With everything going on, I'm taking a short break to visit my friends in Chicago, the Capuchin Franciscans of the St. Joseph Province. It's a chance to speak with the postulants, meet other men who are discerning a vocation, and also have a retreat of sorts...allowing me to focus on where my life is headed.
I had a wonderful time at the last BBQ, and I felt a great connection with the friars as well as the Order. So much of my life is reflected in the life of St. Francis, so much of the charism is in tune with my desires, maybe this is where God is calling me.
Only one other fear exists: can I handle it?
I follow the journey of a Capuchin postulant as he chronicles his time. After his first week, he must choose where to dedicate his ministry for that year: a school for under-privileged kids, a drug rehab center for men, an elderly care center for people with special needs, and several other outreach programs focused on the impoverished. I can imagine it being a tough choice.
But do I have the personal strength of will to handle that sort of ministry? Sure, the work these people do is amazing and wonderful, but am I ready to go from the idea of helping the needy to actually doing it? What if I can't handle the kids...especially when they all speak Spanish?! How do I relate to a man who's overcoming an alcohol addiction? What if I don't feel that love that St. Francis spoke so much about, but revulsion and disgust? Am I a bad person? Would it mean I don't have what it takes for a religious vocation?
Perhaps I can find a way to participate in those types of ministries now, and find out what my heart is telling me.
For this weekend, I'll just focus on eating, having a good time with the brothers, and listening for Someone to speak to me.