Is a vow of poverty hard


Im asking those in the religious life,because that is the main impediment to my discernment, selfish as it is,


I found chastity harder.

I was in an order for 6 years.

Poverty was a blessing.
Obedience was hard, but doable.


Can you explai how poverty was a blessi


It took away the psychological need to have things, or to be in control of things, or to let things be in control of you.

In my secular life I feel swamped by things, and by owning things. I feel chained and unfree.

There’s so many things we can enjoy without owning (or ruling) them too: art, the sky, architecture, the beauty of nature.


Beautiful, hopefully, if im called, God can instill tha view in me


I always thought that it would be hard.

However, if you look at how certain Orders and Congregations are structured, the ‘poverty’ really amounts to everyone giving the compensation received from their ‘day’ jobs to the group. And then living on a modest allowance. Personal assets aren’t necessary in this arrangement, because everything is owned collectively.

In many respects, that is beneficial to the individuals because they don’t have to worry about mortgages on homes, maintenance on individual homes, etc.

And they care for each other in their old age. A beautiful model, actually.

Poverty in the sense of personal materiality isn’t so bad, given the right perspective.


All the vows are hard in their own way and in particular situations. They are very much intertwined though and the challenge of living them is what gives life, freedom, joy, and love to the life of a religious. Poverty is about much more than possessions or money. Poverty makes us aware that we rely upon God and not upon our own independence and decision. This means that we own nothing - our future, reputation, decisions, relationships are all gifts. We deserve none of them and we are grateful for all. When we are given a formal obedience we practice poverty by knowing we do not belong to ourselves alone. When we struggle with chastity we acknowledge in poverty that our whole self belongs to the creator and not to our own desires.

The vows, while difficult, answer a deep desire in our hearts to right relationship with God, with others, and with the world. It is difficult because we are sinners and the world tempts us to think we are in total control but we are not. Acknowledging this brings us freedom and the joy of living a life that is dependent upon God and his instruments - our religious family, our ministry, and our personal life.


Poverty is unreal in modern religious life. It means you do not own anything personally but the order can be rich so you have security which is not poverty. As one man put it, it has become cosy. I live poverty in very real terms. There are a very few orders who live true holy poverty. Look at Saint Francis early life a a monastic.


In the light of the riches owned by religious orders your post concerns.


No I am not mocking or criticising. It is but a short time in years that religious life here was seen as “three hots and a cot” ie a safe and secure place where all your physical needs were met. It still is that. An Order has an absolute duty to provide materially for all there. So it is a very safe environment and not dependent on God as eg the very first Franciscans were. Most orders have sound financial backing and it is the duty of the Superiors to ensure that. Detaching from material things is a different issue and one most of us face in our lives. I live poverty BUT I am dependent on the State for my pension not on the direct provision of God. I choose to live more simply than I need so that I can give to those whose very lives depend on our provision. I think you are meaning it is hard to let go of your choices? Let someone take control? That is not poverty in any sense surely? If it is that detachment that worries, fear not as it gets easier very quickly! It really does. sorry re the clumsy presentation but I could not find a way to edit my post


Are you in a mendicant order?


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