It’s always inspiring to read the minutes of House Chapters from the friaries in our province. A “House Chapter” is a meeting of the friars which takes place at least once a month in which the friars discuss what is happening in their lives and what kinds of things can be done to improve the ways in which they are living the Gospel.
Each friary always sends the minutes of their House Chapters to the provincial office and I have the privilege of reading about what is happening in the fraternities in our province. For most of our friaries, Advent means a renewed commitment to quiet prayer and community activities which center on the symbols of the season.
It seems that every friary finds an evening or even a whole day to set aside for decorating. The friaries also seem to set aside special time for their Christmas gathering. Both of these – decorating and gathering – are integral parts of the Capuchin fraternal life.
Days of recollection and prayer are special Advent customs, too. Hospitality seems to be a value also as some to the friaries are scheduling times for inviting brothers from surrounding fraternities to join them for meals or prayerful evenings.
In a world where Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem to be overshadowing the peace and hope of the season, it is good to know that there are places where Advent is not a commercial season but rather a season to prepare the way of the Lord and renew our sense of “waiting” for Jesus. God really does come, to those who wait faithfully and prayerfully.