The motor hoe is a farming apparatus, made of a motor and a handle, generally used for hoeing and weeding the terrain. In few weeks we will find ourselves in the middle of the process of preparing our garden to be seeded for a new season.
To prepare better the terrain we will use the so-called motor hoe. I still remember that last year, in this period, we undertook the same operation; utilising and seeing this machine in action immediately evoked something in me. With the passing of time, now and then, the memory of this experience came back. With sympathy it represented me a sort of a useful metaphor with witch I could comprehend what the novitiate is supposed to be.
Often, in fact, people asked us what it means to live here or what we do but usually it is difficult to explain. Now I would like to respond with this metaphor.
The life in novitiate is like a motor hoe in action on the terrain.
Living in the novitiate often means being disposed to “reprogram” our exterior or interior mechanisms, habits, ecc. This implies digging a deep furrow inside us, that allows us to strip off and free ourselves from many structures and let go our masks, defences, ideas, false idols. In fact, anyone of us is inhabited inside, knowing it in part or not, by a series of attachments.
The spiritual path proposed by Saint Ignatius of Loyola invites us to free ourselves from this “disordered affections” to feel reconciled with ourselves, God and the others.
I connected all this with the image of the motor hoe in action that is turning the dry dirt breaking it and mixing it in a form of tiny pieces, creating a new layer of fertile earth, that shines in new colours and shades, above all is fortified and renewed. The same thing goes for us novices in everyday life. We train ourselves to get in contact with our inwardness and to know that which was hidden before. We don’t talk about psychological introspection but about prayer. In it we continually ask the Lord to lead us with His Presence.
The descent of the motor hoe is very evocative. It reminds the deep prayer, the listening of the Word and of others, the patient work of God who leads us step after step with his Presence.
I would like to finish inviting you to discover the ignatian spirituality and the beauty of prayer. Jesus said these Words: «Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light». (Mt 11, 29-30)
The content of this article can help us to listen these words of Jesus. It prepares us to receive this sweet yoke and this light burden. His Presence will do the rest.
Marco Garbari, novice of the second year