Maja Stanić

Born 22.1.1983 in Osijek / Republic of Croatia, married, mother of two children, studied (or trained) as an economist, works at the court in Osijek, living in Ivanovci, the place of one of the two Schoenstatt Shrines in Croatia. Maja belongs to the Family Movement with her husband Siniša, they graduated from the Family Academy and are involved in the Croatian Schoenstatt Movement.

What experiences have formed you as a woman?

As a woman I have always tried to realize myself as a person. By this I mean being what I am, what God created me for: To serve God and my neighbor.

I realize myself as a woman by listening to others, by perceiving their needs and showing compassion when people run “into the wall” in their constant struggle for a more orderly life.

Having looked for work for a long time because my husband’s salary is actually insufficient, I prayed and recommended myself to the Blessed Mother. I promised the Lord to spread His goodness and love in the work place He would choose for me. When I got the job, I knew that the Lord had helped me, not only because He had given me the job, but He also gave me the grace to pray for those around me who I didn’t even know, to comfort them here and there, to smile at them. I am actually an economist by profession, but I work as an administrative clerk at the court. I have to write down everything the clients tell me. 90% of my clients are families in trouble, from domestic violence to public order disturbances to traffic offences. We collect facts and evidence which then serve as the basis for the verdict. This is not easy, but I feel that I was chosen to fulfill this task. I often pray for these people, asking the Blessed Mother to help them, to have mercy on them and to find a way that leads them for the better. Before I go to work, every morning I begin to pray for the people who will come to me that day. I see this as my calling. I try to meet them every day with a positive attitude. In every person I have to question, I want to meet the suffering Jesus and give them the joy of Christ through my own being.

As a woman I can do many beautiful things for Our Lord; therefore may God strengthen me in this and may Jesus help me so that I never tire of doing good in every circumstance.

I am often surprised that people come up to me to talk because they sense that I have understood them. Some people even tell me that they have experienced peace through me. I am convinced that the Mother of God works through me.

An older woman, for example, returned my smile when she entered the courtroom. When she was finished, she asked for me. She told me that she had not slept all night because she was so worried about coming to the court, because she was ashamed of what she had done. But when she entered the courtroom, all her worries disappeared, and only because my gaze radiated warmth, my voice calmed her. And she asked me to continue being so joyful. After the woman had left the room, I rushed out and wept with joy because the Lord had chosen me to give something of Him to this woman. I know and feel clearly and can only say that he and his mother always work through me.

In 2014 in the Original Shrine I prayed for a job. Now I have received precisely this job and at the same time I have the task to be light for others.

Where have you experienced God in your life?

I experience the living God in personal prayer, in silence. I experience the presence of God in our common family prayer in the evening, in the celebration of Holy Mass, in concrete help whenever I need it. In everyday life, in countless small unexpected encounters, God comes to me, sends me certain persons to form me, to educate me.

I was allowed to experience the presence of God within me, the inner certainty that God loves me and cares for me and my family. A woman can do everything. She is strong and created for great works of God.

Fervently praying with an open heart, lovingly seeking Him with my whole being in prayer, I experienced the grace of God’s nearness. I discover how to become a good wife and mother, daughter and daughter-in-law, a good worker of Jesus.

I always struggle to be like Mary, to see HER as my model in everything.

Through my incapacity, in every “case”, God shows me that He loves me; teaches me to be gentle with my neighbor.

Every day I learn and experience more, I want to love even more.

When I pray as a woman, I become a strong companion to my husband. My prayer opens his heart and God then works. My heart is filled with great joy and true peace.

God gives me wonderful signs, constantly calling me to serve, especially in my family and in my professional work.

What do you see as the challenge for women today?

I see the greatest challenge for women today in being brave and courageous, in believing in themselves, in their own abilities that have been given to them:  To be educators, to spread joy. In short: to be like Mary.

The challenge for a woman today could be expressed as follows:

To “think love, and speak out of love”; to see the beauty of life, to be dignified, self-confident; to be an original. To love oneself because we are given to this world to be mothers, to bear and give new life.

A woman is in the world to be strong, to create something. For me personally, the challenge is to always be unobtrusively happy; proud to be a Christian and to be able to show it. For me it is also a challenge to remain strong and calm when I am provoked on the subject of faith. I feel deeply in such moments that the other person struggles for the experience of love that I have through my faith. I feel that people want to talk about it, but do not know how. Their provocation seems like a mask, and I have to look behind it. The challenge is to distinguish ourselves from others and to have credible arguments for what we stand for and what we believe in.

What do you want to change in this world through your life?

As a tiny grain of sand in this world, I believe I can contribute to the people around me living in hope; that they strive to change for the better, that they can be formed and educated. If we want to change something, we must make ourselves completely available for it. I want to use my life, my acts of love, to help people forgive each other, to see the beauty of forgiveness, to help this world learn to love, to help people realize that we are all beloved children of God and as such learn to truly love one another. Jesus did not leave us orphans, he is always with us. He loves us. He forgives us. I feel called to pass on all that was given to me, to love my “enemies”. I wish through my life that others may know Christ, not despair, see the “light at the end of the tunnel”, recognize the “possibility” of embracing their cross and carrying it patiently. I would like to help all those people on whose path of life I have been placed. I wish that Mary and Jesus will always accomplish great deeds through my work, therefore I am grateful to them for everything. I always want to look through their eyes, hear through their ears and be an instrument in their hands to achieve the goal of my life as a woman.

With my little steps, little deeds and the power that comes from the Lord, I believe that it is possible to build a world where we all learn to develop ourselves further and to perceive and experience each other as true brothers and sisters in Christ.