Eastern / Meditation

Lent 2020 – Lent 2021 Corona-virus in the Rear Mirror

The owl. Begin of spring.

I have been silent for a while for various reasons, so I’ll start again sharing my Lenten “promise” again this year here. This is a special year, it might be the last lent for me, for us, for my father, for my son. Who knows, we are in gods hand now.

We are a family of three generations in lock-down living on two different locations now. My father still takes care of himself, but since he will with his age unlikely survive hospitalization, I have been doing shopping and other logistics for him since begin of February and “self isolated” him. He understands that he needs to be in self quarantine, and we all understand the we take with any action potential death and life decisions for the three others. So how did we do from Lent 2020 to Lent 2021? In a micro level – family – well. But on a macro level, seen in the rear mirror view Lent 2021 its been a slow train crash in a sea of confusion, incompetency and white smoke.

03/20 2020 The announcement

Social life has been shutdown the last days, school, libraries, university and the astronomy observatory are closed now. Some test of my son were canceled, and the next “semester”  of him and me enrolled as a guest student might not really open on time.

From today Midnight a Corona-virus lock down will be in effect. Rumors flew earlier so me and my wife took extra time visiting the park when we walked the dog in the morning. The owl was awake, swans start breeding and making a point who is in charge under the other birds. Its really a strange mood.

03/21 2020 1st lock-down day

Day 1 Magnolia freezing

The first day. A miserable gray day. My Magnolia, which opened most of its blossoms after a few nice days too early, is freezing and suffering in the rain and a cold spell. 

As usual, Lent means for me no meat, no alcohol, no cheese, no sweets.  So this year I decided (again), that I will not think unkindly of others for the season of Lent. This year I will succeed. I know. This year we will survive, I hope.

Churches have been closed too, The benedictine monastery, which I often visited for service or weekend retreats offers in addition to podcasts now live video streaming of the services, also the special service of the St. Benedict today. St. Ottilien christened in a way this site.

I am very pleased with the live video streaming, its better than just podcasts. The monks are way faster and sophisticated than our two universities in the city, despite their “excellence status” which  guarantees better funding.

03/22 2020  4th Lent Sunday St. Ottilien

4-SundayLent2020 St. Ottilien

I attended today’s first live video streaming of the St. Ottilien Sunday Service. That’s a GREAT symbolic move, that the church is present in the need and more important than a hair cut (not closed before the lock down). Proud of the digital monks, really.

Rear mirror view Lent 2021: There is no such thing as a digital transcendence.

03/23 2020 3rd lock-down day

Empty Park

A shortened life – Magnolia after two nights snow and cold

It was a sunny cold winter day, but we went visiting the park anyway. When we walked the dog in the morning, we found the owl was sleeping. The park was almost empty.

“There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen was the theme of the 2019 Christmas Sermon. Is it?

Coming back I saw the damage two freezing nights and snow had done to the plants. The air is crystal clear though.

03/28 2020  Saturday one week lock down

Thomas Mann

Yes. I can recommend Thomas Mann to everyone as at lecture at Lock Down.

The novel »The Magic Mountain« (Zauberberg) by Thomas Mann was published in 1924.  It describes the seven-year stay in the sanatorium of the Hamburg merchant’s son Hans Castorp. The place of action is a fictional clinic near Davos in the Swiss Alps. On the eve of the First World War, Castorp met personalities with a wide variety of worldviews. The discussion with them is formative for the young man. The time told covers the years 1907 to 1914. It is story of Hans Castorp, which Mann wanted to tell – not for his sake (but for a society which had enough and choose to become sick), but for the sake of the story, which seems highly worth telling today: this story is a long time ago, it is, so to speak, covered with historical noble rust and yet absolutely fitting to the sick year 2020.

 Its main character is a young engineer from a traditional Hamburg family. He visits his cousin, who is suffering from tuberculosis, in the Swiss sanatorium »Berghof«. Joachim familiarizes Hans with the laws of the clinic high in the Alps. The rhythm of life here is different from that in the lowlands: tuberculosis is an infectious disease that mostly affects like corona virus the lungs of people. It is caused by bacteria however, but before penicillin was no cure for it either. At the beginning of the 20th century, tuberculosis was therefor a sure death sentence for poor people. Lying in a high mountain climate was the only healing method, but only the wealthy could afford to stay in a Swiss sanatorium. Thomas Mann sort of complemented it with political observations about Germany before the world war I lamenting the “threatening politicization of the spirit” – today one wonders what is left of it now.


04/05 2020   Sunday St. Ottilien

Palm Sunday 2020

Somber Sunday, it feels more and more surreal. Scenes from a villages and cities in Bavaria show the churches are closed but the parks are full. An empty St Peter’s basilica, cases of coronavirus in Vatican City, mass cancelled in churches everywhere… Easter this year won’t be the same for Christians around the world

It is Palm Sunday, but “The Bread of Life” is not distributed. In Germany the semi-state church has closed shop without resistance. The bishops running their mouth in politics, for the climate religion and financing human trafficker support ships fell silent.  A few live streams, like the one in “my” monastery that’s it.

We are currently experiencing in Germany that everything has been closed that is supposedly not systemically relevant and, from the state’s point of view, indispensable: fitness centers, amusement parks, shopping streets, cinemas – and churches. Actually churches were closed before home depots and hair cutter even least relevant.

I may be corrected, but I haven’t  heard the progressive, super feminist and liberal church’s outcry when the government ordered  to stop worshiping. Where is the protest, where has been the uprising of the pastors, the shepherds, the priests and bishops who are pressing to help their sheep right now? They holed up, almost relieved, it seems.

The German official churches bowed without resistance to the will of the state which collects tax money for them since the concordat 1919, continuing under the III Reich and contemporary Germany.

The church seem to have agreed with the implicit message: You are dispensable. Because the Church in the West is today not much more than a NGO with an social apparatus competing with lobalist ideology, and the higher echelons know it.

It’s a week before Easter. Will the resurrection be canceled this year?  Well, sometime it seemed to me, the nature of Jesus and the Crucification is taken more symbolically. A recent discussion hinted even sometimes by confused priests in an effort to comply to an one-world religion. Church where are you?  Where are you priests, now that people are in need, in confinement, in fear of existence, in concern for relatives and health?

Where are the Greta sympathizer saving the world today? The corona virus spread in the beginning more under younger Germans coming back from skiing or school. Now infections are evenly happen under the elderly. The deaths are commented by press and experts with “only elderly with per-conditions die”comments, which sounds almost “frohlocking”: Not such a big a big problem, don’t you worry.

Old people die, however, frightened alone in quarantine or isolation, rather than supported by the family. They die, literally often drown slowly or are disconnected in some countries from ICUs in favor of patients with better outcome prognosis. Their fault? The church is silent. Even suicides are already on the rise. The church is silent.

How many people need support right now, as patients and their relatives who are in a state of emergency – and alone. Who needs a church after the crisis that let you down when things got awry? In any case, Jesus did not get permission from the emperor to go to the leper. Nobody expects a priest who is in mortal danger to do so. The shops cope with distance zones on the checkout. Masks could be bought and dispensed by the church, a very rich church which recently bought and operates ships. Church rules could be declared utilizing half-empty benches  keeping the social distance or at least open air events? I get it, its a big responsibility and potential liability and needs to be negotiated. It would need discipline of the faithful too and taken care of each other. I get it, what I don’t understand is no real effort is taken to fulfill needs within lock-out boundaries beyond streaming a few masses in empty churches.

In the middle of the worst reports of the Corona crisis we saw pictures and videos from Italian villages in the internet. Priests wear the monstrance in full regalia through the streets, bless the people who stand at the open windows. One read a mass on a high-rise roof for the whole neighborhood. People attended and sang from the balcony.

Easter is in a week. This world needs healing, that’s for sure. An occasional “Urbi et orbi” from the pope in empty St. Peter’s Square  does not heal.

I admire the doctors, nurses and nurses who are there for others with little protect and do their duty to relieve pain, to provide assistance.  The German State Church the whole “Progressive” Catholic Church showed its true colors.  They are dispensable fringe bureaucracy now, a cultural aftermath echo of its implosion and seem not even care.

Rear mirror view Lent 2021: There is no such thing as a digital church, a digital assembly.

04/06 2020   Monday

Coronavirus solitude

The death of Christianity seems to be inevitable consequence of inside politicking, its moral decay and modern economics. Well, I am an un-churched catholic spiritual. I did not expect much, but also not that little. There is at least still the bible. And the nature.

Anyway. The city is in a soft lock-down, and places normally full of tourist are empty. So I took my camera and rode with my bike to the nearby Nymphenburg Palace, Its amazing, basically the swans relax directly on the walk ways, not even bothered if one walks by.

The number of cases in Germany has passed 100,000 this weekend using compiled real-time figures from nearly 400 local health authorities.  4,024 new cases of the novel coronavirus Monday morning, bringing the total to 100,132. Germany currently has the fourth highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, following behind the U.S., Spain and Italy.

04/10 2020 Good Friday

Empty- CatholicDecay

Good Friday crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. Between 10.30  Kreuzweg-Andacht and 15.00 Mass Suffering and Death of Jesus Christ I went biking, making this picture. The solitude, the emptiness reminded me on christian churches, decay and abandonment.

The Royal Bavarian State Railways opened the factory in 1906 as the Central Workshop with two repair halls. In the following years it was expanded several times. By 1927 the Deutsche Reichsbahn had built a third car repair shop.  Deutsche Bahn closed it at the end of 2001. Large parts of the former workshop buildings are now listed as historical buildings.

In April 2015, Deutsche Bahn dismantled the junction to the Central Workshop. After dismantling the tracks, the new residential area with around 500 apartments was built on some of the ground.

04/12 2020 Easter Sunday

Easter Mass. Mediocre sermon. wonderful ceremony.

Two things gave me hope today on #coronavirus Easter Sunday (April 12, 2020), Andrea Bocelli’s solo performance and Boris Johnsons’ speech.

Rear mirror view Lent 2021. The European Union, which took – and has been given – control of vaccine procurement and distribution and is widely considered to have done worse than its main partners, the United States and Britain, let alone Israel, which started 2020 to produce and vaccinate. They have all gotten vaccines into a much larger percentage of their populations than Europe. So far, only about 11 percent of the bloc’s population has received at least one vaccine shot.

04/14 2020 Tuesday

A cold high air mass spread with the winds throughout parts of continental Europe, also here temperature dropped about 20 degree Celsius int lower single digits.

Rear mirror view Lent 2021: Same cold backlash when sun and warming would be desperately needed.

04/20 2020 Monday 04/12 2021 Monday

Christian impulse

You can’t say that Bavaria is the Prussia of Germany, but the I have to tip my hat how people and state executive handled the #coronavirus. Today is the first day, the university LMU (where I enrolled) and TMU (my son’s university) opened – virtually, orderly.

One year later and after 14 month of yo-yo lock-downs and curlews a new semester is about to begin. On thing is clear, the EU, Germany, Bavaria failed. It will be never be the same. The psychological cost of the confused and bureaucratic corona activism on the young generation is tremendous.

Rear mirror view Lent 2021: There is no such thing as a digital university nor digital freedom.