So shall they invoke my name ... and I will bless them.
Finishing Chesterton, Saint Francis of Assisi. Making progress with Mumford, The City in History.
And now, for your edification, here is January issue of The Caperone.
It is the first day of 2013. A late start this morning, with morning prayer at eight-thirty, followed by Mass at nine o'clock for the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The formator in charge of liturgy is away on vacation this week; the novice brother he left in charge of the music ministry has deputized me his cantor. Yesterday I led the singing of our Gospel canticles during the Liturgy of the Hours, and the Gloria at Mass. This morning I led the congregation in song during Mass, starting the Gloria; singing the responsorial psalm and the Gospel acclamation (the "Alleluia") during the liturgy of the Word; and guiding us through our sung responses in the liturgy of the Eucharist. This is a liturgical ministry I love.
Readers of The Caperone know that we are beginning renovations to our chapel to make it better suited for the worship needs of a novitiate fraternity. At the conclusion of Mass we emptied all the chapel stalls of our breviaries, Bibles, hymnals, devotionals, and other books of prayer and spiritual reading. As I type this, other brothers are taking down the Christmas decorations, moving the pews, and removing our San Damiano crucifix as contractors prepare to disassemble the brick font around our tabernacle. For the next few days we will worship in our classroom while the builders get busy and noisy. When the din has died down, we will relocate temporarily to the back chapel adjoining the main chapel for daily recitation of the Divine Office and Mass. We should be able to return to the main chapel by the end of the month.
This afternoon, exercise and catching up on correspondences. Thank you, friends, for the Christmas greetings that filled my mailbox. I will reply to each of you as soon as I can. This evening, after holy hour, a social, and the evening meal, a presentation on the 2012 General Chapter of the Capuchins by one of its attendees, our brother from the Province of St. Mary, Fr. Regis Armstrong.
A friar from New York sent me an e-mail greeting thanking me and the Province of St. Mary novices for being the example for him to imitate this year. It is with trepidation that I affirm that I, too, am an example to others of a life centered in God. But as Franciscans, we should be dare to be an example for others. "Learning to walk like Saint Francis of Assisi and daring to speak in God's name." Thank you, dear brother, for being the example I need to imitate.
Together, let us begin again today and every day this year to live the Gospel and obey the Gospel in thought, word, and deed. The way of the Gospel reveals Jesus, who reveals God. And Francis shows us how to live the Way.
Two hundred days until first vows ... good readers, pray for me, as I pray for you. May God's will be done in us; may God's will live in us. May our love of Jesus humanize us; may God's love sanctify us.
Bright and beautiful. More than a brand new year, it is a brand new day.