Plötzlich erfuhr ich
wie eine Gegenwart.
Im Herzen dieser Stille
Venite adoremus – Come, let us pray!
Blessed by diocese bishop Wilhelm Schraml on Sept. 8th –
The celebration of Mary’s birth
Open daily from 8.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m., Wednesday until 8.00 p.m.
Every first Thursday of a month: night prayer from 8.00 p.m. - 08.00 a.m.
For a long time now, Bishop Wilhelm Schraml has desired that the prayer in front of the Holy of Holies receives a central and special place. The new prayer chapel was built right on the chapel square. Just in time for the visit of the Holy Father, the sacred room is now finished. On Friday, September 8th, the day of Mary’s birth, Bishop Schraml will celebrate the Eucharist at 11.00 a.m., and then bless the new chapel, which then will become a sacred room.
The Holy of Holies is displayed for worship in the monstrance on an original stone of the St. Mary’s column in Munich, with a new silver capital, decorated with agate and lapis lazuli stones. The St. Mary’s column was erected on Mary’s square in Munich in 1637 by elector Maximilian I. after a vow for the maintenance of the cities Munich and Landshut in the thirty-year war. The base carried the inscription „Patrona Boiariae“. The stones of Adnet marble were replaced in the years 1967 to 1970. A part of them were stored at the Munich artist and academic sculptor Max Faller. This closes a circle, in a way: In the heart of Bavaria, as Altötting is called, the original monument of the „Patrona Bavariae“, the Mother of God, Mary as protector of Bavaria, is erected in parts. The celebration traditionally takes place on May 1st, so say on the first day of the pilgrimage year. The heart of elector Maximilian is buried in the Chapel of Grace, just like the hearts of nine other Bavarian governing rulers. St. Mary’s column carries the monstrance and points directly to the centre of faith in Christ with the Holy of Holies. Pope Benedict XVI. was Archbishop of Munich-Freising and has a deep personal connection to the St Mary’s pilgrimage in Altötting since his childhood.
Righteous silence is the vibrant counterpart to righteous speech.
It belongs with it, like breathing in does to breathing out.
Romano Guardini, + 1968
Pope Benedict XVI. about worship and the newly constructed worship chapel at his visit to the place of pilgrimage Altötting on September 11th, 2006
Greeting by Bishop Schraml at the beginning of the Eucharistic mass at the chapel square:
The chapel of mercy in Altötting, the new room for the eucharistic department and the grave of the holy gatekeeper are meant to be reliable places of intercession and warm and loyal solidarity with you, the followers of Peter. Every person is looking for this and is thankful to have someone that thinks about him, takes care of him and means well. When you come to Altötting you will find it with the Mother of God. Everybody is welcome to come with their joy and worries and sufferings, and may experience the comfort and grace of the Mother of God. If you go to Mary, she will take you by the hand and lead you to Christ, saviour of humans. Heaven, that is our true home, opens its gates here.
At the end of his sermon Pope Benedict XVI talked about worship:
And let the receiving not be limited to the moment of communion. He stays there in the holy host and keeps waiting for us, always. Worshiping our Lord in the Eucharist found a new place in Altötting in the old treasury chamber. Mary and Jesus belong together. With her, we want to stay in dialogue with the Lord and learn to receive him better.
In the sermon at the vesper (Basilica St. Anna) on September 11th, 2006 Pope Benedict talked about the community with the Lord Jesus Christ.
He talked in front of seminarians, nuns and men of the order.
His words about the calling and following of Christ have meaning for every Christian. Here in excerpts.
To be with him, how does that work?
An essential way of being with the Lord is eucharistic worship. Thanks to Bishop Schraml, Altötting has a new treasure chamber. Where once treasures of the past, precious objects of history and piety were kept is the place for the true treasure of the church today: the constant presence of the Lord in his sacrament. The Lord tells us about the treasure buried in the field in one of his parables; he who finds it sells everything to be able to purchase the field because the hidden treasure exceeds all other values. The hidden treasure, the most valuable goods, is the Kingdom of God – is he himself, the kingdom in person. The true treasure is there in the holy host, always available to us. By worshiping in this presence we truly learn to receive him; we learn to communicate, we learn the Eucharist celebration from the inside.
I may quote Edith Stein, the holy co-patron of Europe, who wrote in a letter:
„The Lord is present with deity and mankind in the tabernacle.
He is there, not because of him, but because of us:
Because it is his joy to be with people. And because he knows that we, as we are, need his personal presence. The consequence, of course, for every naturally thinking and feeling person, is that he feels drawn to that and is there, as often and as long as he may“, said Edith Stein (Gesammelte Werke VII, 136f).
We love to be with the Lord. We can tell him everything there.
We can talk about our questions, our worries, our fears. Our joys, our thankfulness, our disappointments, our requests and hopes.
We can also tell him again and again:
Lord, send workers to your harvest.
Help me to be a good harvester in your vineyard.
Here in this Basilica we think of Mary, who lived with Jesus in her life and was therefore there for the people and still is until today: The votive tablets show this to us clearly. And we think of the holy mother Anna.
Thus, we also think of the significance of the mothers and fathers, the grandmothers and grandfathers, of the significance of the family as a space of life and prayer, where prayer is learned and callings can mature.
Here in Altötting we also think of brother Konrad. He denied a large inheritance because he wanted to follow Jesus Christ completely, wanted to be fully with him. He truly put himself last, as humble gatekeeper, as the Lord recommends us in his parable. In his gatekeepers room he realized exactly what Mark says about the apostles: To be with him and sent to the people.
He was always able to look to the tabernacle from his cell, always be with him. From this view he learned the non-destructible grace with which he faced people that rang the bell at his gate nearly without interruption – sometimes also rather maliciously to compromise him; sometimes also impatient and loud: he sent all of you a message without great words with his grace and humanity that was worth more than just words.
Let us ask the holy brother Konrad that he may help us to keep our eyes on the Lord and that he may help us bring God’s love to the people. Amen.
You look at me and know everything.
How I become what I am:
You see it all.
What I ignore and do not want to accept, it is all visible in front of you.
What I hide from other people in fear:
You see it.
You know the image that I make of myself.
The things I have not yet come to terms with, the unhealed:
You see it.
My weakness, my secrets are not hidden from you;
You know where I need change.
Lord, it is so good that I am not alone with myself.
How good it is be be fully known and entirely accepted.
Prayer of St. Francis in the hour of conversion in front of the cross in San Damiano
Most highest, glorious God,
light up the darkness of my heart and give me righteous faith, firm hope and true love.
Lord, give me, the right feeling and insight so I may fulfil your holy and truthful mission. Amen.