Sunday, December 4, 2011


A few things I desire at the moment:

1. To have more company at St. Michael Friary. Friends in Boston, New York, and all points throughout the Northeast, you have just been invited. Also, to see many loved ones when I come to Boston at year's end (Dec. 27-Jan. 1; dear Bay Staters, spread the word around).

2. To have a more fertile imagination. To conceive images of the people, places, and things I want to know or to be in communion with or to create. Then, to bring them into existence and the consciousness of others.

3. To be created anew. Out of this body and soul, or out of nothing at all, I would like the person I am to become, to become.

4. To get at least an hour or two more of sleep every night, even though I love the night too much to leave it for unconsciousness.

5. To have meaningful dreams. It's nice to have hours of uninterrupted slumber, for certain, but it is good also to have visions challenging to interpret. For most of the nights since I moved to Brooklyn, my dreaming has been unremarkable, my inner landscapes littered with the detritus of the day or the week; and nothing more precious shines from those mental chambers. A sign of contentment, or complacency? I've had few if any disturbing dreams, for which I am thankful, but a real rattling episode would be better once in a while than a train of trivialities.

6. To send good greetings to my family and friends for Christmas and Hanukkah, and to find appropriate tokens of my gratitude for them.

7. To have a good meeting for spiritual direction this Tuesday. To pray in community with better attention and better intention. To support my brothers throughout the postulancy mid-year evaluation and receive their feedback with equanimity. To find my own way into the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception this Thursday, despite my lack of a fervent Marian spirituality.

8. To make a good meal for the brothers next Sunday, when my turn comes to cook. To enjoy our tree decorating over dessert that evening.

9. To live more chastely, more poorly, and more obediently. To do this with friars who are just as zealous, and more zealous than me, about renouncing their communal comforts and privileges. To get in trouble in the right place at the right time for all the right reasons. To choose cheerfully my own form of suffering; to accept willingly the suffering others bring upon me while working furiously to relieve the suffering that others inflict on all my neighbors; and to reject utterly the sin that brings that suffering to me and my neighbors.

10. To see the world set on fire with the fire that burns but doesn't destroy.

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