It’s hard to believe that the semester is halfway over. Mid-terms week is now underway here in Gaming as everyone is cramming and preparing papers and study guides.
This past weekend, I had the privilege of going to Venice, Italy after I had spent all of last week asking friends what their plans were for the weekend. Most replied that they were staying back to study, yet a ‘perk’ of the International Business program is that we have only a final for each class, so most of us have one mid-term to prepare for. Traveling alone was such an experience! Sometimes we just need to get out, take a step out of ourselves and into another world. I arrived in Venice at 8:30am to a glorious day with the sun reflecting off of the rooftops and onto the gondolas drifting over the canals. It’s funny how some things in life seem to happen by ‘divine appointment.’ I stumbled inside a church that neighbors the train station to find a Mass in service (a great start!). There are churches around every corner in Venice, and almost all of them Catholic, some dating back many centuries which gives a historically religious flare to the island.
The weekend progressed in beauty as the labyrinth of alleys and bridges seemed never-ending, every corner holding something different and unique. There were some other students from all over the world who were staying in the same hostel, also traveling solo, and decided to join in the adventure. It is such a wonderful experience to hear about peoples’ lives and learn their culture, delving into their experiences and crossing paths for just a moment. Regardless of what native language, and even what religion someone may be, it is apparent that everyone we meet all over the world reflects the handiwork of God.
It’s the little things. Stumbling upon the Leonardo Da Vinci museum and realizing he invented so many things while discovering the inner-workings of the human body. A humble old man singing opera in the courtyard. An indigo night sky. Boats moving goods through the inner-weavings of the island. Glass blowing. Gelato. Pastries. Masks. Fresh laundry on clothes-pins, drifting in the breeze. THIS is what it means to be free, to live in the moment. Venice is one of the most amazing places I’ve seen so far, and going solo gave me time to think, relax, and process. I had the realization that to live in the moment gives God full glory because it honors where He’s leading you that very moment: the path, the people, the life.
I look forward to writing to you again soon, as we are preparing for our Franciscan University 10-day trip to Rome and Assisi!
Until then, God Speed.
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.