The poverty we profess is not a poverty of destitution, but one in which the members enjoy that support and security which comes from belonging to our community (Const. 13.4).
There are various perspectives on the vow of poverty and different ways to live it in the Church. Franciscan poverty is not the Crosiers’, nor is the poverty of other more recent congregations. Our ancient tradition of the vow certainly takes us in the direction of simplicity and sobriety, but always with discerning moderation in the spirit of the Rule of St. Augustine. Crosier poverty takes into account of the humanity of the confreres and their varying needs. It recognizes how linked to the earth we were created to be. Jesus took our flesh, ate our food, drank our wine, worked our wood. He will return one day to recreate our world and resurrect our bodies. To have and enjoy material goods, then, during our earthy sojourn is not theologically problematic for us. The challenge is to practice poverty in a way that remains faithful to who we are as human beings and in a way that assures a just distribution of goods respectful of the humanity of others.
God makes the manioc bread, we humans season it. (Bakongo)
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