Today I'm off on a little road trip to attend one of the weekends that our vocation office offers for men considering our life. The theme is, 'getting to know St. Francis and the Capuchin saints.' I'll be presenting on the Francis end. In preparing, I've tried to pick out a few characteristic episodes from his life that might be inspiring or useful for those in the midst of vocation discernment.
In reflecting on how to prepare I thought back to the first time I went on such a weekend, eighteen years ago this winter. I was 21 years old, a senior in college, and had not even arrived at my second anniversary of baptism. I had no idea how innocent I was of so much. Though I was anxious, I enjoyed the weekend very much: staying in the peaceful and venerable friary, the prayer, the ease of the conviviality, the kindness and down-to-earth manner that the friars had. These are the things that stick in my heart even to do this day in my desire for the Franciscan life.
I have no recollection whatsoever about talks or presentations, who might have given them or what they might have been about. So that puts me at ease in my own presenting this weekend. Many times in ministry the most important things aren't what we generally think of as 'content.'
So in your charity, offer a prayer for the men attending the weekend, for their confidence in God's call to them, whatever it may turn out to be. And pray for me, that the Holy Spirit may help me speak the words that will assist his purposes in them.