News from Europe / Eurasia

news from austria 

I love nature and all the wonderful things given to mankind by our Creator, it’s only saddening to see how little regard or respect man has for it. I don’t like town life, especially the modern version of it, and if weather and time allow, take myself out of town “far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife”. But, don’t think retreating from the world is my main object in life! My main occupation, and has been for years, is letter writing, especially to the sick and lonely, and they are many. I could spend all day writing. But, one has to be in rapport with the receiver. Yes, I write to Bro. Constantine, and he replies, to my pleasure. I shall write to him this week. I know he did a very wrong thing, but we all have actions worthy of condemnation, and I am not his judge and try to give him courage and the feeling he is not forgotten. Perhaps he is protected from the world in this unhappy way, for it sounds horrible.

The greatest time-consumer is hospital visiting. I visit many who need something beyond medical care, though it is excellent here. I know most of the hospitals around Innsbruck! It has a very subduing effect to see so many in pain or in need, and one returns home humble and thankful. At least, I do. The greatest need, certainly in Europe, is not material, not money, but a kind word, perhaps just a smile. At the moment a friend of many years is in a Therapy Home high in the mountains, round many hairpin bends, for whom I’ve cared on many occasions. She says that she is anxious to invite me to her home (at 1500m. higher than Snowdon) as she waits for me to come. One year I visited her with my two Siamese cats and almost immediately saw that she was very ill. She refused my phoning her doctor but happily her son arrived, spoke no word but phoned for the mountain rescue team (it was winter) and they took her down the mountain by sledge, leaving me alone to cope with my cats, her two cats, three horses, rabbits, ducks, chickens and a peacock. I managed well alone for 14 days, then had nothing more to eat and was rescued and brought home.

I am in complete isolation here. Happily I have many friends, I told you I go to Esslingen Ecclesia sometimes, but not recently, and have visitors from different parts of the world. This summer I had visitors from Germany twice, from New Zealand, Australia and several times from Britain. I am content and feel very blessed. To be given knowledge of God and of His purpose is surely man’s greatest blessing and I often wonder why I am chosen to have this knowledge where millions have not. It was a “happy” accident of birth? I do not know how people live with no belief and no object in life. I think this explains the violence increasing everywhere.
Sis. Mary Knechtl

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