The paperwork is now complete. All the meetings have been attended; and I have been accepted into the postulancy. It seems that there is is nothing left to do but wait. I’m going to have a lot of time on my hands. So, it’s natural that I should spend a lot of that time lost in thought. I’ve been thinking a lot about is about to happen in my life. The more I think about it, the more questions come into my mind. One of the questions that I think about most frequently related to age. I find myself wondering if the experience is different for those who enter the order at a younger age, as opposed to those who enter later in life, such as myself.
While I don’t have a lot of experience or knowledge to form a hypothesis on this, it would seem to me that in some ways the experiences are very different. For example, young men would seem to have an easier time letting go of their emotional and material attachments. After all, they haven’t had as much time to amass a lot of debt and material possessions. On the other hand, I would think it would be far more difficult for a young man to be chaste, as they are at the age where they are in the middle of their hormonal peak. I could be wrong on this; but I know when you get older, that sense of urgency in carnal attractions just isn’t there like it was in youth. Also, generally lacking the cynicism that comes with age, it would seem that the young are far more likely to be filled with optimism and zeal.
On the flip side of it all, I’m fairly certain that there are areas that the experiences are nearly identical. For example, I would think that it’s almost universally true that men entering the Franciscan Order are driven by a deep desire to help and serve others. It is, after all, one of the cornerstones of the mission of the order… that and to live a truly, completely, and truly immersive gospel life I know those are two of my biggest motivations for starting — and ultimately staying — on my journey. I would have to believe that others feel that way too, young and old.
Still, at the end of the day, this is all nothing more that speculation. No matter how much I contemplate it. No matter how much I try to imagine it. No matter how much I research it, I don’t really know. I know that only through meeting other postulates, young and old, and talking to them that I will know if my suppositions about this are correct.
So, I”m just going to have to wait to find out.