May 29, 2016

4 and 10

I notice that today I begin my fifth year in Rome. What shall I say about that? God is good. I have settled into the life and work of a very particular community; a local Capuchin fraternity sui generis as our statutes say.


The Holy Spirit has provided me with a very suitable spiritual director as well as others to help me along in other ways. I pray with the brothers, and when I miss the prayers I say them on my own. I probably miss my periods of meditation--'mental prayer' as our Capuchin tradition calls it--more than I should, but the devil knows that this is the heart of everything for me so it's the first thing he goes after.

I sign up to take a turn from time to time saying a week of weekday Masses at the General Curia of the Capuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto and the occasional Sunday Mass at the Bethlemite Sisters. These moments I appreciate very much.

I do my little job, Secretary for English, making translations and handling correspondence with the English-using Capuchin world, which is a lot of places. I do a little bit of work for the website, pasting in translations of articles after they appear in the base language, Italian, and I curate the Twitter account that tweets such news as it appears. According to some ancient agreement made by one of my predecessors, from time to time I visit the Office of Papal Charities at the Vatican to request apostolic blessing parchments for the Province of Central Canada.

Yes, there are people and places and aspects of life in the home Province that I miss, and I regret being so far from my family. But there are graces here too, and discerning my obedience I believe that they are the graces that God wills for me to gather and to be at this moment in my journey.

Of course one never knows, but barring anything serious and unforeseen, I will probably be here until at least the General Chapter of 2018. At that time we will have a new General Minister, and on him and his language needs and how he wants to organize the General Secretariat will depend a lot of what happens next.

Of course I trust the Holy Spirit in this, who has always led me and been with me, guiding me to graces and places and people, sometimes through spaces that were spiritually lush and sometimes through the desert, but making each place an opportunity for blessing all the same.

* * *

I also notice that this old blog has passed ten years of posts. Wow. That's the larger part of my religious life with the Capuchins, and a significant part of my life as a Christian. Of course the blog has slowed down a good deal since I have taken up a quieter life here in Rome, and sometimes I wonder if its time has come and gone such that I might close it up. But I don't know. I still enjoy writing it when I do, and I still think its purposes in my mind are valid: to have a means of self-expression that I enjoy, a place where I can preach the salvation we have in Jesus Christ, and perhaps to provide an opportunity for someone to see what it's like to be a religious, especially for someone discerning this sort of vocation. Maybe I'm not the most normal or fitting person for the last task, but I trust the Holy Spirit to use what I write--should it be of any use--for his purposes.

Though I stopped adding to it when I left the parish and was no longer preaching on Sundays in a regular way, I leave my separate homily blog, Praise and Bless, up and published. It still gets a few visits from search traffic. My little attempt at blogging with my meager Italian, Motivi Religiosi, gets a new post now and again, but hasn't taken off at all. There are almost no visitors. But I enjoy it and appreciate the practice so I keep at it. As far as this blog goes, I think I'm in the mood for a new header picture. St. Lawrence of Brindisi in the sunset at our International College has been great, but maybe it's time for something new.

17 comments:

Judy Kallmeyer said...

Don't even think about closing down your blog. I, for one, look forward to your posts and have been impressed at your writings. Keep on feeding us with your special kind of wisdom.

Brother Charles said...

Well thanks for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

I am going to agree with Judy.

Brother Charles said...

Thanks!

Louis M said...

Please leave "here" open. It has helped me immensely in my Franciscan OFS Catholic walk. I can probably never repay you, brother/Father.
-Lou

Mary Begley said...

Hello Father Charles,
Please don`t give up your blog!!!! I review it daily, and more than appreciate your insights, and sharing of your experiences and encounters. Your reflections are encouraging, and I particularly liked your review of the Pope`s exhortation. So, please keep writing....
You are in my prayers daily!!!

Mary (OLOL, JP)

Cecily said...

God bless. ..
(From Cecily)

Brother Charles said...

Thanks everybody!

Joan P said...

Please keep up your blog, you offer so many wonderful insights and gifts of encouragement. many times I have pulled up your blog to share a line or two with someone and they have left with hope and joy. This is agreat gift and on this Feast of the Visitation how can I not but encourage you to keep writing and sharing. we gave yoy full credit but we want you to know that we put what you said about Mass intentions in our parish bulletin and you see those who offered an intention following your suggestion. How far you have spread the Good News !
Thank you and God Bless,
Joan Schmidt,
St. Stanislaus
Bandera, Texas

Brother Charles said...

Wow! Thanks for the encouragement!

Chris Crabb said...

Your voice is needed! As one who was sad to leave a call...I know His plan is always the way. Oddly as it sounds, your voice has been a help in my living and leaving.

Brother Charles said...

Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that I have appreciated your blog, especially your posts on spiritual direction. I've been blessed to find a wonderful director in my own pastor, and since I'm new to direction (as a wife and mother), I appreciate what I can find online about it.

Brother Charles said...

Thanks, Anonymous!

thomas tucker said...

I enjoy it too.

Brother Charles said...

Thanks!

Everyman said...

Please don't stop!