A quiet, gentle Sunday. I awoke this morning with some head congestion and a clammy, kind of sore throat, but I don't feel too poorly. Heard a good sermon at church that had to do with Christian optimism. It was an extended meditation on the Yes of God to humanity as understood in one of St. Paul's letters to the Corinthian church, as demonstrated in Jesus' healing of a paralytic, and celebrated solemnly in the paschal mystery of Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection. The Yes of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane in the face of utter sin and death manifests the fullness of his humanity and his divinity for us.
Not feeling run down, I exercised on the treadmill this afternoon. I am slowly building my stamina on both the treadmill and stationary bicycle. It is my goal to jog and/or pedal three hours a week. I'm not trying to get toned; I just want to take care of my heart. I'm not about to go running marathons, half or full; I am simply trying to attain cardiovascular fitness for the long run.
The season of Lent is almost upon us, the time of the church year when Christians of all denominations prepare to celebrate the foundational mysteries of their faith: the life, ministry, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here at St. Michael Friary we will take on additional prayers and devotions to complement our normal routine of morning prayer, Mass, evening prayer, and night prayer. One of the postulant brothers and I are the subcommittee in charge of planning special Lenten community prayer activities in our fraternity. We have met and drawn up a list of ideas for prayers and devotions during the Lenten season. We have submitted our proposal to the brothers and await their comments and suggestions. Our collective liturgical experience and spiritual wisdom will surely make our Lenten prayer practices rich and deep, appealing to head and heart, conducive to contemplation, and open to grace.
I sent a message to all my friends on Facebook to inform them I am deactivating my account. I took this opportunity also to recommend the blog as the best way to stay in touch on a near-daily basis. Here is what I wrote.
Peace be with you and all of your loved ones.
As some of you know, I am getting off the Facebook network. I have not renounced all social media, but I feel a need at this time to step back and reflect on how to use social media well. For me, stepping back requires cutting back.
Of course, I wish dearly to remain connected to all of you. So I am writing today to invite you to become a follower of my blog, From a Brother. It's my diary about religious life. As many of you know, I am becoming a Capuchin Franciscan friar, and I started the blog last August to chronicle my new adventures in faith. It's a good read, in my humble opinion, and you don't have to be a Catholic to enjoy it. In fact, I write the blog with an ecumenical, interfaith, and pluralist audience in mind. Check it out today! Go to fromabrother.blogspot.com.
In general, I am feeling and doing well. I have been living in Brooklyn since last summer, and I will remain here until May 9. Then I will head to Kansas for nine weeks, followed by a year in California to continue religious formation.
You can reach me until May 9 at St. Michael Friary, 225 Jerome Street, Brooklyn, NY 11207-3209. (Come and visit!) My telephone number is 718-827-6990 ext. 18. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If, God willing, I continue on to Kansas and California, I will provide the new contact information at the proper time.
To you my friends, people of faith and good will, I wish every thing that is good and holy. Don't be a stranger -- send me a letter or e-mail, or give me a call! Know of my prayers for you, and kindly send your prayer and good wishes to me and my fellow friars.