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7. Poverty

  1. The brothers and sisters work to be as free as possible from the cares of the world, so that their hearts may be fixed only on heaven. They embody the three New Testament models of poverty according to the various states of life and particular expressions of community found within their overall community.

  2. The first Scriptural model is found in Matthew, Chapters 10 and 19, which describe the itinerant life of Jesus and the apostles. We live out this model when we embark on our itinerant ministry. We carry only the essentials with us when we travel.

  3. The second Scriptural model is found in Acts, Chapters 2 and 4, describing the common life of the first Christian Church in Jerusalem. The monastic brotherhood and sisterhood observe this expression of gospel poverty. The individual brothers and sisters renounce all claims to personal possessions, but the respective expression of community may own property and possessions in common. However, the whole community is bound to solidarity with the world's poor and to a lifestyle that is truly simple. For the individual of the community, this life of strict renunciation of individual ownership and strict poverty is entered into gradually, according to the particular Directory of the brotherhood and sisterhood respectively.

  4. The third Scriptural model of poverty is found in Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 8, where Paul describes the more domestic approach to Christian living. In this expression the individual and families may retain private property, but they are called to share that property with their brothers and sisters in Christ, according to the particular Directory of their particular expression of community.

  5. Community Goods:
    In the spirit of St. Francis we seek to be poor and simple in all personal and community goods. After the example of St. Benedict we treat all community goods with the same respect we show the vessels of the altar.

  6. Food:
    In the spirit of environmental and ecological sensitivity, we also do our best to produce and serve only good, healthy food at our table. Whenever possible, we acquire food from simple gardens, maintained by our own hands, or from low-priced markets easily accessible.

  7. Clothing:
    We are called to dress ourselves simply and humbly as a sign and symbol of gospel poverty in the midst of a materialistic world. Each Brother or Sister is expected to wear the habit of their Order. 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 daily. The habit is worn as a constant reminder of our call to a life of prayer, penitence, and poverty. The habit is the normal clothing of the brothers and sisters.

  8. Shelter:
    We use forms of shelter that are both economically and energy efficient. We also investigate alternative forms of energy production proper to our culture and time.