Friday, February 17, 2012


In the morning I will ride the rails to Babylon to meet my brother Nicholas at his new apartment. The heavy lifting happened today, with the furniture and bed (and everything else my kid brother owns packed into cardboard boxes) moved into place. Tomorrow will be a time for unpacking and sorting and arranging. I am completely at my brother's disposal; whatever he tells me to do, I will do it. Open this box; move that box; put this here; put that there; pile these things; stack those things. His wish; my command.

Two years ago I wrote a prayer of blessing for a new home for a friend who moved to New Orleans. The prayer is particular for the person, the time, and the place, but I will offer this prayer for my brother, too, when I visit his place tomorrow.

I have long desired this day for my brother, the day when he could have his own housewarming. Now he is truly coming into his own. Nicholas has helped me move umpteen times all over the Northeast; the least I can do is offer him my prayer and labor, ora et labora, just once.

Oh, I will also bring him some oatmeal raisin cookies I baked tonight.

It is a joy to know that Capuchins can go anywhere around the world and find hospitality wherever their fellow friars can be found. Franciscans have no place to call their own in this world, but they have many "homes." Now that my brother by birth has his own place, I can say that I have another home away from my eternal home. And when the big and little brother get together tomorrow, this apartment will be a friary in its own right! A very special friary, indeed.

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