THE NAME OF THE HOME SHRINE
MY HOME, A SHRINE (pages 61-77)
Each home shrine is unique because each family has its very own originality, its own aspirations and traditions. Consequently, the activity of the Blessed Mother will also be unique, adapted to the needs and expectations of each family. This uniqueness of Mary’s activity in our home shrine can be captured and expressed in a specific formulation: the name of our shrine.
It is not absolutely necessary that our home shrine have a name, but it can be a great asset. It makes the activity of the Blessed Mother in our home a more tangible reality in our daily life; as a result, our own cooperation with her grace becomes more concrete and definite. In the light of the home shrine name, each person may find direction in the discovery of his own personal ideal, his own original mission in life.
The Search for the name
How do we find the right name for our home shrine? We must seriously search for it, pray about it and be open for special inspirations that may come to us, even when we least expect it.
The search for the name of our home shrine can become a valuable spiritual experience. It can lead us to a deeper knowledge of self and a greater understanding of the purpose and goal of our personal life and that of our family.
A few thoughts and questions can guide us in our search:
The home shrine name can be derived from our most urgent needs concerning our spiritual well-being. We can ask ourselves:
- In these times of unrest, what do we need most in our spiritual life as an individual, as a family, as a spouse/spouses?
- Which spiritual benefits do we want for our children?
- What comes spontaneously to my mind when I am distressed or worried, when I just can’t go on anymore?
- Which immediate, most urgent petitions do I want the Blessed Mother to answer for me?
- When did I call upon the Blessed Mother in the past? What did she give me in those times of need?
The home shrine name can express a particular virtue or title of the Blessed Mother. It can also be the name of a Biblical place where an important event in salvation history occurred.
- Which of Mary’s virtues, qualities or features am I most attracted to?
- Which mystery of the Rosary do I like best?
- Which title of the Blessed Mother inspires me most?
- Which event in the Bible attracts me most? Could such an event – in an applied way – also occur in my own life?
A simple formulation taken from religious literature, from a prayer or a song can also inspire our choice of a name for our home shrine. Religious pictures and symbols can be equally helpful in our search for a name.
The name we choose for our home shrine should always tell us something of the special activity that we wish the Blessed Mother to unfold in our family. In each home shrine we receive the same graces as in the Original Shrine and all daughter shrines, but over and above these graces (the three pilgrimage graces of the Shrine) we also receive special graces in the meaning of the name we have chosen.
Suggestions for names
The possibilities for home shrine names are inexhaustible. The following examples will serve to stimulate inspirations in our search and choice of a name.
A Biblical place
We can name our home shrine according to a Biblical location where God manifested himself to his people in a special way or where an important event in the life of Jesus and Mary took place. The message connected with that place at that time can still be relevant for us today.
TABOR: On Mount Tabor Jesus was transfigured before the apostles.
BETHLEHEM: We are reminded of the birthplace of Jesus.
BETHANY: This is the place where Mary and Martha lived with their brother Lazarus.
NAZARETH: Here we think of Mary at the hour of the Annunciation. Here the Holy Family lived in for many years.
CENACLE: The apostles, united around Mary in the Cenacle, prepared for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
BURNIG BUSH: Moses received his divine calling and mission at the burning bush in the desert.
There are many other names of Biblical places and events that can be applied to the special activity of the Blessed Mother in our home shrine. Thus, salvation history becomes alive and meaningful in our everyday life.
A mystery of the Rosary
The mysteries of the Rosary bear a wealth of thoughts and inspirations for our daily life. Home shrine names derived from these mysteries are a constant reminder for us to imitate, in our own original way, the life of Jesus and his Mother.
VISITATION: Mary hurried over the hillside to her cousin Elizabeth and assisted her in all her needs.
PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE: Mary and Joseph presented the Child Jesus in the temple.
RESURRECTION: Jesus rose victoriously from the dead.
ASSUMPTION: Mary was assumed with body and soul into heaven where she reigns as our Mother and Queen.
The activity of the Blessed Mother from our home shrine can find expression in all the mysteries of the Rosary; each one contains a great wealth of inspiration and can become a guiding light on our pilgrimage toward eternity.
A distinct virtue or title of the Blessed Mother
Many people have a special admiration for the Blessed Mother’s virtues. They invite her to dwell in their home shrine and educate their family in the likeness of one of these qualities. Others choose to dedicate their home shrine under one of the many beautiful titles which have been given to the Blessed Mother in the course of the centuries.
CAUSE OF OUR JOY: Mary is the cause of our joy because she bore us Christ, our Savior.
MORNING STAR: Mary is the Morning Star that leads the way, the radiant star heralding the dawn, announcing a new day.
COMFORTER OF THE AFFLICTED: Many people turn to Mary in their distress and receive comfort and true relief in their affliction.
QUEEN OF PEACE: Mary brought Christ, the Prince of Peace, into the world. She brought us true and everlasting peace.
HEROIC CONFIDENCE: Mary’s life was marked by total trust and confidence in the Lord whose handmaid she wanted to be.
The list of titles and virtues of the Blessed Mother provides a virtually endless choice of home shrine names which find a unique and original realization in each family. In our time and age, it is a tremendous challenge to recognize and acknowledge the fact that the virtues of the Blessed Mother are still extremely valuable a s a meaningful source of inspiration and guidance for our life today.
A particular activity of the Blessed Mother
The Blessed Mother unfolds her motherly activity in many different ways; she has thus been given a multitude of original titles, expressing the various ways in which people have experienced her special, personal care. An overwhelming picture appears before us when we reflect upon the beautiful array of names that have already been given to her and all those that she is still likely to receive in the future. The wealth of ideas seems inexhaustible.
SAFE HARBOR: I found my Safe Harbor when you, dear Mother, called us to the Schoenstatt Shrine.
HEAVENWARDS: Inscribe us and our children into your heart and lead us joyfully heavenwards in our prayer, in all our thoughts and strivings for everyday sanctity.
MY RIGHT HAND: I want you to stay by my side as My Right Hand.
CHOSESN AND POLISHED ARROWS: We were inspired by the words of the prophet Isaiah: ‘The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name… He made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me’ (Is. 9:1-2).
A great variety of names
Many, many more titles could be given to our Blessed Mother and filled with meaning and great expectations expressing her activity from our home shrine. A few more examples give us an even wider scope of possibilities:
Gate of Heaven Miraculous Hands Behold Your Mother
Guiding Hand Lift up your Hearts
Miracle of Grace Refuge of Sinners Queen of Martyrs
Mother of the Church Gate of Light
THROUGH THIS ENCOUNTER, with thanksgiving and gratitude, let us pray to be open and to receive the GRACE to havein our home a HOME SHRINE, A PLACE OF GRACE dedicated to our Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt from which she, the Mother of God, can intercede for us the three pilgrimage graces of the shrine and all the graces we need to be holy families and holy family members who can fulfill our mission in the Church.
The name of the home shrine speaks of the mission that the Blessed Mother wants to fulfill from her place of grace in our home for all the members of our family and all those who will ever be linked to our home in any way. In each home she gives special graces which will help us to reach the ideal and goal expressed in the name. These special graces will mold and transform us, so that we in turn can give on to others what we have received in our home shrine. The name of our home shrine is a precious gift and treasure, but it is also our task and mission in life. Because of its great importance we need to be reminded of it daily. Some families have their home shrine name displayed on a little plaque or on a piece of stitchery. Such a reminder can be very simple and yet most effective in keeping our mission ever before us.
Begin the search for the name of your home shrine. Pray about it and be open for special inspirations that may come to you, even when you least expect it. Prayerfully read through pages 63-76 in the My Home, A Shrine book for ideas and inspirations for the name and mission the Blessed Mother wants to unfold from your Home Shrine.
PRAY: I trust your might, your kindness, Mother dear. I do believe that you are always near. Schoenstatt’s great Queen, O Mother mild, I blindly trust in you and in your Child.