Today we imagined a joyous snowball fight in the Kartause courtyard with newly arrived students delighting in and enchanted by the beauty of winter in Austria. But no students are here, and the Kartause remains quiet and mostly dark.

Yet we remain hopeful! Not because we know we can change the situation, not because we know the pandemic or political turmoil will soon end, rather we are hopeful because we know that God is with us. Jesus said Take courage! I have conquered the world (Jn 16:33).

This unusual Spring 2021 semester undoubtedly holds many surprises, and already has its challenges as we continue to live in a lockdown situation. We nevertheless continue in our day to day tasks, we continue with online outreach (stay tuned for updates!) and we pray for the Church and for the world. We hold joy in our hearts through the uncertainty for we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7) and we know God is greater than the whole world or any of its troubles.