It all started when someone suggested a book he should read. Then he went to a bookshop to buy the spiritual book. Consequently, he met the Jesuits and discovered the Spiritual Exercises, and his journey began. “I met the Jesuits through a priest in charge of a bookshop in Cluj-Napoca. I wanted a good spiritual guide, since I did not have much knowledge and experience in the area of faith and the spiritual life.”
This is the experience of Alexandru, 29 years of age, from Romania. After his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at the Faculty of History-Philosophy, of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, he now works as a librarian/researcher at the Romanian College. «What struck me about the Jesuits,» he says, «is their spirit of sacrifice, of perfection, of continuous closeness to God! I always cherished their mottos “Deus semper maior” and “Ad majorem dei gloriam”!»
A path of discernment
Through the knowledge of the Spiritual Exercises he went through a period of spiritual accompaniment. “Fr. Bosa SJ was my guide, meeting him regularly for almost a year. He taught me how to open myself to Christ and to live my faith in silence, in my room, to help others and to involve myself in the lives of those most in need. I concluded the experience of the Spiritual Exercises in daily life with 7 days of Spiritual discernment to discover what to do with my life.”
Fear and freedom
«At first, the journey was not easy. Then day after day, I felt that my faith was strengthening, and my fears started to disappear. At the Manresa Spiritual Centre, I felt I was born anew. I learned to talk to Him, to offer my life to Him, to be more sensitive to others. Perhaps the greatest spiritual fruit was my decision to become a Roman Catholic. The Spiritual Exercises opened a door for me: that of the Soul. I became aware of what I needed to work on in my spiritual life, how to do this, and most importantly, who to ask for help in my time of need».
This experience, recounts Alexandru, «generated an openness to God. The Spiritual Exercises opened a door that I didn’t think could be opened: that of the Soul. So I met the Lord, personally, concretely, in my daily life. I realized how sinful and imperfect I am. Not in an obsessive way, but in a constructive way: I understood what I need to work on in my spiritual life, how to work and, above all, whom to ask for help in my time of need: God and the Jesuits of the Manresa Spiritual Center.»