Yesterday evening all the Brothers from all the corners of the Province began to arrive. There are 78 friars, young and old but mostly young, full of enthusiasm and life. At dinner the provincial John welcomed one and all. The dinner was simple but the atmosphere of brotherhood was great. All hugging and with Franciscan kiss welcoming one another. Oh how wonderful it is when brothers live in unity.
This morning I celebrated the Eucharist with Bro. Simon who celebrates his Birthday. I preached on communion among us.
In a world disrupted by war, terrorism and oppression, the call and challenge comes to us as Capuchins and religious community to become instruments of peace, to partake in the ministry of reconciliation by prayer and service. To do this we need to understand and take seriously our own vowed and Capuchin Franciscan life.
We must keep our religious, Capuchin and priestly character and identity intact and unchanged. Do not let yourselves be manipulated by the spirit of the world, but rather, being sons of God, by the spirit of God.
The order desires and wants that we free us from all earthly attachments. On this difficult road the order, as good guide provides us with a true abundance of grace through Constitutions, rules and regulations and the strong Capuchin Franciscan heritage.
To conclude in the words of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, “if you are wise, be a vessel, not a conduit, for the conduit simply lets the water it receives run away without retaining a singly drop. The vessel on the other hand, starts off by filling up and then, without emptying but indeed while being constantly replenished, it overflows and irrigates the fields.