Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus


A hundred times as much

19 Jun 2018

During the novitiate it often happens that you feel you are living firsthand what is recounted in the Gospels. To really adhere to the good news, to internalize it, you have to experience it. Not by chance did Jesus, to those who asked him: “where do you live?”, reply: “come and see”.

Those who embrace religious life know well that they will have to rethink their relationship with their family of origin. Opportunities to share time with close relatives and friends will be reduced down to the bone. As is natural, each of us lives this aspect of our choice as a renunciation. In the Gospel Peter gives voice to this difficulty: “Behold, we have left everything and followed you”. At this point the Lord reassures the disciples that the abandonment of the places of everyday life and of the most loved ones, will not result in a life without affections. On the contrary, they will witness the multiplication of relationships of love and friendship.

I experienced this from the first months of novitiate and did not take long to perceive Villa S. Ignazio as my home and the novitiate community as a family. Recently, during a one-month service experience at the Cottolengo in Turin, I, Nicola and Ale were hosted in the guesthouse of the structure where a community of eight university students lives. Almost immediately, the boys warmly welcomed us into the group, offering us their friendship and helping us out in every way. They offered to drive us to the Sacra di San Michele and the Basilica di Superga. They took us to some of the most beautiful places in the city. With them we watched films, played football, had profound and interesting conversations, lived hilarious situations.

It is true that there is no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields because of Jesus and because of the Gospel, which does not already receive, now, a hundred times as much.

We continue the journey waiting for persecutions and eternal life!

The Good Samaritan

by Benedek Rácz

I hastily push the trolley with 100 waterproof sheets (2 packs of 50), 4 pillowcases (yes,
that’s all that arrived this time), a bag of toothpaste tubes and two more cartons of kitchen
supplies. I hurry down the corridor, since here, during the hospital experiment period, I keep
receiving different tasks, which-after the silence of the novitiate house-whisper pleasantly,
“you are useful!”
As I run, suddenly someone calls from one of the rooms:
– Benny!
– But I have important work to do! – I say to myself – I have work to do, I have the 100
waterproof sheets (those packs of 50), 4 pillowcases (the ones that arrived), the bag of
toothpaste tubes, and…
– Benny! – Same voice, concealing a 90-year life story: made of storms and sunshine.
– Benny!
– I don’t have time now! – I always say to myself, but I feel my heart sinking: Because who
has time but me? Me, who left “my home, my country, my brothers, my parents”?
Well, I stop the trolley, with the 100 waterproof sheets and all the other little things I carry
with me. I put on the brakes. I enter the room. I crouch down, start listening to that trembling
voice, which is hard to understand, but encapsulates 90 years of life: parents and village,
shelter and bombs, husband and job, desires and poverty, wounds and failures. Everything.
And the joy of finally having someone who listens.
(cf Lk 10,30-35; Lk 18,29)

Benedek Rácz


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