clinging to the center

Unidentified Painting by Georg Guðni Hauksson (1961 – 2011)

I am moving forward through a difficult period.

I am transitioning. I have moved to a new stage in my formation as a Capuchin. This transitional stage lasts until July. I can chalk up some of my inner turmoil to this natural process of transition. However, there appears to be a deeper stirring in my life right now.

A lot of things to which I have clung have been stripped away from me.

My expectations of other people, of my community, and of myself have not been fully satisfied. Some people are leaving my life and others are becoming more distant as I move away from home. In this new group of postulants, I have been confronted with the reality that all of my peers are older than me. It takes a lot of work to relate with the diverse mix of cultures, lifestyles, and educational backgrounds present among my fellow postulants.

It is easy to float aimlessly in the midst of this contention. But I must not let myself go adrift.

In the past, I have clung to those things that are external and fleeting. Now, I choose to cling to the one thing within myself that will always remain. I choose to cling to the center of my being: the inner voice of love. This is where God dwells within me and offers me refuge.

It is from this inner voice that I am given the ability to celebrate amidst trial. From this place, I can be fully human. I can laugh, I can play, and I can share a meal with my friends.

I wish to conclude with the beautiful words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the form of a song:

God, gather and turn my thoughts to you.
With you there is light, you do not forget me.
With you there is help and patience.
I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me.

 

Brother Joe Babcock, ofm cap

A native of Port Washington, WI, I am a friar-in-formation for the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph (Midwest USA). Click here to read more...