Sunday, March 28, 2010
FRANCISCAN POVERTY (part I)
Francis loved the poverty that he saw in Christ and in His Blessed Mother, but he saw it only as a condition for the infinite love that occupied his every desire. He realized so well that only Christ, God alone, is worthy of infinite love; and on the other hand, he knew that we poor mortals are incapable of loving infinitely and completely. But Francis conceived a way out of this dilemma.
Perfect poverty is the answer to perfect love in so far as a creature is able to love perfectly. We must withdraw our hearts from the attachment to all other love, and give them to Almighty God by complete poverty. Such poverty entails the surrender of every material thing, and even more; namely, the uprooting of all vanity and pride by perfect simplicity and humility. It also requires the renunciation of oneself and one's own will in perfect obedience. How necessary then, is poverty, if the love of God, which demands absolute detachment, cannot be attained without it!
It is therefore especially true in the case of the Franciscan that poverty must be a characteristically Franciscan virtue and must be outstanding in us.