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

Covid-19: virus or antidote?

29 May 2021

What if the covid is not a virus, but an antidote? What if this tiny creature was actually, albeit unwittingly, trying to fight the much more serious virus for planet earth that is the human species?
Let us try for a moment to get out of our anthropocentrism and take a more objective point of view: for the ecosystem of planet earth, the human being is, in fact, a virus that, in order to selfishly continue to live and expand at the expense of others, is undermining the survival of many living beings (if not all) and of the planet’s natural resources.
We humans, with our short-sightedness that has now almost reached complete blindness, are attacking the vital organs of planet earth – the oceans, the forests, the fauna, the underground mineral reserves… – just as covid does to our own internal organs. We are somehow experiencing on ourselves what we ourselves cause, without being aware of it, to countless other living beings. It seems as if this crown-shaped being, which we call a ‘virus’, is also delivering a message to us.
What if, by trying to restore the previous situation at all costs, we are actually going against the common good of the diverse ecosystem in which we are embedded? Obviously, the answer cannot be to let ourselves die or not to vaccinate, but to listen to this ecosystem message, to get out of our collective idiosyncrasy and to start changing our lifestyle, which causes pain and suffering to many other living species, as well as to a good number of beings belonging to our own species, often not even too far from us.
2021-05-29 Guglielmo Scocco – second year novice

God saw it was very good

by Gianluca Severin

Among the experiences that characterize life in the novitiate are the outings that we experience together every week, walking in the nature surrounding the city.

When we arrive at the summit, under the deepest sky, on suspended peaks, surrounded by the mountains and the sea, our wonder blossoms into praise. The Lord passed through these woods, thoughtfully spreading a thousand graces, and gazing at them along the way, with his face alone, left them covered in beauty. Creatures are a footprint of God’s footsteps, thanks to which we perceive his greatness, power and wisdom. (Saint John of the Cross)

The heart unites us with every creature singing the joy of its existence, that proclaims His infinite creativity, His supreme wisdom, His eternal tenderness. An immense space opens up before us in which everything takes on the measure of infinite, and within us expands so much the desire for heights, for splendor, for freedom.

And here, without having asked, without having deserved, I am here too.

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches [Psalm 104:24]

While the ear immerses itself in the silence, and notices the distant roar of a waterfall, the rustling of branches, the screech of a hawk, the sense of the sacred arises in us.

I respect very deeply and, at the same time, I retain the utmost intimacy in which He welcomes me; I am pervaded by an abysmal unworthiness and, at the same time, by the sweetest boldness when He approaches: “Don’t be afraid. It’s me”. Faced with the sublime, I am not afraid but attracted, in love; faced with the unknown I don’t fall silent but I dialogue about the deepest and most sincere things in life; faced with the infinite, I don’t run away but I entrust myself, I let be embraced; faced with mystery, I do not retreat but I open myself to friendship, to communion. And I perceive everything as work of God, myself as work of God, and God at work in life.

The Spirit of the Lord fills the universe, and embracing everything, knows every voice [Wis 1,7]

While we rest together among rocks that reach out to the sky, shaped and enlivened by the shining light, by the blowing wind, by the flowing water, we live not as servants, not as masters but as friends.

We share the journey, punctuated by the slow and persevering climb, and the pauses, the tiredness and the daring, the fatigue and the wonder. We share bread and water, a daily gesture, but which, after a common effort, is more frank and serene, it has a flavor of greater intimacy. We share the stories that everyone has to tell, the past that brought us here, the future that we glimpse on the horizon, the fears and passions, the laughter and the sadness, the doubts and enthusiasms. We share each other’s silent company. And I feel like I’m among brothers.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them [Mt 18:20]

By living these we save ourselves: in the praise, in the sacred, in the friendship of God, our salvation, the fullness of life, is already achieved.

God created human beings to praise, reverence, and serve God, and by doing this, to save their souls. God created all other things on the face of the earth to help fulfill this purpose [Principle and foundation of the Spiritual Exercise]

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