Can i live poverty without being franciscan?

Ok so my question i sactually a bi tdeeper than that. Do i need permission from a spiritual director, a bishop, or anyone to say, give all my clothes to th epoor and dress only in a habit, fast habitually, and do constant penance, or can and should i do that as a catholic anyway? I am just so inspired by the life of St. Francis to do this now an di want tto join th eFranciscans but i can’t till i pay off my debt. in th emean time, can i live that lifestyle anyway or do i need permission from any of the above mentioned people? oh, i am 22 and live at home with my parents, and i attend a Catholic University. For these reasons i know that this would cause a lot of talk and ridicule but at the same time, that’s exactly what happenned to St. Francis so would this be a good thing for me to do? Please a Franciscan priest be among those who answers this, and a good one at that!

hey, houstonian. i live about an hour from you. :slight_smile:

i’m not a franciscan, but i’m about to enter the jesuits in august, and we take vows of poverty, too.

i don’t claim to be a good one, though. but i’ll give you my best shot. :wink:

it’s best to remember that while we should take Jesus’s words seriously, and know that He still calls us to ‘sell all that we have, give the money to the poor, and come follow Me’, we also live in community, and so should take other’s advice into consideration in making huge decisions like the one you’re talking about.

so asking your spiritual director about it is probably a good idea.

and then consider this, too: what’s the rush? if you’re paying off your debt and thinking about entering the franciscans, then it sounds like you’re headed the right way. i don’t see any benefit from ‘jumping the gun’ and giving away everything before you’re prepared for what that means - and what you’ll do as a result.

by no means do i say ‘don’t do it’. i mean, as you’ve pointed out, francis did just what you’re saying. but if he had had the spiritual direction we have today, and if he’d been preparing to enter some mendicant order anyway, would he have done it as he did?

God bless you as you take His call so seriously!!! maybe i’ll meet you one of these days, as priests. :slight_smile:

[quote=creedseebas]. For these reasons i know that this would cause a lot of talk and ridicule but at the same time, that’s exactly what happenned to St. Francis so would this be a good thing for me to do? Please a Franciscan priest be among those who answers this, and a good one at that!
[/quote]

it was good for Francis to do because he was called by God to do it, and his followers were called by God to imitate him. he did not do it off his own bat because he thought it would be a neat thing to do. he got the approval of his bishop, and with his band of followers marched on foot to Rome to submit his order and his rule to the approval of the Pope.

If you feel you are being called to evangelical poverty, contact the Secular Franciscans in your area and investigate their spirituality. Whatever spiritual disciplines or activities you feel called upon to assume, ask your confessor or spiritual director to help you discern them. We can disobey by adopting too severe penitential practices for the wrong reasons.

another place you might investigate is a Catholic Worker house if there is one in your community.

I would not stop you. But I would seek a good spiritual director to help me discern what God wants. It is a very big step to make. And you should be 100% sure before you do.
The world was a different place in St Francis’ day. That does not mean you can’t do this. But there are many ways to serve God, and be just as pleasing to him. You can become a Saint whilst working in the factory / office. Raising a family. Socialising with friends.
This may well be your call. But since it’s such a big call, I would tell God and St Francis that I will seek out a holy Franciscan priest and tell him of my desires and expect to hear God’s will through him. Leave it up to God. If he wants this He will make it blatantly clear to you. The hard part is when God says , “No.” That’s when we struggle the most. I have done a similiar thing in the past. I should have listened to my director. I now know God’s will for me. I was extremely attracted the same way as you are. Take the advice given in this forum. I’ll pray you do God’s will.
God bless. And may you discern your path, wisely.

Creeds – simplicity is a fundamental way of Christian life. The more unobtrusive you can be, the better: so nix the habit for now. At this point in history the habit is a sign of consecrated life. It is conferred, not assumed. Pay off your debt. DEBT is your poverty. Talk to your pastor about your desire for a Franciscan life; do contact the SFOs.

Well one thing is certain. I do feel called to do this and i have devoted much much prayer to it and come up with th esame results. As i said, i feel a need to AT LEAST go discern my vocation in a franciscan community, but at the same time. i feel it a direct impediment to my race to saintliness the owning all these clothes, and eating as well as i do, etc. i say this because all i am doing is giving in to my physical desires, which in turn makes my will weaker. i want to be constantly fasting…maybe not a constant strict fast cuz that could be bad for my health…but some kind of fast nonetheless…little things at least. And i feel the need for now to separate myself from people and places that will feed obscenities to my eyes, ears, or provoke them to come out of my mouth or my thoughts. i don’t want to take the neo-trditional way to persuing saintlyhood because i feel i am being called to something more. Something more rigorous. I will talk to my spiritual advisor though and share all of this with him. Nevertheless i know this call is authentic because anytime i have simplified my life, in the sense that i rid myself of some pleasure, the earthly pleasure i feel diminishes, but my inner peace increases.

I see that you have received a lot of good spiritual advice here on the forum. Choosing to live a life of gospel poverty is commendable but as others have advised, please discuss this with your spiritual director. It is important to be doing it for the right reasons, i.e. out of love for God.

There is an online lay Franciscan group that you may be interested in. They describe living a life of prayer, fasting, as well as living and dressing as simply as possible. Here is the link to their website:
penitents.org/

Good luck and may the peace of Christ and Francis be with you.
:wave:

Hi creedseebas :slight_smile:

I agree with the wonderful advice given by previous posters, but thought I’d wade in with my own six penith worth.
It is an admirable calling, and if this is a true calling then by all means persue it; but if you are just contemplating joining the Franciscans because it will make it easier for you to follow God (i.e. worldly temptations will be removed from you, making it easier to do Gods work), then perhaps you have missed the point? Sometimes staying in the ‘real world’, as it were, makes your witness to God every bit as admirable as joining the Priesthood / Sisterhood etc; because you have to deal with the temptations / vices of the real world. You have to make a concerted effort to strengthen your resolve and let God work in your life, and banish Satan to the firey depths of hell…No easy task, I admit; but everyday people manage to shake off the materialistic, self gratifying, me, me, me, world, and live a dedicated religious life, outside a religious order.
Perhaps, to help you make your decision, you could look into becoming an oblate? Just a thought.
Whatever you decide, you have my very best wishes, and prayers.

Peace be with you :slight_smile:

[quote=jeffreedy789]hey, houstonian. i live about an hour from you. :slight_smile:

i’m not a franciscan, but i’m about to enter the jesuits in august, and we take vows of poverty, too.

[/quote]

Dear Jeff!

Fantastic, I am so very pleased God has called you to Him in this vocation.

If you don’t mind I would like to keep you in my prayers for your call to Vocation in the Jesuits.

God Bless you greatly and much love and peace to you

Teresa

[quote=creedseebas]Ok so my question i sactually a bi tdeeper than that. Do i need permission from a spiritual director, a bishop, or anyone to say, give all my clothes to th epoor and dress only in a habit, fast habitually, and do constant penance, or can and should i do that as a catholic anyway? I am just so inspired by the life of St. Francis to do this now an di want tto join th eFranciscans but i can’t till i pay off my debt. in th emean time, can i live that lifestyle anyway or do i need permission from any of the above mentioned people? oh, i am 22 and live at home with my parents, and i attend a Catholic University. For these reasons i know that this would cause a lot of talk and ridicule but at the same time, that’s exactly what happenned to St. Francis so would this be a good thing for me to do? Please a Franciscan priest be among those who answers this, and a good one at that!
[/quote]

Dear friend

Every Christian is called to poverty, chastity and obedience. It’s how we live that out and in what charism that is the personal call from God.

St Francis is who you are drawn to and you have discerned your call so far with much assurity by the sound of it. i I am sure you are chaste in your state in life so, if you are willing to embrace with such zeal, poverty, then also embrace obedience. Speak to you usual confessor who knows you well and discuss it with him, then he may advise you or he may refer you to another Priest or Spiritual Director who may be of great assistance in forming your spirituality and call to the Lord.

A true vocation does not fade, does not go away and over time increases in intensity. You have no need to rush, the sky is not about to fall in! Take your time aware that to please the Lord you let Him lead you, you do not need to run and chase after Him, He walks before you to lead you.

Remember we are in spiritual formation all of our lives, even in our dying our spiritual formation takes place as our Holy Father is showing the whole world.

You may like to think about poverty of spirit as well, the giving away of possessions is fairly hard , but poverty of spirit is much harder. I am not a franciscan, I am in formation as a secular carmelite, but I did make an effort to give away things I do not use or need, nor do I buy anything now that I do not need.

We have responsibilities in life to those around us and must pratice poverty applicable to the state of life we are in…ie don’t give your suits away if you need to look smart for work.

I thank God for your call to holiness in service to Him and humanity and I pray you find your spiritual home.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

[quote=Nun_ofthe_Above]Hi creedseebas :slight_smile:

I agree with the wonderful advice given by previous posters, but thought I’d wade in with my own six penith worth.
It is an admirable calling, and if this is a true calling then by all means persue it; but if you are just contemplating joining the Franciscans because it will make it easier for you to follow God (i.e. worldly temptations will be removed from you, making it easier to do Gods work), then perhaps you have missed the point? Sometimes staying in the ‘real world’, as it were, makes your witness to God every bit as admirable as joining the Priesthood / Sisterhood etc; because you have to deal with the temptations / vices of the real world. You have to make a concerted effort to strengthen your resolve and let God work in your life, and banish Satan to the firey depths of hell…No easy task, I admit; but everyday people manage to shake off the materialistic, self gratifying, me, me, me, world, and live a dedicated religious life, outside a religious order.
Perhaps, to help you make your decision, you could look into becoming an oblate? Just a thought.
Whatever you decide, you have my very best wishes, and prayers.

Peace be with you :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Dear friend

I don’t think for one minute that satan is any less active in tempting nuns and Priests be they cloistered, secular or active than he is at tempting any other person. Each state in life has it’s own struggles and no-one is free of these temptations, they come in all manner of ways.

You could sit on a desert island by yourself all of your life and still be beset by temptation, to be honest it may be even worse in solitude with no support from any other person to help you to keep on the straight and narrow.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

[quote=springbreeze]Dear friend

I don’t think for one minute that satan is any less active in tempting nuns and Priests be they cloistered, secular or active than he is at tempting any other person. Each state in life has it’s own struggles and no-one is free of these temptations, they come in all manner of ways.

You could sit on a desert island by yourself all of your life and still be beset by temptation, to be honest it may be even worse in solitude with no support from any other person to help you to keep on the straight and narrow.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa
[/quote]

Dear Springbreeze,
I certainly don’t disagree with you here. I think joining a religious order is a fine thing if truly called, that is why I suggested creedseebas look into an oblature (Hmm, think this is the correct term) It could help discern whether this is the true path. I only wished to point out that regardless which path he chooses, it is no less a vocation. We must all follow God; relinquishing our earthly temptations. Live in faith with hope and charity towards God and our ‘neighbours’.

Peace and love to you :slight_smile:

[quote=Nun_ofthe_Above]Dear Springbreeze,
I certainly don’t disagree with you here. I think joining a religious order is a fine thing if truly called, that is why I suggested creedseebas look into an oblature (Hmm, think this is the correct term) It could help discern whether this is the true path. I only wished to point out that regardless which path he chooses, it is no less a vocation. We must all follow God; relinquishing our earthly temptations. Live in faith with hope and charity towards God and our ‘neighbours’.

Peace and love to you :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Dear friend

I’m with you! :slight_smile: No truer word spoken

God Bless you greatly and much love and peace to you and those you love

Teresa

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