March 21, 2012

My Despicable Beard: A Capuchin Dubium

In the course of this past winter Ordinary Time, a confluence of factors led me to stop shaving altogether. Since the spring semester of 1993, around the time of my twenty-first birthday, I've been sporting the Grunge-inspired Van Dyke, and I just decided--as I say, for a number of reasons--that such was over for me.

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?


Anonymous said...

My husband and I have been married going on 17 years. Very early in our relationship it was made clear that I won't cut my hair short if he doesn't grow a beard. Needless to say, as age advances and metabolism slows down, my hair just doesn't grow as fast as it used to. On the other hand, age appears to have filled out his cheeky bald patches quite nicely. So hubby threatened me with a beard. I reminded him that in the middle of the night while he's peacefully asleep, to just remember that wax goes on warm :)

Phoebe Gleeson said...

Pics or it didn't happen, Father.

James said...

For how long have you been letting it go? I've found that it takes a good 4-6 weeks for true navy beard to grow in. Also, unless it is against holy poverty, you should really have a barber trim your beard. It makes all the difference in the world.