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Back to the Future!

Back to the Future!

I was tempted to name my Blog entry for today, as “The Fifth Week”, in tribute to the book which first gave me an insight into the world of the Jesuits. I read the book, purely out of curiosity, and as you can guess, I was hooked. The back cover of the book, which was written by William J. O’Malley SJ states that “Every Jesuit novice makes the month-long Spiritual Exercises: the first week is on the principle of life; the second is on Jesus’ life; the third is on his passion and death; and the fourth is on the resurrected life of the children of God. The fifth week is the rest of a Jesuit’s life.” Well, I’m in my 6th week, having completed the Exercises on February 10th.

Let me rewind a bit. I entered the exercises with an open mind, although I was half expecting to be transformed, and to be honest half-expecting to be a little bored. I was wondering how I was going to spend such a long time without any book but the Bible to read.  However, as Paul mentioned below, with up to 5 hours a day of prayer, I found the days were too short! It’s amazing how perception can change in a flash.  My experience of the exercises was simply put, a recognition of the never-ending love and mercy of God in my life. I felt a strong desire to match that love, although I know that I can’t compete with God.  I found myself recognising the need for God in my life and in the world, while I was contemplating the life of Christ. I would say that the retreat was really geared towards my lifestyle in the future. I can’t go back into the past and change any decision I have made, but I have recognised that I can determine how I make decisions and live my life in the future.

On coming back to outside world and the future, my fire and enthusiasm for doing the will of God is a little stronger and the fire of faith and love in my heart burns brighter.

I’m two days into my placement at an organisation called the Whitechapel Centre (http://www.whitechapelcentre.co.uk/) which aims at providing solutions to those facing housing and homelessness difficulties.  It’s been an eye-opening experience so far.

Hopefully, I’ll keep you posted about my future developments over the coming weeks. That’s all from me, I’m going back to my Future :).Don’t forget to check us out next Wednesday, where more interesting happenings should be revealed from the other novices on their experiments.

Joel 

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