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Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus
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Discovering biodiversity

by Daniel Tímár

During the last meeting with the educators of ACR (Azione Cattolica Ragazzi) in the parish were I do my apostolate we did an activity in which each young person wrote on a sheet of paper their most significant characteristic, as if they saw themselves in a mirror. Then, in the second round, on the other side of the paper all the other young people wrote down the qualities of their companions. The next day I reflected on this activity and tried to apply it in our novitiate community. Reviewing the journey we have made together, the first word that emerged was: gratitude.

I am grateful because I can witness how the Lord is working in the lives of each one of us. I am grateful because the good examples of others push me forward on my journey and help me through difficult times. At other times they remind me if I have forgotten something or simply open up new horizons. I am grateful, because although it is not always easy to live with the diversity among us, there are always moments when we become true gifts for others and so we can enrich each other. I am grateful, because among them and with their help I can discover what it means to be the real me.

Continuing my reflection at this point, the image came to me of a meadow in which there are various flowers and small animals. An environment where there is room for different species. This scene represents the fresh experience of the three courses we have just finished. Three different Jesuits, three different personalities, three different themes, three different methods of presentation. As if they were three different trees in this meadow. Living all three deeply in Ignatian spirituality, these Jesuits have shown us what it means to share themselves through their specialisations, using the different gifts and talents of their personalities. I am grateful for this diversity and this experience, because they help me to become the image God has of me.

2021-02-09 Dániel Tímár, second-year novice.

Christmas carols in the Novitiate

24 Dec 2020

Christmas is associated with traditions and songs that evoke memories of our home countries. Each of us has chosen a song that we consider to be of particular importance. And so we have put together a playlist of Christmas songs, which we would like to share with everyone.

Below is a short presentation of the chosen song:

P. Agostino: “Din Don Dan”.
Between joy and nostalgia, a song for the whole family.

P. Iosif: “Astăzi s-a născut Cristos” (Today Christ is born).
Originally a Romanian popular Christmas song, quite old. In the video it is a postmodern elaboration, made by a composer friend of mine from Cluj, Cristian Bence-Muk. I like the way he has managed to revitalise something very traditional. The refrain goes: Lăudați și cântați și vă bucurați! (Praise and sing and rejoice!) So be it!

David: “I re magi” (The Magi).
A festive allegretto from the children’s oratorio, entitled The Christmas of the Innocents. It is composed by Nino Rota, who is particularly well known for the soundtracks of films by Luchino Visconti and Federico Fellini. But he is also a prolific composer of sacred music. The piece is taken from the Gospel of Matthew, the scene of the Magi arriving in Jerusalem.

Raul: “Florile dalbe” (White flowers).
A well-known traditional Romanian song, which young people sing during the Christmas holidays, going to the homes of relatives and acquaintances, to announce the coming feast, the birth of the Messiah.

Pasquale: “Venite pastorelli alla capanna” (Come shepherds to the hut).
I choose this song because it recalls, with the sound of bagpipes, the traditions of southern Italy, for a time that is always nostalgic. The nostalgia that comes with waiting for Jesus.

Christian: “Natale a Pavana” (Christmas in Pavana).
It’s one of Francesco Guccini’s last songs, written and sung in the dialect of his childhood. I like the sense of memory and the music which is both sweet and full of nostalgia.

Péter: “Romanian Folk Dances”.
Béla Bartók is able, with the instruments of classical music, to present you with a piece of raw Romanian and Hungarian folk music. Thus making Christmas a lively experience, similar to the evening when the shepherds go to see Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Daniel N.: “Barn Jesus i en krybbe lå” (Baby Jesus lay in a manger).
It’s a traditional Danish song that I like a lot. The text is by Hans Christian Andersen and the music by Niels W. Gade, who composed it in 1859.

Guglielmo: “Angelus ad pastores ait” (The angel said to the shepherds).
It is an original chant. The performance by eight voices, in harmony with each other, reminds me of our differences, united in a single song, before the tenderness of a defenceless child, born out of love.

Dániel T.: “Boldogságos Szűz” (Blessed Virgin).
In this piece, two different worlds, two different traditions meet: a Hungarian folk lullaby for the infant Jesus and a 13th century song about a miracle of Mary.
I like encounters of this kind, where diversity does not separate us, but enriches us. For me, Christmas means something similar: contemplating the incarnation of God and giving myself to others as I am.

Gellért: “Betlehem kis falucskában” (In the small village of Bethlehem).
Two voices are enough for the great proclamation: “God the Son became man”. A traditional Hungarian song, presented by two musicians from my country.

Through this playlist you can feel a little more united with us. We wish you all a Merry Christmas.

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