Poverty December 9
The rich, for their part, who seemed important in the world, must not look down upon their brothers who have come into this holy brotherhood from a condition of poverty (Rule 8).
In Hippo, St. Augustine’s community was made up of all kinds of people: rich and poor, weak and strong, healthy and sick. Certainly one of his objectives in founding the community was to protest against the spirit of his day, which divided people in classes of “fortunate” and “unfortunate,” all based on the criterion of wealth. The Rule opens with a fundamental demand that all strive to achieve unanimity at every level of life, avoiding all discrimination, as the way to God. The challenges of our own times are as great as those of Augustine’s world—and maybe even greater. Our economic divisions are hemispheric and technological; our divisions are cultural and racial. Religious in international communities in the developing nations bring together people from all sides of these abysses. “Fortunate” are those who construct the bridges well and cross over them. “Unfortunate” are those who are content to live with the distances.
The turtledove gets to know its fellow turtledove in the beaten straw. (Moba)
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