An international flavour and a presence that left its mark. A fitting summary for the visit of Fr. General Arturo Sosa and of Fr. Provincial Gianfranco Matarazzo, on the occasion of the feast of the Novitiate – the feastday of St. Stanislaw Kostka – celebrated on the 13 th of November.
The day began, as usual, with the 6:30 am wake-up bell, followed by personal prayer, the celebration of Lauds in community and then with breakfast all together. From the beginning we could appreciate, thanks to his smiles and jokes, the informal and fraternal atmosphere with which Fr. General related with us, as if it had been he who had invited us to his home!
The morning, then, continued with a meeting of encounter and exchange between the Novitiate community and our guests. During this time we had the opportunity to pose questions on issues close to heart: about the Society’s challenges for the future, or, simply, to manifest our desires, and take advantage of the time together to simply listen and broaden our horizons.
In fact, the global vision of Fr. Sosa allowed us to see more clearly the signs of the times, he presented us with a new and compelling way to understand the world that surrounds us, so as to be ever more free to serve the needs of the Church and the people with whom we enter into relationship on a daily bais.
After the meeting, part of the community of the Gesù of Genoa joined us to celebrate Eucharist together. The Mass, presided by Father General, thanks also to his words, presented us with the figure of St. Stanislaw Kotska and the difficulty in the world of our times “to recognize holiness in young people. Even less so if it is a young man who, just sixteen years old, ran away from home so as not to do what his family expected from him”.
The words of his homily were seeds thrown into earth that, through prayer, will have the chance to make them mature. Amongst all the words there was one that was repeated and that struck me because of its incisiveness: INSTEAD. The society in which we live, the powers that be, advertisements and the many stimuli we receive seem to drag us into a sea where we cannot make out a direction or a horizon, and yet we who have received and made a choice for God, we already have our direction and all we have to do is
follow and confirm it daily.
How? Though discernment and reminding ourselves that we are not alone on this journey. In fact, the discernment to which we cling is not something that can be lived on our own, but it is a path that needs the other. Because it is thanks to the other with whom we enter into relationship, living fully each day, do we have the opportunity to contemplate and verify our choices: not as if we were looking inside a well, satisfied by the echoes we can hear, imagining the bottom, but wishing to directly seek out the source and see our reflection to see the most authentic image of the reality we are called to live, together with the whole Society of Jesus, in the hope that “there will be many young people who will listen and follow this beautiful path opened by the Easter of Jesus, who is the first to walk it before”.
With these words that warmed our hearts, we then continued the celebration of the feast of St. Stanislaw in the fraternal sharing of lunch and a walk through the alleyways of Genoa, so that Father General could admire the beauty of the city, before saying goodbye and thus concluding a day that did not leave us indifferent.
Filippo Carlomagno, novice of first year