Monday, 15 December 2014

Poverty vs Poverty

I remember during one of the meetings in the Provincial house, while discussing about our life of poverty and the corresponding lifestyle that we live, Fr Sebastian John made a very strong point. He said that in the Indian context when we say that we are like the Hindu sanyasis, it is actually a very very contradictory imagery we are providing.  The Hindu sanyasi when he leaves home, he leaves everything: attachment to his family, material possessions, family inheritance, every comfort of the world.  He is practically a beggar on the street, living his life day to day on the charity of others.

In such a context, when we say that we have left behind everything for the congregation and Don Bosco, it is actually a farce!  We do leave our own families... but build up relations with the community members and call them our 'family'; neither are we totally cut off from our natural families altogether.  We say we have given up our family inheritance... but we lack nothing!  We live a comfortable life, assured that the congregation will take care of our every need.  We have buildings to live in (not a small house); separate individual rooms, meals all round the clock, vehicles for our conveyance, domestic helpers to do our work (not only the work of the community)...

And the fact of not owning anything? Well the tons of lugguage we chug along when we move from house to house when on transfer, in contrast to the small 'potli' (sack) a sanyasi owns, speaks for itself.  

1 comment:

  1. hmm. maybe then, a comparison can be made with the Hindu godmen. They usually live in varying degrees of luxury and wear saffron or white robes.

    And who comes off better in the comparison? God knows.


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