Not much time has passed since I last wrote to you, but it is already the start of our second ten-day break. This break, we have the opportunity to travel anywhere in Europe, whether visiting favorites that we’ve already seen, cramming as many places possible within ten days, or simply going on a new adventure. Things at the Kartause have been pretty low-key the past few weeks, as we are cruising through the semester.
We International Business students had the privilege of visiting Magna Steyr, an automotive manufacturing company that produces cars for Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Peugeot, and Mini Cooper (right up my alley). Here we were able to take a plant tour to observe the building of the Peugeot RCZ, as well as some of the auto testing within the facility. Dr. Rüsch has a knack for maximizing our trips, so naturally it didn’t end there. As if being driven though the Alps in a VW van (that some may swear Dr. Rüsch thinks is a Porsche) isn’t the pinnacle of excitement, we were able to visit Mariazell and Frauenberg, which are two pilgrimage spots here in Austria, as well as the quaint town of Graz, Austria. Learning business, aside from the science, as the art of working with people in relation to philosophy and theology, has been a tremendous blessing. We have learned true servant leadership, and what it means to take a normal business setting, and turn it into an opportunity to serve and radiate Christ.
In the meantime, we had a school trip to Prague that was short and sweet, and another free weekend as well. In this free weekend, I decided to travel solo again, and ventured to Poland. Since the school had already traveled there earlier this semester, I lucked out with their itinerary. I was able to visit the Divine Mercy Shrine, the Franciscan Church, Krakow, Our Lady of Czestochowa, and Auschwitz/Berkinow. Such a trip alone was a blessing because it allowed time for reflection. To walk through Auschwitz/Berkinow and experience the heaviness that still dwells within, to pass freely through the gates that held so many prisoners, looking into the cell that held Maximilian Kolbe: how can one remain the same after that? This trip was one without words of explanation, but definitely worthwhile.
As I have expressed in earlier blogs, this semester has been quite a semester of learning, both of the mind and of the soul. I think it is safe to say that we’ve all received more than we could ever ask for, and definitely much of the unexpected. I find that to say, “I would never…” for the plans of our lives is what God seems to find the most humorous. It seems that everything I had used those words for in the past is exactly where God is leading me in the present. By being open and completely willing to give our lives entirely to God, for example in discerning vocations, etc., we leave ourselves docile to His Will. This has taught me much this semester, and I’m interested to see where I am led in these next few months.
I highly recommend the Novena to St. Joseph.
As for now, I have a train to catch for 10-day (Destination: Secret)
Until next time, God Speed,