Grillin' w/ the OFM Caps Again!

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.

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1 Response to Grillin' w/ the OFM Caps Again!

September 2, 2007 at 11:29 PM

So far for me - in the discerning years leading up to seminary entrance - heck, even in the week or so I've been in seminary - these kinds of questions are par for the course.

I used to think, "Well, the good news is all this questioning will disappear once I figure out whether or not I'm called to the priesthood." Of course, I can't speak ahead toward the life of a priest or religious, because I haven't been there. But I can share with you what I've been told: Get used to it. The questioning doesn't stop - it becomes part of the charism, part of what it means to live life dedicated to God alone.

After all, if we ceased questioning if we could, would have any longer have to rely on God?

If you're like me - that's not exactly the warm fuzzy answer I'm looking for when I'm really - really - searching through these questions. But, there is a beauty in it somewhere...

I'm thinking of you, brother. And praying for you.