May 29, 2013

Now For The Real Fire

At supper tonight we got to talking about Capuchin beards, their growth, meaning, value, etc. Among items confessed was my abiding shame at being, apparently, incapable of growing a proper, traditional Capuchin beard. It's my Pauline thorn, I suppose.

I mentioned how during the searingly liminal period immediately before coming here to Italy I had made a serious effort to grow such a beard. I had done everything right. I was patient, I didn't give into the temptation to trim, etc. But it just wasn't there. Ashamed as I am to admit it, I even considered giving in to the syncretism of our age by praying to Fortuna Barbata, a supernatural possibility for this purpose I had learned from St. Augustine in City of God IV:11.

After recounting my efforts so diligent, though ultimately unsuccessful, one of the friars quizzed me:

"But did you sing the song?"

"The song?"

"You don't know the song? Venerabilis barba capucinorum? [sic]

"Vener-abilis bar-ba Capu-ccin-orum?" I repeated back, trying to make sure I had got it.

That's why it hadn't worked, my confrere assured me, because I hadn't sung the song. But how is it that I'm only hearing about this now?


Louis M said...


Unknown said...

I applaud your "inability" to grow a "proper" Capuchin beard. I have to be quite honest and say that such beards generally impress me as being unruly and unkempt. I believe that a shorter, well trimmed beard gives a much better impression, a much neater impression. When I see some of the longer, scruffier beards, I almost expect to see some kind of creature come crawling (or flying) out. So, my vote is for the neater type. So don't bemoan your "unCapuchin) beard. It looks ever so much better.

A Secular Franciscan said...

Being a bearded sort myself (fits with my part-time mall job each Christmas - Ho Ho Ho), I support all efforts to be bearded. And I think long and seemingly unruly is part of the Franciscan spirit! Give it another try.