As he blessed them he parted from them.
Slowing down with Johnson, Friends of God and Prophets. Brown is travelling with me when I go to ministry or to worship. The Catholic periodicals are turning their pages slowly.
We began the novitiate with 24 brothers in formation. Two brothers left the program in October, and a third brother departed in mid-February, during the second period of evaluation. It was announced yesterday at evening prayer that another brother will be departing.
Like the last time, this news comes during a time of evaluation. Like the previous occasions, this news came like a stealth torpedo into our still waters. Every time a brother leaves, it remakes the community; we will be like a new fraternity. We will have to be like a new fraternity. Our group dynamics will be changed significantly.
Each departure is more challenging than the last. We have been weaving our tapestry of fraternity for nearly a year. The threads run long and criss-cross in all sorts of ways. If you pull out one of the threads now and do so incautiously, you could unravel more of the weave than you intended.
For many of the novice brothers, it is not what they expected. It is not as they hoped. But
may it be as it ought to be, and may it lead to the better and even the
best of all good things, both for the brother leaving us and for the
brothers who remain.
We pray our brother's departure will be an occasion of blessing for him and for us. We may not finish our earthly pilgrimage in the same small fellowship we call the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, but we will finish it together. This is fact, not speculation. For better and for worse, in our joys and aches, we have been formed in this walk of faith together. We are a part of each other. Moving apart cannot change that now.
Watering the thirsty grounds this morning. It is doing some good for the bushes and potted plants I check, much good for the ground-cover plants edging the residence halls and the trees shading our Stations of the Cross, and great good for the fruit-bearing trees near our compost heap. Now computing and corresponding and Caperoning, and later this evening baking a fake cheesecake, for tomorrow we celebrate a novice brother's birthday.
We've got that heat.