Now is the time to think, speak, and act brotherly toward my brothers in formation. Now is the time to be out-going. If not now, when? To that end, pious and up-building desires from the Capuchin friary in Victoria:
1. To choose group physical recreation over spiritual or theological reading at least once. Or at least be a friendly and supportive spectator to the games of frisbee, football, or volleyball that come together.
2. To risk getting sunburned. This desire follows logically from the first. Moreover, this may be the only time in my life I experience summer in the Great Plains. Will I let myself feel it, the goodness of the sun?
3. To initiate a conversation and keep it going for at least five minutes during meal time. To enter a conversation already in progress at the meal table. The former is like firing up a locomotive; the latter is like getting on a moving train.
4. To draw a brother into conversation about why I will never shop at Wal-Mart. To conduct that conversation with charity and good will.
5. To honor the hospitality of our cooks and kitchen hands with a show of conviviality at all meals, while eating and drinking in moderation and being mindful of our call to fraternity through poverty.
6. To show my true feelings when invited by a brother. To trust the one who invites self-disclosure. To resist the impulse to withhold whenever it arises out of a fear of loss or "theft." And to give a little more than asked or expected.
7. To drive one of the community cars several times. Compared to New York or Massachusetts, Kansas is a much less stressful place to drive. To drive the brothers to and from our common ministry site. This desire needs considerable stoking and perhaps a command to holy obedience!
8. To enable the brothers to form an image of me based on the pictures I render for them, not on secondhand sketches, copies by other artists. They deserve to be able to draw me out of myself. They should not have to resort to drawing me out of themselves.
9. To bring the strong ties of my healthiest and deepest relationships fully into the fraternal relationships being knotted securely in the interprovincial postulancy and novitiate. I cannot become a brother to my brothers in religion by myself. I can do it as one already in relation, fortified by my sisters and brothers in the Spirit -- my colleagues in ministry, my friends from Massachusetts, my forever brother Nicholas. When I come as Anthony alone, I cannot be your brother. When I come as Anthony, brother to the many, I am already your brother.
10. To remember that I am already a brother to many and honor the many who have made me more fraternal by writing to them. Keeping in correspondence with the people who have formed me does not in any way compete with the work of being formed by the people I live with today -- rather, it is a complementary work. My old friends remain in relation with me; they are in relation with the person I am and will become. By knowing me, my brothers are in relation with the friends who brought me here.
11. Once more and always, and always in the interest of self-care: To get more sleep.