>> Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I am lucky to be living in a Catholic state here in Germany because I am able to practice my belief / religion freely. But did I tell you that the state imposes religious tax? I think you have to pay 3% of your net income for religious tax. This is probably the reason why many people here have chosen to declare themselves atheists. But whether one pays religious taxes or not, one is still welcome to join the services or Gottesdienst. The church doors are always open for everyone. However, if you want to have your child baptized or confirmed or have their first communion, I think that is the time when you really need to pay your taxes.
But anyway, we just celebrated the Pentecost, the time when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles. The church thinks of the Pentecost as the birth of the church. On Thursday, June 3rd is another Catholic celebration: the Fronleichnam or Corpus Christi, where we honor the Holy Eucharist. That means, it is going to be another public holiday in most of the German states. I consider that Eucharist as an important aspect of my Catholic life because through it, I am in communion with God as I partake of the bread and wine. As Catholics, we see to it that we hear mass and take part in the Eucharist every Sunday. With the service done in German, it is quite difficult to focus. But a priest friend once told us that even if you do not understand everything that the priest is saying during the service, you still receive grace. And that is what matters.
I hope everyone has a beautiful month of June! May you all be blessed.