The Spiritual Exercises of the university students of CL

Clu exercises: the difference in the eyes of Arva

Ilaria returns from the weekend of the CLU exercises in Rimini. Her Albanian roommate welcomes her. She recounts what she experienced: the lessons, the songs, the testimony... And she asks her friend: "What about you?"

I returned to my apartment in Varese on Sunday evening, after three days spent in Rimini at the Spiritual Exercises of the CLU. Climbing the stairs, I felt all the tiredness of the return journey and the intense rhythms of those days. At the same time, however, an immense gratitude made my heart vibrate to the point that I quivered from the desire to open the door wide open.

Arva, one of my roommates, who came to the apartment in October, welcomed me. Albanian of origin and Muslim by tradition, she decided to move to Italy four years ago to study medicine. After spending the first three years in university accommodation, at the beginning of this year she found herself without financial support and, having us friends of the CLU as a point of reference at the university, she asked us if she could come to one of our apartments. Luckily, we had a vacancy. Arva is a wonderful girl, who, in her shyness and attentive respect, has begun to flourish over time.

Entering into the apartment, I hugged her like I had never done before, since she has been with us. We tidied my things, I made a quick dinner, and when we were sat at the table I began to tell her about what we had done in Rimini, what Fr. Carrón told us, the songs, the testimony of writer Daniele Mencarelli ...
When I had finished, I asked her, "What about you?" She looked at me and said: "It has been a very bad weekend. I have been here alone studying and I have done little". "And do you know what is weird?", she said: "In my student accommodation, every weekend was like that, and yet I never noticed. Only after I started living with you have I begun to realize the difference, because I compare the two.”

I froze in silence. It is the same for me and I was able to experience it again during the three days of the Exercises: I too, like Arva, have experienced a great beauty, totally corresponding, and, now, in everyday things, even the driest, I can not help but demand that same beauty. I experience it daily in different circumstances and I am moved to discover, through Arva's eyes, how an extraordinary life can emerge even from the simple fact of being in an apartment.

Ilaria, Varese, Italy