It seems that the Holy Spirit has plans for us. I’m never sure what they are; so I just go along. Not long ago I said that God never ceases to surprise us. I was certainly surprised this week.
We normally have our community meeting, formation and fraternity night on Mondays. It’s a long evening that begins with Vespers followed by learning sacred music, then a lesson in theology. After our theology lesson we usually engage in some learning activity about Franciscan life, usually in the form of a game. This helps us stay awake and engaged with each other. Boy are our brothers competitive. There is always a snack to share and a lot of poking and roasting. Of course, there is housekeeping stuff that every group has. Our community meeting is open to any man, married or single, who is curious about Franciscans of Life.
This past week we had another inquirer, which brought the number of inquirers up to three. However, one of the inquirer’s approached me to talk about joining our community. Not only that, but I received a beautiful letter from a young man who is in high school and is quite curious about us. I’m looking forward to meeting him probably this coming week. The age range of our men, between inquirers and professed is from age 15 to 67. That makes our average age 39-years old. This is younger than most religious communities, secular orders, dioceses or secular institutes. The great thing is to see these men interact very comfortably despite the difference in ages.
Not only has the Holy Spirit sent us men from a wide range of ages, but also from different cultures and language groups. We are Virginian, Bostonian, Floridian, Jamaican, Mexican, Peruvian, Colombian, Ethiopian, and Cuban. We are single men who are consecrated to a life of celibacy, single men called to the married life, but are not yet married and married men who are fathers. In a tiny community there is unity in diversity. I believe that we’re a microcosm of the Church.
Any man interested in spending an evening with this interesting little group of men, is always welcome on any Monday night, beginning at 7:30 PM. Simply contact me via telephone or email.
We never know God’s plans for us until we take a risk with love.