Word from Gaming, Austria!
It’s been just over two weeks since we arrived in Gaming, and it feels like minutes and months combined. There is so much beauty here, taking in the fresh air at the foothills of the Alps, with beautiful snow coating the courtyards of the Kartause. We have been busy amidst our studies with trips to Vienna, Salzburg, and various small villages around Austria. Another trip some friends and I were able to take was to the BMW Factory and Museum in Munich, Germany; a must-see for any car-lovers.
Regardless of where we are traveling, it has been riveting to experience such beauty and history behind European culture. We have seen places from the movie The Sound of Music, and walked by the balcony that has held both Hitler and Pope John Paul II. We have participated in a German mass, with all music written by Mozart and played by a symphonic orchestra, and we have walked streets that were once trodden in turmoil, fear, war, and plague. Our studies here have seemingly taken us out of time and constant communication and are allowing us to live in Europe.
A common theme of this semester seems to be that of creating beauty, creating beauty for God to honor Him. In art, beauty is reflected through balance and proportion, yet we can create beauty with our everyday actions and accomplishments, in simple things like caring for our bodies as a temple, and utilizing our gifts and talents to be productive and effective in all ways. During a mass that was celebrated at a Franciscan church in Salzburg, the bishop spoke of beauty in the balance of faith and reason, and how important the balance is for youth as we battle society in our beliefs. As this semester goes on, and in preparation for Franciscan I ask: What in your life is beauty, and what can you create into beauty? If this is the beginning, I can only imagine what is to come.
Hey, I’m Zach Kleinberg and I’m an international business student at Franciscan University. Whether studying back in Steubenville or here in Gaming, I am consistently reminded that life events will never stop until the day we cease to live. I believe that living in the present is crucial to our personal development, as we are like gold set in a fire to be purified, formed, and molded into perfection, into saints.