Elfi Döring

54 years old, 4 children and 2 grandchildren; she works as a nurse and belongs to the Schoenstatt Women and Mothers League.

What experiences have shaped me as a woman?

Of course, like everyone else, I was shaped by my parental home and upbringing, by the status of my family and culture! But most of all, my personality has been shaped and positively influenced by Schoenstatt and its spirituality. Above all, it has influenced my being a woman and the way I am! In Schoenstatt, I experienced through living examples how modern and alive faith in God is. And that as a woman, where I stand and the way I am, I can positively shape my little environment. That was attractive for me as a youth and has lost nothing of its fascination to this day, although my life has changed completely a number of times.

A further influence was the experience of faith that Jesus died for my personal guilt, that I am forgiven and can always start over again, just like there is a new day after every night. I find this so gratifying, even though I know that I make the same mistakes repeatedly.

Where have I experienced God in my life?

Throughout my life, I have experienced God time and again in varying degrees of intensity. Just like in the story “Footprints in the Sand,” I have actually felt it until today. My parental home was conservatively Catholic. We faithfully and regularly practiced all the customs and Sacraments. But at that time, for me God was only to be found in church. God only really came to life for me when I got to know Schoenstatt and I learned that he wanted to be with me always, every day in my life. I was able to experience Him 3 times very clearly and intensely when it came to making decisions about my path in life. These were both sad and ultimately joyful events, because I was able to see in retrospect how well God cared for me and loved me, even if I could not understand his providence in those situations.

What do I see as a challenge for women today?

I see the challenge for women in counteracting the loss of value and truth through life. Not all of the information circulating through the world and minds today is true, and not everything that is true and possible lasts in life. If the woman, since she is closer to life, is oriented towards God’s truth and reality and seeks to embody it in a credible way, this is a great task and challenge

What do I want to change through my life in this world?

God is love and as such he is also merciful with us human beings. I want to bring this awareness and this truth to people through my life. If everyone would be a little bit more merciful with his neighbor and his surroundings, how much better would it already look in the world.  And we wouldn’t have to talk about climate change anymore!