So I started to let a full beard grow. Such is, of course, como Dios manda for a Capuchin.
But here's the problem. It's not going very well. It's patchy, incomplete, and looks pretty bad. At least it looks pretty bad so far. Of course the brothers don't point this out to me. This is because they are gentle souls but also because they know well the anarchistic and contrarian tendencies that will make me want to do something even more once it is criticized. Be strong, be wrong, as Nomeansno famously put it.
So here's my question. In the oft-quoted precept from our Constitutions of 1536, Capuchins grow beards because they are "manly, austere, natural, an imitation of Christ and the saints of our Order, and despised." If my beard is despicable, and thereby all the easier to despise, doesn't that make it more Capuchin?