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6. Poverty (C7)

  1. As the faithful steward, each brother or sister answers for the community goods they use and enjoy.

  2. In keeping with poverty, all labor or ministry by the members of the community is approved or appointed by the community leadership.

  3. In doing so the natural gifts and talents of the individual is considered by the leadership and community, but the member does not claim any ministry or labor as their own. They are willing to lay it aside without murmuring or bitterness at any time.

  4. Work and Social Assistance:
    The work of the brothers and sisters is the ordinary and chief means of providing needs for our life and apostolate.

  5. Where such things are commonly used by the poor, it is lawful and fitting that the brothers and sisters take advantage of laws which afford social assistance, such as Social Security and provisions as well as pensions.

  6. If an apostolic ministry brings in no support, it is advisable for those engaged in such ministry to follow the example of Paul's tent making by doing extra manual labor in the community. This helps pay the expenses. It also keeps the minister in touch with the basic realities of life, which constantly face the humble manual laborer. In turn, this strengthens cos ministry to the average worker, and frees cos ministry from the bondage of having to support home debt.

  7. Buildings:
    Buildings constructed for the brothers and sisters, and everything they acquire and use, harmonizes with a poor life within the framework of local and temporal conditions. What is no longer of any use is converted to other uses.

    1. Dwellings of the brothers and sisters are simple and inexpensive so as to be in keeping with the charitable poverty of the gospel of Jesus.

  8. Socio-Eremitical Pattern:
    Normally, the brothers and sisters, being adapted to one’s state of life, retain the socio-eremitical pattern of building.

  9. The monastery and family dwellings are made up of areas for common and private use. If we do not allow for private time, private space, and private prayer we will eventually create emotionally imbalanced individuals who will, in turn, destroy the community. According to the earliest monastic customs, we use community spiritual direction from our Vicars and elder brothers and sisters, to help keep these private prayer periods to stay on course in a healthy way.

  10. Décor and Furnishings:
    Décor and furnishings are to be poor to glorify only the cross of our Lord, who died to his own desires so the needs of others might be fulfilled. The neatness and order reflecting the peace of God is to be manifested in every cell, where heaven comes down to earth to make all a sacred space in the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit. In all matters, while care is called for, scruples are not, since they distinctly undermine the purpose of such legislation, which is freedom of heart.

  11. When and Where to Wear the Habit:
    Remembering that our religious habit is symbolic of consecration made to God and of our brotherhood or sisterhood, the brothers and sisters wear the habit both inside and outside the community. The habit is considered the typical and normal clothing of a brother or sister. The habit is a constant reminder of our call to a life of prayer, penitence, and poverty.

    1. For reasons of a sign of poverty, the habit is worn daily. It is the normal daily clothing of the brothers and sisters.

    2. Likewise, because the habit is a sign of penance, it is worn even if by nature it seems a sacrifice. In cases of ill health leadership can dispense this.

  12. Secular Clothing:
    The habit of one’s tradition is the expected clothing of a brother or sister. Secular clothing is often used to display fashion and style as well as wealth. As brothers and sisters who have taken vows of poverty the habit reminds us that we are to live in solidarity with the poor of the world.

  13. Grooming:
    In light of the ascetical practices of the monastic traditions, the brothers and sisters do not groom themselves according to fashion and style, but rather they groom themselves according to simplicity, modesty, and practicality.