Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus
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God is patient

13 Dec 2019

We all feel the need for new possibilities. We all hope for a “second table of salvation”, we all want to find, along the way, that “hook in the middle of the sky” sung a few years ago by Claudio Baglioni. Perhaps because the human being is always a construction site, a person is always under construction. There are two Gospel parables that I particularly like to read in the light of my experience: that of the “talents” (Mt 25, 14-30) and that of the workers called to work in the vineyard at different times of the day (Mt 20, 1-16 ). In the first, Jesus reminds us of the wealth of gifts that God places in our hands throughout life. His conclusion, however, is very demanding: this treasure, this wealth of gifts, or you welcome it with love and creativity, making it fruitful, or you will lose it forever. In the other parable instead the Lord seems to remind us that there is always, in life, a new possibility, at all times, even in the most unlikely. The Father always puts at our disposal new possibilities to enhance, reorganize, make our lives fruitful. To put it in some title of Ignazio Silone, there are always for us an emergency exit, new wine and bread to satiate the thirst and hunger that emerged along the way, there is always in us a seed under the snow ready to sprout to give new impetus to the adventures of every poor Christian. God is patient and does not stop renewing to us, at every hour of our earthly day, the most important gift, the call to holiness, that is, to full happiness. The salary is assured to us in its fullness, at whatever time we have stamped the card. Even the calls to common sense, behind which our small envy or rivalry are sometimes hidden, do not count for God. He only asks us to trust him, even when, at times and in unusual circumstances, he calls us to follow a special path like the novitiate in the Society of Jesus, as it happened to me.

Massimo Sebastiani

Travel notes

by Christian Lefta

On 24 May, the Society of Jesus in Italy celebrates the feast of ‘Our Lady of the Road’, a devotion so dear to Father Ignatius in his Roman years. In general, the image of the pilgrim has always given me a strange ‘spiritual joy’. Needless to say, for the Jesuits, ‘the pilgrim’ – par excellence – is Ignatius himself.

 

A few weeks ago, in the midst of a study time on Ignatian sources in the Cueva de Manresa, with the second-year novices from Spain and Portugal we retraced, actually backwards, the path Ignatius took from the sanctuary of Montserrat to the town where he would receive the most important spiritual illuminations of his life, Manresa. Walking towards Montserrat, I was thinking back to Ignatius’ journey, the physical one but above all the inner one of the thoughts he carried inside, the questions about the future, the remorse for a rather restless past.

 

Now, that I am here in Genoa, ‘in the middle of the road’ of everyday life, every now and then I find myself thinking back to that road I took, with gratitude and great joy, because I feel that that road was not just a ‘road’ but was and continues to be a recapitulation and an anticipation, in mystery, of every road travelled so far and of all the road to come.

 

 

XXIX
Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino:
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino,
sino estelas en la mar.

(A. Machado)

Christian Lefta

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