The whole boring point of this blog is to keep family updated with my travels, and to selfishly avoid extensive explanations when I return. I’m all about living life intentionally however; giving
100 150% as often as you remember, and striving to love having no regrets. In my short life span (and even shorter time trying this method), I’ve been injured, shut down, shut out, hurt, devastated, isolated, and discouraged by living this way. I pair love and no regrets together because living without regrets can be understood to mean you strive to never fail, never mess up, never do the wrong thing at the wrong time, and thereby avoid the aforementioned joy-sucking parts of life. But if you strive to love 150%, no matter how much you screw up with yourself or other people, you know that you loved to the best of your ability in that moment, and that is what allows you to never look back ashamed.
So I’m climbing the mountain of life here, and I begin to see my first cliff. See the family I live with is great: they bring me joy and they feed me. Bavaria is a very historically religious place: I liken it to being Mexican and Catholic- in the sense that it’s more a heritage thing than a personally held belief. I could write a book on my thoughts about religion and evangelization, but, no. Basically I have the opportunity right now in a new place, where everything I do and say is being witnessed for the first time, and it forms people’s idea of who I am. When I want to go to Church on Sunday and no one else does, do I downplay it and quietly leave? If they talk about going next week, do I say yes and encourage it or do I say “only if you want to.”? If someone asks how Church was, do I say great and leave it at that, or do I tell them about how at home I feel and how much I’m captivated by the Eucharist? If someone asks what you’re reading do you say “a book” or “the Bible”?
There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer. It depends on the situation. It’s not a pretentious thing. I’d absolutely hate coming across like I’m so proud of being Catholic that I just want to tell everyone about it all the time and then they feel awkward cause that’s just weird. *vomits in mouth* There’s a difference between being a walking talking billboard and having a transformed life. Where you don’t have to talk about faith, because your actions, your eyes, and your love, speak the universal human language of truth that sneakily cuts through all barriers. Then, if someone does happen to ask, you sure as heck better talk, because you didn’t offer, they asked. This is what Pope Francis talks about in The Joy of the Gospel. He doesn’t talk about Grey’s Anatomy, but while I’ve never been one for TV shows, I’m watching this one (of all things) with N. This episode the other night portrayed a situation with a man in a coma who the doctors are unable to give blood to for religious reasons. The man’s friend is arguing with the doctors, trying to save the guy’s life saying “He never told me- don’t you think, if something meant that much to someone, they wouldn’t keep it a secret? They would tell people about it, wouldn’t they?” One of the reasons people don’t want religion is because they’re all asking what that guy did- “if it means that much to you, why am I not convinced?”
And there’s your cliff. There’s my cliff. I’ve come to the first clearing and realized how I’m creating not only an image of myself for the people I encounter every day here, but in a way I’m creating a new image of God for them to encounter. No pressure.
There is no pressure. God will be encountered whether I help or not. I just might be the shortcut. Only if I jump first, unafraid of sounding like a freak, not worried about expanding on answers. When someone asks you if you like your school, the easy answer is yes or no. The better answer is to tell them why. It’s what they really wanted to know, anyway.
Anyways, here’s a few pictures from the historic Salt mine in front of our flat. I could throw a rock at the roof from my window. I won’t. 😀 But it’s pretty! Bavaria is very well known for it’s salt apparently, and clean air and basically therapeutic atmosphere. Of course I have to include mountains. Oh- and behind those ones, that’s Austria.