Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus

Summer SJ

by Giacomo Mottola

Here I am on the other side of the screen six year later. Yes, because I remember well that summer after the first year of seminary when I went through all the pages of the novice website to read about the novices’ experience. As I read about their summer activities I began to feel, ever more clearly, the desire to live this way. Although the accounts of summer experience were so accurate that I felt like I was living them as I read them, at the end of this summer I must admit that doing them is far more challenging that reading them from the comfort of the sofa.

Of course I imagined that I would go from one experience to the next, always ready to commit myself to the end, in a perfect spirit of obedience to my superiors but I discovered that obedience is not only an outward appearance. It is not enough to do what they asked of you and do it to the best of your ability. When I found myself from time to time in new contests where I know no one, or almost no one, I realized that a part of me was starting to play defensively and a whole apparent set of good reasons was ready to argue that it was OK. After all I had obeyed but a part of me was not there missing the opportunity to learn, experiment and get involved.

Thanks to the advice of one Jesuit in charge of one of the activities I took part in, I learned a big lesson this year. Situations are objective but interpretations are relative. There are work situations that may be easier than others but it is up to us to choose whether to see that difficulty as a threat to be defended against or as a challenge to be faced. I have also noticed that I come into daily contact with situations that I may perceive as challenges or threats. By frequently examining my conscience to see where I have acted defensively and where I have put myself on the line, I am discovering new aspects every day to work on in order to learn to trust the good Lord more and more.

Giacomo Mottola

The fourth vow of obedience to the Pope regarding missions

by Pál Füszfás

Jesuits in general are always sent, i.e. they do not choose what to do, which mission to carry out, in which part of the world to live. They receive their mission from their superiors, in hierarchical order up to the pope. They do this because they want to serve the Church where they can do the greatest good and they are aware that a superior sees the needs better and they believe that he receives from the Spirit the grace to be able to discern God’s desire.In the summer we novices go to help in various works to get to know the realities of the Society and to lend a hand where there is need.

This summer I was looking forward to the summer camp of the Catholic Action group I follow. I especially wanted the opportunity to spend a lot of time together to get to know each other better. This would certainly have helped us to establish a deeper relationship, so that I could better carry out my apostolate during the year. But this summer I am sent to Hungary, I will be doing various youth camps, helping with manual labour in an exercise house and participating in other shorter events.

This is my first small experience of the fourth vow, which mainly concerns the missions. I would like to do something, I am convinced that it would be beautiful and would help souls, but my superiors ask for something else. This experience helps me to better understand what it means to be sent where there is most need. I cannot discern what is most important but I rely on my superiors.

This summer the Church is calling me to Hungary.

Pál Füszfás

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