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

Danimarca e pizza fritta


Denmark and Fried Pizza

07 Mar 2020

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

Contemplatives in action

by Gianluca Severin

The Jesuits preach the Word and lead exercises, celebrate the Eucharist and reconcile those who repent, walk with the least and the excluded, repair relationships, accompany young people, protect the creation, work in schools, prisons, hospitals, compose songs, they study the universe, they carry out all the works that seem useful to the glory of God and the common good… and, in doing so, they pray.
It is not easy: in the flow of events we struggle to grasp their spiritual meaning, immersed in work and relationships we rarely preserve the interior silence of eternal light in which God lives. This is why we begin the journey along the ways of the world in the quiet of the novitiate.

God called us, in a murmur of light breeze (1 Kings 19.12), to speak to our hearts.
Here the Father welcomes us and guards us, He embraces us, we whisper “Abba…”. The closer and united we become to the Creator, the more we receive His love and grace.
Here the Son saves us from the cold and gloomy boredom of an existence spent on myself, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Gal 2.20), He unites us intimately to the desire to save every creature, to be sent into the world with a meek and humble heart, free and generous for every lost brother and sister.
Here the Spirit gives us faith, hope and love, in us flourish both the adoration and the commitment to the world.
Here we enter the mystery, in the intimacy with the Person. Whoever listens to His Word can also perceive His silence, so as to act through His Word and be recognized through His silence; our heart becomes altar of an incessant prayer, our life a living, holy, pleasing offering to God (Rom 12.1).
In the whirlwind of the days this interior silence allows us to remain in His presence and to see Him in all things.

Now the life that blooms, the radiant sun on our skin, the purity of the water between our fingers, the vigorous wind on our face resonate in us in praise.
The rejoicing with those who are in joy, the sadness with those who are in tears (Rom 12.15), the listening and welcoming, living and concrete love for each person, for the whole person resonate in us in serving.
Participating in the hopes and struggles of humankind, we live the desire for His Kingdom to come, for His will to be done.
For every gesture of kindness, for the beauty of every smile, for every glimpse of truth, for every free choice we can give thanks.
For every brother and sister, for those we meet, for those we help, for those who help us, for those who oppose us we can intercede.
For every selfishness, for every indifference, for every closure we can repent.
In the reality that challenges us we can listen and discern, ready and available to the signs of the Spirit.
What previously averted and distracted us is now the horizon in which we can seek and find God: our monastery is the world.

(Whoever wants to join the Company) Also make sure to have God before his eyes as long as he live, before anything else [Formula Instituti]

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