First of all, I would like to thank the Lord and St. Agnes for bringing the story so close to us through the ministry of Harpa Dei. Perhaps some of us can repeat for ourselves the words that are put into the mouth of St. Ambrose at the end: “This girl has captivated me, she has conquered my heart.”
So be it!
In the saints, the grace of God shines forth in a special way. They are a love letter from the Lord, bright and shining stars in the firmament of the Una Sancta and show us the way. But they are not only signposts, but as it is also said in the very last passage of the audioplay by the priest Paulinus:
“I believe that now, in Heaven, she has a heart for all of us!”
So it is!
The memory of the saints is a visualisation of God’s love for us human beings and we become certain that we may live in communion with these wonderful people. Their work is not limited to the time when they were on earth. We notice, for example, through such a radio play, how they speak to us now, encourage us now, touch our hearts now, share their love for God with us now and make us understand that they are our brothers and sisters who love us.
Thanks also to Harpa Dei and to all those who contributed to the creation of the radio play and accompanied us in prayer. We rejoice in the fellowship with our large audience from many parts of the world. And it is not only the militant Church! The heavenly Church is becoming more and more present, she has come even closer to us through the radio play. From now on, at the latest, it will be impossible to imagine our lives as Harpa Dei without St. Agnes!
I asked the siblings of Harpa Dei some questions about the audio play.
- How did you come up with the idea of this audio play and why did you choose this medium?
We had read a book about St. Agnes. The story seemed so fascinating to us that we had wanted to make an audio play out of it for a long time. It seemed to us to be the appropriate medium, as it is a very lively way of presenting a story. We are also familiar with audio work through our ministry with sacred music!
- What did you use as a template and which texts are yours?
The Legenda Aurea (The Golden Legend), a well-known sermon by Bishop Ambrose about St Agnes and the book by Lothar Schreyer, “Agnes and the Sons of the She-Wolf”. We have woven these three different sources together, and added some thoughts and ideas of our own.
- How did you find the different speakers?
Most of the speakers are friends of ours whom we have met on our mission voyages. Others we met during the course of this year through our online mission activities. In any case, it was very challenging to find speakers for so many roles in three languages at the same time; and all this in a period of less than two weeks, in which the script had to be written, the songs selected and recorded, the roles distributed in the three languages and all the technical tasks managed.
- What particularly moved you?
The decisivness of Agnes. Her purity and strength in her persecution and martyrdom. Above all, her unconditional love for Jesus, for whom she was ready to sacrifice everything.
- Do you have the impression that St. Agnes came closer to you?
Definitely! She is such a simple, nice girl who really loves Jesus like her bridegroom, and this in such a simple and attractive way that one can only love her.
- What can we Christians learn from St. Agnes?
On one side, an immense trust in God. She was even ready to take upon herself the greatest dishonour for the sake of Christ; always knowing that her fade was in the hands of her divine Bridegroom. We can see in her life what miracles Christ can work on and through those who belong to Him entirely and entrust themselves to Him without limits. These miracles can inspire great faith, as we could see in her story. Agnes also testifies to what it means to participate in the war of the Lamb: It is not about indomitable male strength, about self-assertion! Rather, our strength and invincibility depend on our trust and union with God. This young girl shows us this in an excellent way.
St. Agnes, like St. Joan of Arc, is a virgin in the Lamb’s flock of whom it is said:
“They follow the Lamb wherever he goes (…). No lie was found in their mouths and no fault can be found in them.” (Rev 14:4-5).
May these two virgins help us to remain faithful to the Lord unto death and to belong to the wake of the Lamb as it says in the Revelation of Saint John:
“After that I saw that there was a huge number, impossible for anyone to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted in a loud voice, ‘Salvation to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev 7:9-10)
Harpa Dei accompanies the daily scriptural interpretation or spiritual teaching of Br. Elija, their spiritual father. These meditations can be heard on the following website www.en.elijamission.net