the following is a page of reflection I wrote while at St. Claire's Friary:
Today I saw the next step of my journey. I saw an opportunity open to a young man, clearly eager to serve the Lord, and I set aside my jealousy to support him.
Currently I sit in a dorm at the Chicago Friary of the Capuchins. They are much more laid back than the Dominicans, which is interesting since I always considered the Dom's to be pretty easy going. The brothers, the house, and the lifestyle are nothing like I'd thought. I am pleasantly surprised.
After arriving in Chicago and eating lunch, we were taken to St. Clare de Montefalco: a Capuchin parish in a heavily Latino community. Even though 90% of the parishioners spoke Spanish, there were no Latinos visible in the order.
A tall, young man with glasses greeted us as we arrived at St. Clare. He was a Capuchin candidate, starting his postulancy next month. He appeared out of place; a tall white kid surrounded by Chicanos/ Yet he greeted us as if we were guests in his home.
The young man was volunteering with this parish; living, working and worshiping at the parish with the Capuchin priests. I learned it was a candidate program that allows men to "test the waters" as an active minister. It gives the candidate an opportunity to really experience religious life.
The young man that rode to Chicago with me would be the next young acolyte.
It was positively amazing. Here was a chance for someone to really live a priest's life - active in Mass, helping with the youth group, meeting parishioners and developing bonds, and being totally immersed in Spanish - all the while, living as a Capuchin but without the solemn vows.
I felt bad about not being ready. I thought: "Man, if I could only pay off this $5000, I'd be set." I'd have to quit my jobs, although one would surely hire me back. I'd have to do something about insurance, something about my Spanish, something about transportation, ...
But unlike the OP's who encouraged me to do whatever God was calling, all those worries don't seem like roadblocks. My job...so what? There's plenty of jobs to people willing to do the work. I don't need a great car, just something with 4 wheels and brakes. I have books on Spanish.
Will I still feel this gung-ho in a few weeks? What about six months from now, when my bills are almost paid up?
So far, this trip is a wonderful experience, and a guiding light to show me the right path.
I already miss the friars. More to come soon.