By Álvaro Martínez
Weeks are passing by at train speed. More than two months have passed, and yet it seems like only yesterday that we were received as postulants. As one of five passengers on the way to God’s plan, I can only marvel at His endless riches. Blessings overflow to my right and left, and though the train is moving at full steam, we always stop to contemplate them. It’s the time to enter the chapel to rest in His presence. As I stand there, quietly and with my eyes closed, a couple of feet from the tabernacle, I feel fulfilled. I really don’t want to be anywhere else in the world. It feels like home.
This is one of the reasons why I decided to enter postulancy, because I believe that this life will make me grow in intimacy with God. After being nourished by his presence, we climb up again, enriched to live in community and serve in ministry. What a joy to travel this road with such special people. Andy, Leo, Peter and Yovani are exceptional. They inspire me not to look back at the train tracks that have already passed, nor at my feet in a spirit of desolation, but forward, where the Lord is calling with new graces.
The same goes for the rest of the brothers. My formators are deeply generous and want the best for me, the other friars enlighten my days with their different personalities. Similarly, ministry is a wellspring of graces. Before I started the program, I asked God to give me a more compassionate heart. The wonderful thing is that He is granting it to me, little by little. Much of it is due to my encounters with people who need love and care. Giving them what they ask for, listening to them and having those interactions is deepening my humanity. The people who work in these ministries show admirable dedication, and I learn from them every day.
Likewise, the classes are a fascinating component of the program. The reason they are so valuable, at least in my estimation, is that they transcend academia to leave life lessons. The content we learn really takes hold in the heart. I am always learning something new, and that gives me tremendous satisfaction. But this being such a balanced program, I also have time to cultivate my personal interests, which in my case are storytelling and media. My formators encourage me in this, which fills me with joy.
This is another reason why I am attracted to the Capuchin friars: they have a broad vision of what it means to live the Gospel. Speaking of diverse ministries, it is worth mentioning that our next stop is St. Francis Friary. This will be a home where friars from different generations live together in fraternity. And being a neighbor of the parish and its new Capuchin Center, we hope it will be a place of meaningful encounter with God’s people, on the way to his amazing designs.