by Rakesh Mondol, SJ
I remember being told during my first probation that novitiate is the honeymoon period of religious life. To be honest I was not quite convinced. Today as I look back at my novitiate life, it has indeed been so. It was a period of wholesome growth especially in spiritual and emotional aspects.
When I began my novitiate I had a lot of fears and doubts. But today I feel serene in the hands of God. My faith has deepened and the person of Jesus has become somebody close and real to me. I believe, everything that happened in my life was according to the plan of God. The long retreat helped me to refocus and redirect my life drastically. The various experiments that I went through helped me to grow stronger in my vocation. I still cherish those beautiful moments of concretely experiencing God’s presence. I enjoyed the companionship of my friends working and living together.
There were moments of doubts and darkness as well. Sometimes it was difficult to go on yet I feel it was God who held my hand to lead me on. It was through grace and understanding of my Novice Master that I overcame many hurdles and difficulties.Today, as a Jesuit, I am filled with joy and gratitude for the wonders the Lord has done in my life. I have no words to thank Him. The only thing that I can do is to be faithful to him each day and respond to Him generously in my everyday living. I am grateful for my vocation and for the grace He has given me to commit myself to Him. I am grateful to so many Jesuits who formed me and continue to do so. May God continue to lead me through the years of my formation.