Each month, as we have our day of recollection, I try to devote a few moments to “considering how I live poverty,” as our directives suggest we do frequently.
Spending most of my day at St. Anne’s, a home for the elderly and disabled, the scope of this poverty is a bit more limited; we eat what our residents eat, we share their living space. We reap many of the benefits of the nice home we provide for them.
Nonetheless, I have vowed poverty, in loving imitation of Christ, who for our sake became poor. I have to ask myself, how can I live poverty? How do I live it?
Our Rule, in fact, exhorts us that we should “never want anything else under heaven.”
So, how do I, as a twenty-first century Franciscan woman religious, live poverty?
This is a question for me every day, but the answers are not always easy. Clarity is sometimes hard to come by.
Nonetheless, I might ask myself in this “frequent evaluation” of my life of poverty: Do I use resources unnecessarily? Do I get by with what I really need or do I make it a point to have every thing I really want? Do I have all the modern conveniences, to make life easy for myself?
Do I tell myself: “This is normal; everyone else in our society does/has this,” or do I hold myself to the poverty to which I am called by my vocation?
Do I keep my eyes on Jesus, and live poverty in loving imitation of Him, or do I lose my focus?
These are all important questions as I strive to follow Jesus faithfully.
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