Standing in Divine Confidence

January 20th

It was January 20, 1942. Fr. Kentenich was in a prison cell in Koblenz, Germany, imprisoned by the Nazis. He had been given a physical examination a few days earlier and had been determined healthy enough to go into the Dachau concentration camp. To go to the concentration camp meant almost certain death, especially for a Catholic priest. However, Fr. Kentenich had a weak lung; there was a chance that he could request to be examined again and be declared “unfit,” i.e. too weak, for the concentration camp. His followers, the priests and sisters, urged him to take this opportunity, to apply for the second examination and therefore avoid going to the concentration camp. They urged him to take this road in order to escape death and reach out for freedom, and be there for the family. The decision was very difficult for Fr. Kentenich. Again and again, he struggled to discover, “What does God want?” During the celebration of Holy Mass on January 20, 1942, in the morning, Father Kentenich had the answer: “I should go to Dachau.” His decision implying taking the covenant of love seriously. He invited the Schoenstatt Family to do the same. To the couples in Milwaukee he said: 

Now I must pause for a moment. You have to keep in mind that the covenant of love was the basis for my personal inner attitude. You see, it was like this: I had prepared numerous priests to master life in a concentration camp and in prison. It was always like this; I directed them to fight through interiorly beforehand what might later become a reality in some way. Practically (it is) like this: how often does it happen in your life that you ask yourself: Yes, if this were to happen, what would you do under the circumstances? I imagined the greatest possible cruelties for myself. What would you do, if this were to happen, and this, and this, and this? And then I said to myself: Deo gratias, it is fine. Not only, fine, but: please, send it to me, send exactly that, as much as and for as long as you wish. You see, of what advantage it was: Everything which could come had been fought through. I did this from 1933 until 1941, and it never happened. Then I thought: the Lord God is satisfied with my good will; nothing will happen. I had often been warned: Be careful; it cannot continue like this! Can you imagine: Nothing could happen which I had not imagined before and fought through interiorly.
You see, and then one thought stayed in my mind, and it was a consequence of the covenant of love. It was the thought: If a covenant of love, then the Blessed Mother may send what she wants to send, it will always be the best diapers. (…) The best diapers! This (thought) followed me and accompanied me to the end of the time in the concentration camp. (OME, #1, 55)