An hour to fry the pizzas. Filippo is still busy working the pasta and filling it with what he needs while Lorenzo and I are busy keeping the oil at temperature. From time to time the oil splashes due to the contact with the tomato that comes out. Delicate operations carried out without making noise because it’s 7 pm and it’s time for prayer, so while cooking, we pray the rosary and in the silence of the work our gaze is fixed in the oil of the pan and my memory takes me back to the moments of the month of the Spiritual Exercises.
I think back to how intense the recently concluded experience was, to the flame of the Spirit that animated the recent contemplations, to the life of Jesus and to all the gifts received, especially those that arrived without me asking for them, as the Gospel says, “your Father knows what things you need even before you ask Him” (Matt. 6:7-15).; I get back to myself to prepare supper and God already returns to manifest Himself in the daily life of the Novitiate.
But the community that has just been reunited is again close to separation because the second year novices have packed their bags for their Lent experiment and pizzas are the best way to celebrate a stage that has ended and another that is about to begin, but also an opportunity for deeper reflection: how many differences characterize us! Memory this time takes a leap back to the days when I worked ina Neapolitan pizzeria to pay for for my university studies. I notice the difference. The stress of work leaves room for joy in sharing a tradition of my Naples with others.
But after dinner another date awaits us. Daniel makes us fly to Denmark animating the recreation with a description of his country! He tells us about Copenhagen, the Queen, the “neighbouring” Faroe Islands and Greenland. Worlds unknown to me, entered my imagination thanks to Andersen’s fairy tales and some famous footballers: goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and the Laudrup brothers.
We have really a lot to thank the Lord for within the walls of our community. Just as the first founders of the Society of Jesus were Basques, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Savoy, so too we come from the most diverse places in Europe and so much richness is further enriched, to paraphrase Saint Paul, by the moans with which the Spirit speaks to each one in an absolutely personal way, making everyday life the best exercise to see God’s work.
Pasquale Landolfi, first years novice