Poverty December 17
This demands a sense of simplicity in food, clothing and recreation; an appreciation of the role of work; an effort to organize our lives efficiently in view of our work among people (Const. 12.3).
The norms for the evangelical use of material goods or of time include, first, “simplicity.” Simplicity promotes styles of life which are not complicated and which are shaped by the goal of our involvement. What I eat, how I dress and how I recreate should not be the occasion, either by their quantity or quality, to distance me from those I serve or distract me from persistence in my service. The poor are not accustomed to luxury. A second norm for evangelical poverty is “moderation.” Moderation pushes me to be content with satisfying my real “needs” instead of seeking to fulfill all sorts of superfluous “desires.” The poor are used to lacking practically everything, even bread. In effect, by the simplicity and moderation of my life, the poor feel at home with me. These norms permit hard and efficacious work for others. They are a true reflection of the behavior of Jesus, aren’t they? Do simplicity and moderation characterize my community, characterize the Church? And how about my religious life with the confreres?
O Wisdom, holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.