You leave every time you conclude a journey to start another one.
Come to think of it, it’s been ever since we were conceived that we’re leaving. Many stages. None conclusive.
Sometimes it’s good to turn around and look at them. Above all to understand what we want to keep in our backpack of travelers / pilgrims.
It must be light. It must still have room inside to welcome new things.
And so καταρτίζομεν: we prepare our ship, mend our nets … Yes, navigating the seas and walking are naturally similar…
What to take with you from our Greek lessons?
I cannot know what each of you will keep. However I know what it is that I will keep. I, who might seem not to leave … and instead every time I start with a new group, I too “leave”.
In my backpack there is the beauty of communicating: by now I know that it is only by listening to the word together that flashes of deeper understanding are born.
There is love for the word that I always want to hear.
There is memory: “leaving is in part dying” is sometimes said; it’s true, because we are separated; but to remember – “ricordare” in Italian – is to return to the heart (cor, cordis in Latin is the heart); and we always carry the heart with us.
You ask me what I wish you.
Well, it’s all here already …
In a side pocket of your backpack I put all the affection and esteem that I have for you.
(A letter written by Umberta Parodi – who teaches Greek at the Novitiate – to Andrei, Cornel, Giacomo, Janez and Piero)