An Uncomfortable Chair

Mental prayer is a big part of Capuchin life. It's an important time for me to spent time with God in a manner that best fits me. Sometimes I pray the rosary or other devotions, sometimes I sit in silence and try to be open to what the Spirit is telling me. Sometimes I write and end up posting the composite here online. Regardless of how I pray, the time is always beneficial and is usually focused on good thoughts and ideas for the future.

Sometimes, however, those thoughts are shadowed by others...making mental prayer a disturbing or even torturous time.

How Great is Our God: For Fr. Dan Anholzer

On Monday I saw the New Jerusalem.

The church was packed; about a hundred people sat in the vestibule while numerous others watched via closed-circuit TV in the activities building next door. The sea of faces presented every age, shape, and color - all of whom had been touched by this man's life. And in one spirit-filled voice, we sang as God's people:
"How great is our God?
Sing with great is our God?
How great, how great
Is our God?"

Break from Blogging

Just a short notice that I'll be away from the computer for a few days. Today we leave for Saginaw, MI for the funeral of our brother, Fr. Daniel Anholzer, OFM Cap - friar and former Provincial.

When we return, we begin another Day of Recollection where there's no computer access until the day is over.

Peace and blessings until then.


Listening to the Holy Spirit

A reflection on the Holy Spirit as we begin the novena for Pentacost:

The Holy Spirit can be hard for us to understand at times. We understand the role of the Father as creator and liberator, we understand plainly the role of the Son as the deliverer and savior. But it can bbe hard to put our finger on the role of the Holy Spirit, and for one important reason: we can choose not to listen to the Spirit.

New Blogs

As if I'm not busy enough, I decided to add two more blogs to my workload. It's not that I have more to write about, but I think it's best to keep my ideas in Order. I know I sometimes jump from topic to topic, and that can be hard for readers to follow. So to help me stay focused, and to help my readers, I've added two new blogs.

My Rosary Habit is a place for me to put up pictures of the my habit rosary work. I find I write most of my blogs when I have wire and bead in-hand, so rosary-making has become an important part of my religious life. I just wanted to provide a specific blog for it.

Friar Tech is an idea that's been going on for a while. As you may know, my focus after Novitiate will be on Ordination as well as the use of social media, the Web, and modern communications as a way to spread the Capuchin charism as a ministry. This area is limitless in its application, and each day I think of new ideas either as a ministry, as a way for my Order and/or Province to respond to the needs of the poor, reflections on what joyful simplicity means with Web use.

I don't plan to abandon my vocation story. For over three years I've been stumbling as a Christian, as a Catholic, and now as a friar. My goal is to focus in on those areas that are important to me, and make my stories clearer for the people who want to read them.

Thanks to all of you who've followed my life and have kept me in your prayers. I hope the next three years can be just as momentous.

Evaluation Time: I'm Not What I Do

As the Novitiate year comes to an end (71 days to go!), my third and final evaluation takes center stage. I am required to write personal evaluation of my time here as well as several evalutions of my peers here in the community. Evaluations are done a lot differently than my days selling cars, but I still get anxious about the process.

Back at the car lot, my progress meetings were held monthly. I remember days just sitting in my manager's office dreading the same speech every time: "So how do you think we can improve these numbers?" For many years my value was determined by a spreadsheet that figured in the number of cars I sold, the amount of calls I made, number of appointments, profit on each car, etc. The list goes on. And no matter how good or bad the numbers were, there was always room for improvement.

Even looking back, I find it hard to find fault with this kind of evaluation. Hard work and performance equals success. Success equals freedom and security for yourself and your family. Success means that you can get everything you need and some of the things you want.

As a self-confessed Type 3 on the Enneagram, I still value my self by what I do. I remember my apprehension with evaluations because I felt still feel that my work defines who I am. It's a hard aspect of my life to deal with, and American society promotes the Type 3 personality type: The Achiever. Just taking a look at my Postulancy Evaluation from 2008 shows how much of a salesman I still am.

Thankfully the evaluation system for religious formation focuses on much more than just numbers. I'm encouraged to look at myself and seek out my own areas of strength and weakness. I'm challenged to look at the commitment of vows, express my understanding of those vows, and discuss how I intend to live that life. I am judged as a human being rather than by the work I do. I am offered suggestions and accolades based on my past evaluations.

But it's hard to think differently after you've learned to hate episodes like evaluations. So while I write my evaluation and take time to think about what I've done through the year, I'll have to try very hard not to define my life as a Capuchin only by my skills, my gifts, and my accomplishments.

If you're interested to learn about your personality type, go to If you don't have the money to take the RHETI test online, check out your local library for more books on the subject.

Mother's Day eCards from

Luckily I remembered to get my mom a Mother's Day card this year. But for those of you who forgot or just realized this Sunday is Mother's Day, the guys at Regis College have created something great for this season:

Joseph Schuner, SJ, president of Regis College and the genius behind the prayer site have Mother's Day eCards available.

4 different styles of cards are available for use, all of which have scripture quotes and are ready to send out. And when you're there, why not add a prayer for your Mom to their list of intentions. The community at takes the prayers of visitors and adds them to their own prayer intentions at the community. It's an innovative way of taking the power of prayer and moving it onto the Web.

Thanks to Joseph and his community at Regis College for making these gifts available.

And Mom, if you're reading this, your card is in the mail...I promise. =)

A Prayer for the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker

Heavenly God,
We thank you for the meal that has been set before us this evening.
We thank those who tilled the soil and tended the flock, and the hard work they do.
We thank those who've harvested the field and pick our fruits and vegetables.
We are thankful for those who travel, shipping the food from one place to another, either on land, sea, or air.
We are thankful for those who stock the shelves, who bag our groceries, and provide a place for us by our food.
And we are thankful for those who've prepared this meal before us, that through their work we are able to share in the breaking of bread.
May we always remember that together we are all people of Your Creation. May we be thankful for the work that others do for us, and as Your followers may we never value the productivity of a person over their humanity.


It necessarily follows that each one has a natural right to procure what is required in order to live, and the poor can procure that in no other way than by what they can earn through their work.
-Rerum Novarum