It is never too often to stress: the Superior’s task is not to make the Probationer passes. It is the task of the Probationer. What the Superior needs to do with his work is just to separate the suitable from unsuitable ones. Occasionally, there will be those who are simply not fitting. Despite their hard work and a pure heart, the Probation will be too much for some, and they will make that worst choice in the whole work, which is to give up. Only in this case, the Superior really can do nothing. Once a conscious and formal withdrawal has been made, it cannot be compensated in any way. There are various instructions on what can be done with the one who has given up. After some months or even years, the Aspirant could return with a desire to work again. It is my opinion that we should not be too rigid about this, although it is a full right of the Superior to deny. However, in the deepest part of my soul, I feel that there is nothing more glorious than to tell someone “come, I love you.” Being a star does not mean we all have the same shine. There are conscious and mature stars, but there are also those young and childish, which will grow and glint when our shining fades, and these stars should be given the opportunity to go forward. As long as it is forward, and only forward as a pure motive, I will agree to a compromise. And as long as love is an essential impeller, I will always say yes. How often have we all fallen and how much should we stay in the mud if there were not friendly hands and support, someone’s warm embrace that infuses the motivation to continue? Not a single fall of the Probationer is natural; after all, Probation is given to pass, not to fail. The purpose of the exam is above all to learn, not to dismiss.
Disguised as a beggar, the great Odysseus was patiently enduring suitors’ abuse. He uttered words which the Probationer will sense perfectly: “Still, my heart, for you have suffered heavier things”. Secretly knowing that, when the time comes, he will kill every one of them. Even in the book Hagakure, we can find something about this matter. It says: “If there is something that points to what an individual does well, the only important thing is: let him endure suffering, without exception.” Still, we must add that such temptations have nothing to do with the suffering of the old age; joy in the expectation of the sun birth at dawn is as real as distant, the Probationer must know that the nature of the universe is in his advancement and nothing less.