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

Discovering biodiversity

09 Feb 2021

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.

Praise as the day decline

by Gianluca Severin

As evening falls, if we are not attending the apostolate, we gather to celebrate Vespers, the evening prayer of the Christian community.

We pray for our families, for our friends, for our confreres, for the people we meet on our journey so that the memory keeps our affection alive. We pray with our community, with our confreres everywhere in the world, with those in joy and with those in difficulty. We pray with those who pray alone, with those who, in the solitude and silence of a crowded and chaotic world, whisper the words of their heart. We pray with those who do not know how to pray, with those who cannot find the words, with those who fear opening their souls, with those who fear that their cry will fall on deaf ears or that it will be received with judgment and condemnation. We pray with those who do not pray, with those who do not feel like it, with those who do not have time, with those who do not find something to thank or to plead for, nor hope that someone will listen to their gratitude or plea.

Our prayer blends with the thousand voices of the human family, with the praises and pleas, joys and sorrows, anger and peace, desires and fears that animate the hearts of men.

In praying we use words that Christ, that prophets and saints, that common people used before us, uniting ours to their voice, their feeling, their living, their meeting the Lord; in praying we perceive the echo of everyone’s voices in ours, and ours resound in those of Christ and those of Christ in us.

The prayer of each one merges and intertwines with the prayer of all; in the psalms, canticles and hymns, I find the words to express the stirrings of heart that I share with that psalmist trusting in God of thousands of years ago. I am not the only to seek, I am not the only to feel, I am not the only to love: the words of others, of the ancient ones, of the distant ones, remind me that I am not alone. That image, that expression, that experience give shape and light to my inner life.

In praying I infuse in ancient words the very current and concrete meaning of my life, that unique beat of my heart. In those words I tell my life, I read my past, I see traces for my future. Just as a thousand sparks spring from the same flint, a thousand lives ignite from the same Word.

The whole life, with its succession of days and nights, of actions and thoughts, of words and silences, with praise for the beauty of life, with respect for the mystery of truth of every creature and person, with loving service to God and to men is prayer, sacred and precious.

As evening falls, in communion with all men and women, we gather to celebrate the prayer of God’s people.

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