Religious Poverty is More than Not using a Cell Phone!


#1

I posted photos of some Sisters during a Memorial day cook-out. Someone commented with disbelief on why she saw two Sisters on the photos using cell phones. Where is the religious poverty? I then went on to explain that there is more to religious poverty than not having and using cell phones!


#2

We often forget how ubiquitous cell phones are now. Even female nomads in the Sahara desert carry them. I am not sure how they recharge the phones, or how often they get a signal, but I suppose cell phones make for cheap cameras.

I don’t think poverty or simplicity of living has much to do with having cell phones.


#3

Well, when we see millionaire Orders as we have here in Ireland, claiming to vow poverty…


#4

[quote="Hopemercy, post:3, topic:261611"]
Well, when we see millionaire Orders as we have here in Ireland, claiming to vow poverty...

[/quote]

"Millionaire Orders"? Please elaborate.

The vow of poverty is one the individual consecrated religious. Some religious communities also have a "vow" of poverty in that the community may not own property, but not all of them have this "vow".

This is another area of grave misunderstanding by the laity. They do not understand what the vows actually mean and want to push what they believe they mean on to religious.


#5

[quote="ByzCath, post:4, topic:261611"]
"Millionaire Orders"? Please elaborate.

The vow of poverty is one the individual consecrated religious. Some religious communities also have a "vow" of poverty in that the community may not own property, but not all of them have this "vow".

This is another area of grave misunderstanding by the laity. They do not understand what the vows actually mean and want to push what they believe they mean on to religious.

[/quote]

Some laity maybe - not ALL laity. Just as it is completely erroneous for lay people to "push what they believe they mean on to religious", it is incorrect if religious should state that it is "the laity" rather than "some laity" that hold and advocate incorrect concepts. There may be grave misunderstandings by SOME laity about religious life, but not ALL laity. There is a real danger of loss of unity in The Church and creating divides between religious and lay people.
But I do recognize that it may have been a typing error and not what is believed at all.


#6

Correction taken.

I apologize for not making it clear that I believe what you state here.


#7

Interesting it’s an issue. In a weird coincidence, one discussion I’ll be bringing up with my wife is DROPPING the cell phone because of its high expense relative to our modest use of them. We could benefit by saving that $80 a month (which, to get a clearer view, is really $960 a year!).


#8

This is why I use a prepaid cell phone. I think I end up spending about $80 a year.


#9

God bless you, ByzCath - I did suppose that you had made a typing error. Very easy to forget a word like "some" to qualify a word when writing or even speaking. Done it meself!!!

I use prepaid also and probably spend at the most $120 per year. I do not make cell calls if an SMS will suffice - and try to avoid chitty chat type sms conversations if it can be politely and courteously avoided. I also use SKYPE for phonecalls which means I have been able to disconnect my landline and save around $300 per year roughly. I only make a cell phone call or Skype call if I really must. Those who call me do so on the cell at their cost - this may betray lack of Charity, although sometimes I tell a person to hang up and I will call the back and my cost, depending on who is the caller. To me, in the main, any sort of telephone conversation is for making appointments only, with of course the exceptions that common sense dictates.
I can see where using a cell phone especially (but not necessarily only) for active orders may be a real assist in their apostolates and other matters when out and about. And to judge on the basis of what one sees etc. is a real mistake and misstep to my mind - motivation is not apparent. "Man judges appearances, but The Lord knows the heart".


#10

I guess that’s what happens when someone has an institutionalised view of the church. The church is more than just an institution!


#11

so if these sisters need to communicate by phone to carry out their ministry or apostolate, what would you suggest as an alternative?


#12

Seriously you can get a cell phone for dirt cheap these days


#13

Obviously some people have never heard the phrase:

Judge not, lest ye be judged.


#14

…pigeons?:D…


#15

This is a very fascinating topic and the posts have been fun to read. I think in someway we’re supposed to act in the eyes of Christ. He walked among the poor and the sick. As Catholics, we have all sacrificed, or will sacrifice for our faith.

This idea of taking a vow in order to make someone’s life a little better, is as ‘Christlike’ as it can get; whether it’d be poverty, charity, humility, prayer, suffering (you get the idea). This is getting me to think about defining my vows with Christ. We’re called in different ways, I guess.

Great Topic. Thanks.


#16

I agree that there’s more to religious poverty than cell phones, but for the most part, most religious priests and nuns I know don’t have the latest iPhone. Which I think is perfectly fine. However, I do have a problem when a religious priest has an iPhone 4 and an iPad.

I walked into the confessional a couple weeks ago and I found the Jesuit priest hearing confessions sitting there with his iPad in hand. I saw him a week later with his iPhone 4. I kind of think that isn’t very appropriate. I mean, come on, an iPhone and an iPad??


#17

People are bothered by this? Seriously? And not that it matters, but my pay-as-you-go cell is only $15 every 60 days. I would assume these sisters have phones out of NECESSITY. That would be the charitable thing for anyone to assume. It isn't like these ladies get into the whole 'religious' gig for the lavish perks.:rolleyes: (Just poking fun. No disrespect intended!)


#18

Sisters really NEED cell phones. Just look at the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. They keep I think a beeper and maybe ipod type thing and probably a cell phone to handle all the many daily contacts they get about discernment.

I was with a poor Franciscan Order once, and they didn't use cell phones. It was a bad thing because there was a time we drove to the airport and they were waiting on a Sister to arrive, but they had no way to get in touch with them to tell them they were waiting outside the airport. So, they had to park where they would exit, but the guards told us we couldn't park there. They didn't even have money with them to pay for parking so we just drove around a lot and kept checking. That's quite imprudent in my opinion to not have money or cell phones on hand. They also didn't believe in using the van heater in the dead of winter!


#19

[quote="SalesianSDB, post:16, topic:261611"]
I agree that there's more to religious poverty than cell phones, but for the most part, most religious priests and nuns I know don't have the latest iPhone. Which I think is perfectly fine. However, I do have a problem when a religious priest has an iPhone 4 and an iPad.

I walked into the confessional a couple weeks ago and I found the Jesuit priest hearing confessions sitting there with his iPad in hand. I saw him a week later with his iPhone 4. I kind of think that isn't very appropriate. I mean, come on, an iPhone and an iPad??

[/quote]

I think you are making judgments here that you have no right to make.

Could these have been gifts?

I know of religious with iPhones and iPads. Are you aware that the Missal is available on the iPad?

I try not to focus on what other people have or are doing. I try to keep my focus on myself. Usually when I do find myself focusing on others I am just projecting.


#20

I think this is difficult, because if you’re practising radical poverty, this is simply what you’re going to do! But I do agree it creates problems. I was talking to a superior of a very austere congregation a while ago, and he was telling me that in the course of one week he had spent the equivalent of maybe 12-15 hours on the phone, writing letters, and arranging for payments for air travel for two novices to visit their families overseas. He wryly commented that with a computer and a credit card it would have taken an hour at most, and he would have been free to serve the poor in those hours that were otherwise employed.

He wasn’t whining, and he wasn’t even saying that it was wrong that the constitutions of his congregation forbade the use of computers in their houses, or that they should have credit cards. He was just saying that that kind of austerity does come at a very real cost.:shrug:


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