13. Italics in text.

[34] RV 10.

[35] RV 2.

[36] Cf. RV 10.

[37] RV 13.

[38] Cf. John Paul II. Christifideles Laici (CL). Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World. December 30, 1988, 64.

[39] CL 64.

[40] RV 5.

[41] EE 53.

[42] RV 24.

[43] RV 25.

[44] RV 25.

[45] RV 25.

[46] RV 26.

[47] RV 26.

[48] RV 26.

[49] RV 27.

[50] EE 53-58.

[51] Theotókos 231f.

[52] EE 57.

[53] RM 46.

[54] Kentenich, Joseph. Maria, Mutter und Erzieherin. Eine angewandte Mariologie. Predigtskizzen aus dem Jahr 1954. Schönstatt 1973, 362. Henceforth cited: MME.

[55] Kentenich, Joseph. Dankeswoche. 15. - 21. Oktober 1945, 219. Henceforth cited: DW.

[56] Kentenich, Joseph. Jewel of Purity. Aphorisms. Waukesha WI 1968, 1973, 1993, 44-48. Henceforth cited: JP.

[57] Kentenich, Joseph. Der Marianische Priester. Priesterexerzitien 1941. Not edited, 100. Henceforth cited: MP.

[58] JP 46.

[59] PT 264.

[60] Cf. Kentenich, Joseph. Mary, Our Mother and Educator. An applied Mariology. Lenten Sermons 1954. Waukesha WI 1987, fourth sermon. Henceforth cited:  MME (E).

[61] MME (E), 114ff. Kentenich, Joseph. With Mary into the New Millennium. Selected texts about the Mission of the Blessed Mother. Waukesha WI. Nd, 52-54. Henceforth cited: WMNM 2001.

[62] MME (E) 114.

[63] Cf. JP 20ff. In a talk given on December 8, 1929 he replaced Magnificat with a “jubilant Easter Alleluia.”

[64] Cf. Kentenich, Joseph. Marian Instrument Piety. Composed in Dachau 1944. Abridged translation. Waukesha WI 1992. German original: Marianische Werkzeugsfrömmigkeit. Schönstatt 1974, 110, 193. Henceforth cited: MIP.

[65] Cf. MP 47f.

[66] Kentenich, Joseph. Marianische Erziehung. Pädagogische Tagung vom 22.-26. Mai 1934. Schönstatt 1971, 199. Henceforth cited: ME. Cf. Kentenich, Joseph. Childlikeness before God - Reflections on Spiritual Childhood. Waukesha WI 2001. German original: Kindsein vor Gott. Exerzitien über die Gotteskindschaft für Patres im Kloster Bethlehem, Schweiz. 29. August - 4. September 1937. Vallendar-Schönstatt 1979, 47f.  Henceforth cited: CbG. Kentenich, Joseph. What Is My Philosophy of Education? Composed in 1959. Schoenstatt Publications South Africa 1990, 15-22.   

[67] ME 220. 228. MIP 137f.

[68] Cf. WMNM 118f: “If we want to enter into detail, then Christian, Catholic philosophers will tell us that the metaphysics of womanhood has been developed most classically in Catholic Mariology. If we were to make a serious effort to trace all the features and qualities attributed to Mary back to first principles, then Mary would appear before us in the splendor of the Virgo, Sponsa, Mater. That’s the essence of woman - Virgo, Sponsa, Mater (virgin, spouse, mother).”

[69] Cf. ME 210-217.

[70] Cf. ME 193. Also see in this context: Twentieth Anniversary of Mulieris Dignitatem: A Gender Revolution is under way. Rome, Zenit News, February 12, 2008.

[71] wmnm  98f.

[72] In this context Father Kentenich usually cited St. Bernard. Homiliae II super Missus est. In: PL 183, c 62c: vir non erigitur nisi per feminam. Cf. MP 47. MIP 46, 137f. Father Kentenich insisted that developing the fiat attitude is especially necessary for single men, including priests! Cf. MIP 70f. MP 52.

[73] Kentenich, Joseph. Allgemeine Prinzipienlehre der Apostolischen Bewegung von Schönstatt. Veröffentlicht als Ethos und Ideal in der Erziehung. Wege zur Persönlichkeitsbildung. Schönstatt Verlag 1972, 143. Henceforth cited: APL.

[74] Cf. APL 143.

[75] Unedited talk from December 8, 1929, 20. Cf. JP 71. “The feeling of guilt can be awakened through sins or imperfections. In the former case, we speak of a moral-theological feeling of guilt, in the latter case, of an ascetical one. If there is no feeling of guilt, there is no awareness of sin. If there is no awareness of sin, there is no desire for redemption. If there is no desire for redemption, there is no desire for the Redeemer.”

[76] At times Father Kentenich uses this expression as synonym for the confiteor.

[77] For Father Kentenich this means in view of today’s pastoral ministry that we not only teach theoretically about grace but try to profoundly implement it in our personal lives and of those we minister to. Cf. ME 149. MP 91.

[78] MP 99.

[79] MP 35.

[80] MP 98f.

[81] Cf. ME 148f. JP 1968, 20. 

[82] Kentenich, Joseph. Aus dem Glauben leben. Sermons at St. Michael’s Parish, Milwaukee WI between 1962 - 65. Eighteen volumes. Vallendar- Schönstatt 1969-2005, XIII, 171. Henceforth cited: AGL.

[83] Cf. MP 67ff. MIP 121f.

[84] Cf. MP 90ff. MIP 121ff. 

[85] Cf. CbG 29ff, 70f. MIP 121.

[86] Cf. MP 97.