Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus
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What do you care? You follow me!

by Benedek Rácz

War. Just over 1,000 kilometers away from me. In the neighborhood of my homeland. While I stand here in Genoa, in the chapel and pray for peace, I plead for lives. My desires would lead me to help concretely where the pain rages. “Lord, you would do this too, wouldn’t you? You would go there and sit here doing nothing?”. But no. It is not that simple. Jesus in his earthly life was not a problem-solving machine. Only after allowing a few days to pass did he leave to heal – by then already to raise – Lazarus (Jn 11:6) and he did not run to save the men who had been crushed by the tower of Siloe, although he was aware of what had happened (Lk 13:4). Jesus often acts in a way that makes no human sense. His actions were pleasing not to men, but always to the Father. “Only” this is my duty, that I may hear, and that I may be ready and diligent to fulfill his will. (cf. Spiritual Exercises 91)

By praying day after day I am more and more certain that I am a Jesuit religious in the Father’s dream. His will is that I be formed here in Genoa in the Novitiate. As high as the heavens are above the earth, and as high as his ways above our ways and his thoughts above our thoughts, so much must I trust the Father, believing that my prayers are the best and the most I can do for peace (cf. Is 55:9). It is a shattering experience to put my whole being in his hands every day, accepting that his will now is that I do nothing humanly concrete, and being ready if tomorrow he calls me to get up, leave the novitiate and go help under the bombs. It is a shocking experience, but anyone who has already experienced the power of this relationship and met the attractive figure of Jesus knows that this is how it is.

So every day I accept all my weaknesses, my powerlessness, and every day I rejoice when I can see how God has used me as an instrument of his love, that is, how this little reality that I am has become enough and a gift.

Benedek Rácz

Do you love me?

by Pál Füszfás

On the occasion of Easter I would like to share one of my experiences of the spiritual exercises.

In the fourth week of the Spiritual Exercises which is the last, we contemplate the risen Jesus. It was particularly difficult for me to stay in these contemplations, at first I didn’t understand why. In my mind I had many distracted thoughts, for example how to build a bicycle frame, on which side of the roof of the neighboring houses would be good to put photovoltaic panels, or when I saw a field some agricultural technologies came to my mind. Being an engineer (at least in my heart) I like all these issues but at that moment it was absolutely useless to think about them.

It was already the third day that I was suffering from these distractions when I was finally able to tell the real reason: I didn’t like this risen Jesus who doesn’t stay with his disciples and with whom I cannot simply stay, as I had done before. He comes when he wants, stays for 5 minutes, for an hour and then he goes away. He makes himself unrecognizable and plays with his disciples.

Then he asks: “Do you love me?” (apparition of Jesus by the sea of ​​Tiberias, Jn 21)

The “good Catholic” immediately replies in me: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you”.

But this time there is also another, more honest voice: “How could I love you? You don’t stay with me, you always go away!”.

I finally know what’s wrong. I am always very grateful for these moments of sincerity. Unfortunately, sometimes I have to wait days, weeks, years until they arrive.

Then it is fascinating how quickly a problem can be solved once we have recognized it.

Two other words come to my aid: “And behold: I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28,20) How?

The other one: “And the king will say to them in reply: Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Mt 25,40).

Well, in fact, finding and seeing Jesus in our neighbor (and in everything) is our lifelong task. Moreover, we have to love him in everything! This new, strange, hidden presence makes us capable of a much greater love. If he had remained physically present among the people, I would definitely love him most and I might not love so much the others. But this way, through him and in him I can and must love everyone and everything. Or we can say it also like this: I can and must love Him in everything and everyone.

 

Pál Füszfás

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