Renouncing possessions?


#1

What is considered a possession for the average person that they must renounce to be a disciple? I can understand a religious vocation but what about the layman? Also Jesus says not to save money for the future. Is it really possible for a man not to say money for future emergencies, car transmission, medical bills, etc?


#2

I don't remember where Jesus said not to save money for future needs. Can you point that out?

-Tim-


#3

One doesn’t necessarily have to renounce in the sense of casting off things the way a monastic or hermit would; renunciation of possessions will take on different forms depending on our state in life. Ultimately we are called to cultivate an interior disposition which does not make us possessed by our possessions, i.e. to keep in mind that all we have is a gift from God, and that when we have passed from this life, we cannot take it with us. To be too attached to our possessions can keep us too attached to this life and not seeking the next. That’s at the heart of the teaching on renunciation.

-ACEGC


#4

[quote="edward_george, post:3, topic:344320"]
One doesn't necessarily have to renounce in the sense of casting off things the way a monastic or hermit would; renunciation of possessions will take on different forms depending on our state in life. Ultimately we are called to cultivate an interior disposition which does not make us possessed by our possessions, i.e. to keep in mind that all we have is a gift from God, and that when we have passed from this life, we cannot take it with us. To be too attached to our possessions can keep us too attached to this life and not seeking the next. That's at the heart of the teaching on renunciation.

-ACEGC

[/quote]

Exactly. Renunciation of material things is not equivalent to not ever having or using material things. It's the interior attachment (or detachment) that is key.

Yes, many religious do forsake material possessions, but even they still have them. I know religious sisters and priests who have laptops and cell phones and plenty of books (they often need them for the work they do). But they key is that those objects are not really "theirs" and if their religious superior requested them to turn them over, they would do so in a heartbeat.

Someone could be poor, and yet cling to the few meager possessions they have. And someone could be rich and be willing to walk away from their possessions without a moment's hesitation. It's the inward disposition that is most important.

Of course, it's far easier to put into practice if you don't have as many possessions. ;)


#5

^^ this is exactly what it is. Renouncing posession has to do with an emotional attachment to material things. I only would like to add that the second part of renouncing possessions has to do with having full trust that Jesus is going to take care of all your needs no matter what. Jesus said are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of the father. And even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.

Many people just don’t trust that God can and does take care of them so they look for eartly possessions like money to take care of them and in that road money becomes their God. By renouncing to earthly possession you are also renouncing to put your trust in material things instead your trust is in God to take care of you.


#6

1 John 2:15 * Do not love the world or the things of the world.* If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.*

It’s ok to have ‘things’. We just need to be sure we keep them in perspective and not love them more than God.


#7

It is possible?

Now we’re basically talking mathematical logic. :thumbsup:

Yes, it’s possible, but is it smart?

A man has a responsibility to provide for his family. In the New Testament we are taught that it is best for those called to a religious vocation to not be married and have family because then we undertake the obligation and responsibility of supporting them.

Notice I said obligation. That word is not to be taken so lightly in moral affairs.

The thing you need to understand about material things is do they have a purpose? If you’ve got all this clutter laying around that doesn’t get used, it is high time to think about giving it to charity.

But where do you draw the line? I would say when it impedes your ability to provide for your family.

Also, some people collect things like stamps or whatever as a hobby which helps them stay out trouble.

All in all, just get rid of the stuff you don’t need, and try to be charitable with your money,but not to the point where you and your family would be destitute. I don’t think it’s very charitable to have to depend so much on someone else or the state to care for you, because that can bring out a bunch of other problems including scandal and bribery.

Where the** issue of money is a problem is when people are obstinately rich**. In fact, that’s a grave matter.

But I suspect that most people are not like that.

Listen, you need a car, especially if you live in North America. You need medicine at times and you need to teach your kids and keep your sanity by going away every so often.

It may be a good idea to bring this up with your confessor as well.


#8

“Spencer” please take what I am about to say in the spirit of it’s intent. Which is “good”. You question scares me and reminds me of how non-catholics think. Or fundamentalist would expect of their followers ie cult like. In particular you wrote “Also Jesus says not to save money for the future.”

That scared me reading it and I know your intent was not meant to scare anyone however. If anyone tells you “and Jesus says not to save money for the future” . please be very VERY careful.
Your statement hit me very deep and it did not feel right.


#9

I have on my IPhone Laudate. I read the daily readings and reflections. In today's gospel its about the demands of discipleship. I will quote the The statement in the reflection (which is basically a sermon of the gospel). "The whole world may seem that jesus' is wrong about living a simple life, not saving for the future, renouncing your possessions, owing no debts, and lending without charging interest.".


#10

I disagree. I haven’t owned a car for 35 years.


#11

Jesus said a lot of things about money and some of it seems to conflict with each other.

The rich young man was told to sell all his possessions in order to get to have eternal life.

Mark 10:21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard** to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

But in Luke 19, Jesus tells the tax collector Zacchaeus that he is saved because he will give half his wealth to the poor:

Luke 19:5
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man[a] came to seek and save those who are lost.”**


#12

That is not true. Give us the exact verse in Scripture that you base your claim on.


#13

He also said that people would call a man foolish if he started building a house without having enough money to finish.
Realizing this is not literal. But if you propose to live in this world it would be foolish to refuse to do anything to earn your keep.


#14

What is considered a possession for the average person that they must renounce to be a disciple?

Some brief points,

Wealth exists to be shared
328. Goods, even when legitimately owned, always have a universal destination; any type of improper accumulation is immoral, because it openly contradicts the universal destination assigned to all goods by the Creator. 1

  1. There are sinful social and economic inequalities which affect millions of human beings. These inequalities are in open contradiction to the Gospel and are contrary to justice, to the dignity of persons, and to peace. There are , however, differences among people caused by various factors which enter into the plan of God. Indeed, God wills that each might receive what he or she needs from others and that those endowed with particular talents should share them with others. Such differences encourage and often oblige people to the practice of generosity, kindness and the sharing of goods. They also foster the mutual enrichment of cultures. 2

  1. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
  2. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

#15

[quote="thistle, post:12, topic:344320"]
That is not true. Give us the exact verse in Scripture that you base your claim on.

[/quote]

If you read my second post you would have the answer. The person whether a theologian or apologist wrote a reflection on the gospel of dicipleship. In his reflection he states but does not give scripture reference about Jesus' wisdom on finances. http://i1256.photobucket.com/albums/ii495/spencergondron/EBDC72A3-7EB5-40FF-8C7D-7D9F1704660A-3180-00000942D13922BE_zps2a92899d.jpg


#16

[quote="spencer2, post:15, topic:344320"]
If you read my second post you would have the answer. The person whether a theologian or apologist wrote a reflection on the gospel of dicipleship. In his reflection he states but does not give scripture reference about Jesus' wisdom on finances. http://i1256.photobucket.com/albums/ii495/spencergondron/EBDC72A3-7EB5-40FF-8C7D-7D9F1704660A-3180-00000942D13922BE_zps2a92899d.jpg

[/quote]

In short, Jesus did NOT say that at all.


#17

Cited from: Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Savings and consumer goods
358. Consumers, who in many cases have a broad range of buying power well above the mere subsistence level, exercise significant influence over economic realities by their free decisions regarding whether to put their money into consumer goods or savings. In fact, the possibility to influence the choices made within the economic sector is in the hands of those who must decide where to place their financial resources. Today more than in the past it is possible to evaluate the available options not only on the basis of the expected return and the relative risk but also by making a value judgment of the investment projects that those resources would finance, in the awareness that “the decision to invest in one place rather than another, in one productive sector rather than another, is always a moral and cultural choice”.*

*The last phrase (in quotations) is cited from John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 36: AAS 83 (1991), 839-840.


#18

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.