Trying to budget my time on the computer. Practicing frugality while using the Internet is hard! My aim is to bring my usage down to 20 minutes a day, for starters. Then, 15 minutes a day. Then, to cut out computing entirely for one day a week, a sabbath from cyberspace. This will prepare me for the austerity of novitiate.
Our proper orientation to the interprovincial postulancy program began today.
We have been on a special schedule since arrival because of Memorial Day and orientation. We will move into our regular horarium soon enough. Today's schedule at St. Fidelis Friary:
7:15 Morning Prayer
11:45 Midday Prayer
5:30 Evening Prayer
7:30 Night Prayer
When postulancy began last summer, we met for common prayer twice a day, in the morning and the evening, plus Eucharist. By Advent we introduced a third hour of common prayer, compline, or night prayer. Now we are one step to closer to novitiate, and we have added a fourth hour, midday prayer. The addition is logical and feels natural: prayers before every meal. There is a lot more besides, but when it comes down to it, pray and eat, pray and eat: that's what friars do! Or, to put it more sacramentally: give thanks and be nourished.
Previously I alluded to the practical reasons the Capuchins of North America do the novitiate program collectively: conservation of material resources and development of a common culture. Today we have been given a philosophical foundation for interprovincial postulancy. Day One of novitiate is too late to begin forming fraternity among the novice brothers. It is better to integrate the community of novices while the brothers are still postulants. Continuing the work of human development within a fraternity larger than St. Michael Friary dovetails with my own efforts to accept a conversion of my interpersonal relationships toward Christ. For love of Christ Jesus, the image of the invisible God, I welcome the challenge to change and keep being transformed after the example of Francis of Assisi. May this program, a mere fifty days on the lifelong road of religious life, bring me closer to God, closer to my neighbors, closer to my brothers, and closer to the brother I am to be.
PS -- This post took more than thirty minutes to draft! Too long. The mind is racing around my head, desperate to pick up every iota of information, eager to tell you all. I must slow down and let go. More I could write to you, but suffice it to say I will remember you, friendly readers, with loving thoughts. What I cannot show you in words I will speak with charity to my brothers. And I trust you to begin imagining this religious life, in spite of the parsimony of pictures.