Sunday, April 14, 2013

Freiburger Münster

Münster, for my readers who don't speak German, means cathedral. (Digression: Do I have any readers? If I have no readers, do I have no German speaking-readers? Or do all of my readers speak German? Ok, I'll shut up now.) Anyway, from now on I am going to call this church the cathedral because I don't really want to keep typing that umlaut.

 I have been spending a lot of time in the cathedral, since I am spending one hour in a church a day for the Easter season. The cathedral has grown on me during the last two weeks. I still don't like the way it looks outside, but that's because I don't like churches with one large tower.

From the minute I walked in, I loved the stained glass. It is so bright and full of saints and Biblical scenes. Every window has a slightly different color palette--some lighter, some richer, and yet somehow it all works together.
I come during the day, usually, which is tourist time. Tourists are allowed in until 5pm, at which point they have Eucharistic adoration and then Mass. That's lovely, but also tends to conflict with dinner. On the whole, the tourists are quiet and respectful, and it's perfectly possible to sit there and pray or read while they are visiting. Of course, when there's a giant construction site in the middle like there was a few days ago, things get harder, but when your church is hundreds of years old I guess you do need to do maintenance sometimes!
Every once in a while the sun will shine brightly through a window and illuminate some part of the church. This picture doesn't do it justice at all!
See that round hole? Apparently, in the 14th century, they would tie the pastor to a rope and pull him up into the ceiling to celebrate Christ's Ascension into Heaven.
One of the sad things about living in Germany is how much of a post-Christian society it really is. Of course, the Christian calendar influences daily life much more (imagine what would happen if public schools in the US had a week long Pentecost break!), but religion is just not something that the young people have any more. Between the cathedral and St. Martin's (which cooperate together and often function as one unit), seven children made first communion this year. 
"And the light shines in darkness, a darkness which was not able to master it." (John 1:5, Knox) The comforting thing about being a Catholic, though, is that we do truly believe that Christ is guarding the Church. While we may be in a troubling period and under a lot of attacks, we will win. We as the Body of Christ will not, cannot, be comprehended and mastered by evil. If we cling to God and His Holy Church, we will come through this, just as we have come through everything else the world has thrown at us for the last 2,000 years.

Whoever made this window has a sense of humor, for sure--see how the ox is eating baby Jesus's diaper? I would like to know a lot more about the history of the cathedral. I know that the windows currently in it are post-WWII.
St. Catherine, converting the heathens and pagans.
I love pictures of St. Joseph with young Jesus. I've always thought that there should be more of them. Granted, I don't have children, but in my own life and the lives of my siblings, it's so clear how important fathers are.

This post didn't really have a point, I know. But hopefully it gives a little bit of a glimpse into my life here, and may still be more interesting than me complaining about coffee makers!

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