Jeff tagged me for this meme, which can only be fun. Here are my five things:
1. I used to pray with the Quakers. In my spiritual seeking period, before I admitted to myself that I was supposed to become a Roman Catholic, I enjoyed their quiet, "unprogrammed" style of Sunday worship, and have gravitated toward the silent and apophatic ever since.
2. This is my second time in religious life. Right after college I joined the Franciscans of the Leonine Union (the OFM), but left after a year and a half. I was back in the world for four or five years and then joined the Capuchins (OFM Cap.)
3. Without prejudice to genes, parental example, and a very good primary education, I credit Dungeons & Dragons with some of my scholarly ability. Maybe school wasn't always a challenge, but it sure was trying to find your way around the maze of rules and guidelines that made up the 1977-1980 Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide. Not to mention that it built a lot of vocabulary (one never had to say "dweomer," "philter," or "somatic component" in ordinary conversation) and demanded fine abstract distinctions, like articulating the difference between the "beatific" chaotic-good alignment as opposed to the "saintly" lawful-good, "demonic" chaotic-evil and "diabolic" lawful-evil ones.
4. I can make very good lentil soup. It once garnered me a marriage proposal. No kidding.
5. The first time I visited Assisi I was defecated upon by a bird and bit by a dog in the same day. And I wanted to be a Franciscan anyway.