Surprised by God
Celina, a 23-year-old Chinese, is studying to be a concert pianist in Austria. After suffering a personal tragedy, she found new friends, and the path to God, in a student residence in Vienna.
A dream comes true: Vienna
Practicing the piano--up to thirteen hours each day! That's how my life was, and the lives of many other young Chinese who wanted to pursue a musical career. My goal was a high one: I wanted to win a musical competition whose prize was studying in Vienna at the Conservatory of Music. And I succeeded! I was awarded a ticket to the “City of Music,” along with my boy friend at the time, a very talented flutist. We had even more serious plans for a future together and were thinking about marriage.
But that was not to be. When we were back in China for a vacation visit, he died in an auto accident. It was a great shock to me. But God’s ways are often not easy to understand at first. I still remember the advice that some Christian friends of my mother gave me: “Keep your faith in God.” But I was not baptized myself.
Währing — a new home
The death of my boy friend led me to ask myself many questions. I had begun seeking for and struggling with God. My confrontation with death brought me slowly back to life! Together with my friends in the residence I went on excursions, I learned German, we looked after the garden and the house… and I no longer needed to practice grimly for thirteen hours a day. The way was a long one. I had to give up old habits. I stopped consulting horoscopes in search of my future, and decided to take my life into my own hands, and with God’s help lead it along the right path. I grew in my trust in God, who was always there for me and for whom I tried to make every practice session into a gala concert in his honor.
A deep joy and peace
Celina at her baptism.
Meanwhile I am studying with a professor in Linz. I know that my new life in the faith has to be renewed every day. To find Christ in my daily life I read the Gospel, spend some moments in dialogue with God, and go to the sacraments regularly. In Linz I meet with some friends from Opus Dei, to find encouragement for a consistent life of faith. The motto for my new life is: God is a sure help!