Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Poverty and love

Our vows makes sense to our religious life only and only if we take them out of love and live them for love.  If they are an end in themselves then they cease to be anything virtuous or leading us any closer to God.  In no time they will become a burden under which we find ourselves being crushed instead of being of any help to others. 

But this love can be only for our fellow human beings, with no God-dimension in it!  Can it?  I don't think it can be possible to be so in love with human beings that God and any other life can be excluded from it.  However, I need to deepen this reasoning.

Coming back to the vows and love... in the context of poverty too, a poverty that does not stem from love is not a poverty to be desired nor does it get us any nearer to God.  Truly if our deeds and not mere words are a genuine test of love then a mere detachment from material possessions is not going to take us far.  Augustine has a very radical look on this aspect when he states
If you are still not yet disposed to die for your brother, be at least disposed to give some of your goods to your brother ... If you cannot give to your brother from what you have in excess, how can you give him your life?
That invariably either stems from or subsequently leads us to the Gospel quote
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. 

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