February 03, 2012

Student Blog by Sara Lacroix: Neuschwanstein & Peter Sunday

 Sara @ Neuschwanstein Castle

On Saturday, January 21, we went to Neuschwanstein Castle.  This castle is mostly known for being the castle Disneyland based their castle off of.  However, the castle has more going for it than that….sooooo brief history lesson (I just knew you would all be excited about this)

 Neuschwanstein was built for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. (Bavaria was its own country awhile ago, just so you know)  The castle was commenced in 1868, but it was never completed.  Ludwig was declared to be insane during its construction, and was then forced to abdicate the thrown. (He might have been crazy, but the real reason was that the people were tired of paying for his expensive castles…he has two others besides this one)  He died a few weeks later under mysterious circumstances. (He supposedly “drowned” in two feet of water with his psychiatrist, who also died) Several weeks later the castle was sold to the state and turned into a historical museum.

The castle is located about 4hrs, via train, from Regensburg.  (This means that I spent the majority of the day on the train, but it was well worth it. ;)) We hiked up the side of the mountain to reach the castle (if you don’t believe me google image it…it was a steep climb) through the snow and slush. I nearly ate it a couple of times but I managed not to fall. We then took a bunch of pictures and went on a guided tour of the castle. Needless to say the interior was very ornate…one room had over 2 million mosaic tiles covering the floor as an example. After the tour we returned to Regensburg.

My Sunday morning was spent at St Peter’s Cathedral for mass.  I have never been to a Catholic service before so it was a new (and informative) experience.  I would just like to say that I am glad to be an Evangelical Christian. I am going to write out my impressions (and opinions) of the mass sooooo if you don’t like it that’s too bad for you, and I suggest you don’t read the next part of this entry.

To start, the architecture of the cathedral is one of the most impressive sights I have seen yet.  I would say it is far more impressive than the castle I visited the previous day.  The Roman Catholics definitely knew how to build churches back in the day.  The stain glass and the statues are absolutely gorgeous (I will eventually post pics of the cathedral…it’s on my to do list).  

Beyond the architecture, the whole experience was rather depressing to me.  I have never been in such a cold place in my entire life, and I’m not just talking about the temperature of the room either (although it was freezing in there…we were bundled up the entire service). The place felt spiritually dead to me.  Most of the people did not look like they were engaged with what was happening (neither was I because it was in German/Latin and I couldn’t understand anything being said), and no one had their Bible out.  There were times when the people would respond to something the priest had said, but it sounded like it was automatic.  I do not think they were truly thinking about the meaning or content behind it….it was almost like a habit. No fellowship happened in the church.  People came in, sat down, looked straight ahead, and then they left immediately after.  There was no greeting or small little conversations that can be found in most evangelical churches. (This could have to do a little with the German culture…I do not know for sure) The entire experience was very impersonal and formal.   

The service was ritualistic in nature…borderline legalistic in my opinion.  Everything was done in a very traditional way. I think this approach also generated the impersonal atmosphere a little…I’m not a huge fan of all the little rituals they feel is necessary.

I would just like to clarify the main/fundamental difference between Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism.  Catholicism believes works are needed to reach heaven, and they do not know if they have achieved salvation.  They are constantly haunted with the fact that they might not be saved.  ECs KNOW they are saved.  Salvation is a gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ.  Works are NOT necessary to achieve salvation. Salvation is not earned it is given to all who believe. I KNOW that I am saved. I KNOW that if I die I am going to heaven to be with Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

 Well that’s all for now

Auf Wiedersehen

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails