Thursday, January 12, 2012

Imagine No Posessions

...the Poverelio (Francis’s nickname, which means “little poor man”) believed material possessions to be "evil”; he loved the whole of creation too much to reject any part of it. Francis asked his followers to live in poverty because he believed that such a life—style would release them from self—centered demands for control. "Living without property,” Francis once explained, "means never getting upset by anything that anybody does."

In Saint Francis’s understanding, material poverty creates an emptiness that may then be filled by spiritual reality. In renouncing our claim to possessions, we open ourselves to spirituality because we are also (and this is the more significant act) renouncing our self—will. Francis honored "Lady Poverty" because he believed that being without possessions makes it much less likely that we will insist on our own will the willfulness that becomes the claim to be "God."

Completely unprotected, we discover a new way of seeing: Rather than looking for
what we don’t have, we truly see what we do have. We learn to discern God’s gift in everything that happens to us.

from The Spirituality of Imperfection by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham