Prior to my visit to Chicago, I knew very little about St. Francis. I knew he wanted to help the poor, but that was the extent of my knowledge. In fact, I learned very little about Francis while at the St. Clare Friary. I felt at peace amongst the Capuchins, yet I felt ignorant of Franciscan life.
But last night as I read the life of this saint, that clarity helped me spot the next true step of discernment.
My life, while usually simple and meager, has focused around helping those that are poor: not just the impoverished, but those poor in spirit. I enjoy making people smile and laugh, I enjoy inspiring people, and I like to give comfort or companionship to those that feel lonely. St. Francis chose not just to help the poor, but lepers: people who were poor, dejected by society, and felt unworthy of love or sympathy. Where people saw uncleanliness, St. Francis saw God's beauty.
Rather than look for external signs, I looked inside to what I felt and examine the desired that God has given me. I want to help others. I want to make others feel loved, accepted, or even make them feel normal. As I struggled with my own trials and tribulations, I want to give aid and comfort to others. Most of all, I want to smile, laugh, and live in the company of others that share my faith and dedication to the people in need. I want that life so much, I can barely think of anything else.
The next postulant class for the Capuchins starts in August of 2008. By that time, I can have my debt paid off. I will have my name off the apartment lease. I will have money saved up.
I don't know if I'm 100% certain about becoming Brother Vito Martinez O.F.M. Cap., but I think I'm gonna give it a try next year.
I feel so much better having actually said it..."I think I've found my home."