As we all know, the personal development of an individual occurs throughout its entire life, with some moments more intense, faster and others slower. In the path of a Jesuit, we find the same pattern, but with a somewhat different order and determined by some decisions to be made.
When we talk about the path of a novice, the main decision is whether or not to make the religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to follow the Lord on this path. If we think of these promises as life-long choices we can understand their seriousness. Like any other life choice, this one too requires maximum commitment and awareness given its importance and, to achieve them, a certain evolution is needed. In this sense, the journey of the novitiate offers the possibility of knowing the dimension of religious vows, which give rise to an entire journey of personal growth and maturation. This growth throughout the two years of the novitiate is marked by activities and opportune times that accompany the novice with Ignatian spirituality. The discovery and construction of human capital and its potential will then be verified and adapted to the choice made.
I find connected to these facts the affirmation of St. Ignatius which is used as the synthesis of the spiritual exercises: “For let each one think that a person will benefit himself in all spiritual things in proportion as he goes out of his self-love, will and interest” (ES 189). This emphasizes the importance of spiritual growth, closely associated with human growth, which is fundamental for the continuation of a path and for other further choices.
I feel grateful for this opportunity for such intense growth that was given to us in the novitiate. This is made possible thanks to the experienced people in accompaniment and to a project with activities and times that allow this.
2021-01-16 Raul Ciocani – second-year novice.