Manish Tigga, NSJ
Novitiate is the time when a person with a desire to follow Jesus in consecrated life comes to deepen his/her deepest desire to follow Christ and he/she grows in this desire spiritually and mentally. Many young Jesuits admit that they enjoyed and had many unforgettable experiences especially when they were in the Novitiate (that is to say about the time table , the activities in the novitiate, going out for ministries, learning to play musical instruments etc.)
If anyone desires to be a Jesuit, he ought to discern where God is really calling him to be. This is what we learn, right from the beginning of the novitiate. It is done through a method for being aware of our feelings and the movements of the spirit. In the novitiate we are asked to maintain silence both from outside and inside so that we may be aware of our feelings, which will finally help us to grow in our spiritual journey. “Deepen the inner silence, and find out your deepest desire”, is is what Fr master says all the time.
Anyway, that is about the basics of the novitiate. Now, let me tell you about my life in the novitiate. It is really a new life. It feels as if I am in a new world, where I have a new and big family, where there are many fathers, brothers, taking good care of me. They all make me feel at home. But we novices also remember our own parents and family members in our prayer everyday and we also write a letter to them every month telling them that we are happy here (and there is nothing to worry about).Apart from the spiritual matters, we also learn other things like games (I love playing basket ball, which, by the way, is often called a Jesuit game because it is a very popular game among Jesuits), playing musical instruments, singing, reading, swimming, and so on. But mainly in the novitiate we focus on our prayer life, and our growth according to Ignatian Sirituality day after day by the great help of Fr Master and Fr Socius. And hoping that one day we would be Jesuits, the companions of Jesus.