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Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus
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Capodanno è Pink Floyd

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New Year’s Eve and Pink Floyd

04 Jan 2020

4 February 1974 In the new Pink Floyd album “The Dark side of the Moon”, the singer David Gilmour in the song Time sings provocatively “every year is getting shorter”, leaving behind them a melancholy atmosphere, in front of the inevitable pace of the days lived in an empty way.

31 December 2019 It is around 19.30 when together with another novice I am going to ring the Crocicchio bell, a homeless hospitalization of the opera S. Marcellino of the Company of Jesus, to celebrate my New Year in “an offhand way”.

As usual, the operator opens the door to us smiling and, after greeting us, assigns us the room where we would have spent the night.

After settling in quickly, we went down to the refectory where a large table was set up to spend our New Year’s Eve dinner with all the guests. Our neighbors were those people who silently accompany us every day in our walking in the cities where we live, without we really realize it.

Sitting around that table, the days of mid-November seem far away when, in front of the fateful question “What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?”, that feeling of anxiety arose spontaneously inside me to have to try to give an adequate answer to such a general expectation . As if it were fundamental not to have to “throw away” not even an opportunity of one’s youth to fully enjoy one’s life.

Yet, this coping with the repetition of this question, with the hope of finding the right answer to not waste the umpteenth opportunity proposed, has never prevented the sun from “continuing to sink and then coming up behind you, while you run to catch it up”.

In the simplicity of our lives, I realize how truly “every year it is getting shorter”, indeed, also that “the sun is the same in a relativel way but I am older, shorter of breath and one day closer to death”. Yet I really don’t feel like saying today to “fritter and waste time”.

Of course, as novices, we employ it in an unconventional way. But we do not squander it.

Christmas, which we celebrated a few days ago, in fact, reminds us that we have already found “Someone or something to shows you the way”, or perhaps better, has already found us and the way to fill our days with meaning.

Faced with this awareness, albeit partial, not immediate and painless, the moments of anxiety disappear when it seems mandatory to have to go back to optimizing one’s time. The time that before seemed to me that I do not have and that I employed to save my plans and prevent them from leading to nothing.

It is true that “no one tells you when to run”, but the starting shot is not somewhere outside of us, but within our history.

 

Time is gone, the article is over.

Happy new research year.Happy 2020!

Giovanni Barbone, novice of the second year

He does…indeed…make all things new

by Alessandro Di Mauro

‘Behold, I make all things new’ Rev 21:5

It has been almost a year since I began this new journey as a Jesuit novice. When I chose to be a Jesuit I was really very happy, perhaps I had never achieved such happiness, it was 3 June 2021, then so many thoughts, so many desires that resurfaced, so much… fear I would say today. But when you are in desolation, you don’t go back on your choices, you go ahead and wait again for the consolation you felt on the day of your choice. Afterwards there were the interviews with four Jesuit fathers and every time I came out of one of these interviews, joy burst in my heart as a sign that I was going in the most beautiful direction for me.

The fear disappeared when I knocked on the door of the novitiate on 2 October: as I entered, the face of the second-year novice immediately made me feel welcome and at home. The smells, the colours, the objects I saw and touched in the novitiate in the first moments told my heart that I was, at last, at home. Thus began my journey in the novitiate, I got to know my fellow novices and the formation fathers. I begin my apostolate in the parish and then there are the experiments: the month of exercises and the month in hospital. Everything runs but everything is lived with a calmness of heart that helps you savour each moment and stop every day to thank the Lord for the gift of life and yours in particular. During the exercises I experienced my frailties: that I do not love the Lord enough (I will say during a sharing), but that the Lord is there extending his hand to me and that even my small attempt to love him is precious in his eyes and it is his grace that is enough to follow him.

My journey goes on and I experience the difficulty of rethinking my life before this choice and community life: it is quite a challenge. But I never felt alone, never abandoned, the Lord took my doubts, my weaknesses and used them to love me even more to make me live differently: fuller, richer and more joyful. The month I spent in hospital supporting the guests of an RSA was the moment when this love of God was poured out to our brothers and sisters in need, the moment when you really understand that you are, as St Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to say, a pencil in the hands of God. And here we are during the summer period when I am experiencing the beauty of encounter and free service to understand once again that it is the Lord who makes…really…all things new by taking over and enhancing your life.

Alessandro Di Mauro

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