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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

Christmas carols in the Novitiate

24 Dec 2020

Christmas is associated with traditions and songs that evoke memories of our home countries. Each of us has chosen a song that we consider to be of particular importance. And so we have put together a playlist of Christmas songs, which we would like to share with everyone.

Below is a short presentation of the chosen song:

P. Agostino: “Din Don Dan”.
Between joy and nostalgia, a song for the whole family.

P. Iosif: “Astăzi s-a născut Cristos” (Today Christ is born).
Originally a Romanian popular Christmas song, quite old. In the video it is a postmodern elaboration, made by a composer friend of mine from Cluj, Cristian Bence-Muk. I like the way he has managed to revitalise something very traditional. The refrain goes: Lăudați și cântați și vă bucurați! (Praise and sing and rejoice!) So be it!

David: “I re magi” (The Magi).
A festive allegretto from the children’s oratorio, entitled The Christmas of the Innocents. It is composed by Nino Rota, who is particularly well known for the soundtracks of films by Luchino Visconti and Federico Fellini. But he is also a prolific composer of sacred music. The piece is taken from the Gospel of Matthew, the scene of the Magi arriving in Jerusalem.

Raul: “Florile dalbe” (White flowers).
A well-known traditional Romanian song, which young people sing during the Christmas holidays, going to the homes of relatives and acquaintances, to announce the coming feast, the birth of the Messiah.

Pasquale: “Venite pastorelli alla capanna” (Come shepherds to the hut).
I choose this song because it recalls, with the sound of bagpipes, the traditions of southern Italy, for a time that is always nostalgic. The nostalgia that comes with waiting for Jesus.

Christian: “Natale a Pavana” (Christmas in Pavana).
It’s one of Francesco Guccini’s last songs, written and sung in the dialect of his childhood. I like the sense of memory and the music which is both sweet and full of nostalgia.

Péter: “Romanian Folk Dances”.
Béla Bartók is able, with the instruments of classical music, to present you with a piece of raw Romanian and Hungarian folk music. Thus making Christmas a lively experience, similar to the evening when the shepherds go to see Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Daniel N.: “Barn Jesus i en krybbe lå” (Baby Jesus lay in a manger).
It’s a traditional Danish song that I like a lot. The text is by Hans Christian Andersen and the music by Niels W. Gade, who composed it in 1859.

Guglielmo: “Angelus ad pastores ait” (The angel said to the shepherds).
It is an original chant. The performance by eight voices, in harmony with each other, reminds me of our differences, united in a single song, before the tenderness of a defenceless child, born out of love.

Dániel T.: “Boldogságos Szűz” (Blessed Virgin).
In this piece, two different worlds, two different traditions meet: a Hungarian folk lullaby for the infant Jesus and a 13th century song about a miracle of Mary.
I like encounters of this kind, where diversity does not separate us, but enriches us. For me, Christmas means something similar: contemplating the incarnation of God and giving myself to others as I am.

Gellért: “Betlehem kis falucskában” (In the small village of Bethlehem).
Two voices are enough for the great proclamation: “God the Son became man”. A traditional Hungarian song, presented by two musicians from my country.

Through this playlist you can feel a little more united with us. We wish you all a Merry Christmas.

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