I see why I wanted to just get to August 1. Not because I wanted to simply run away from my problems, but because the desire to live in community, to share my faith and knowledge with brothers, to live that consecrated life, and to know that everything I am doing is because of my devotion to God. Yet not everything about community happens within the 4 walls of the friary. Here are a few of the things I learned about Capuchin living:
- We are all brothers and sisters, creatures created from God. That means I am as connected with my family as with people I don't know, as with the Earth, the wind, the stars....everything. This is the basis of Franciscan theology: God created all things, and we share that bond with everything.
- We also share another bond with Christians, as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the Capuchin's firm stance in the Church, the ministry and outreach it does, as well as prayer and Mass.
- In the Capuchin community, all are considered brothers without title. There is no "Father" or "Brother," just "Vito" or "Bill." Even the Postulants, guys who are just starting the community life are considered Capuchins, and have the privilege of being included on some (not all) decisions within the province. As such, postulants are allowed to sign their name with the O.F.M. Cap Post., indicating they are Capuchin, yet still a Postulant.
I learned a host of other things about the order, yet those were some of the ones that stuck out in my head. I will be headed back to Chicago in 2 weeks to do the psychological testing required for entering a religious vocation, Diocesan or Religious Order. I'm kind of daunted by the idea of someone poking at my memories, but it's all part of the process.
I've also been commissioned to write a Vocation Update for the Order. Each month they send out a bulletin regarding Capuchin life, vocations, and what's happening inside the province. You can look through past updates here.