What is Franciscan Poverty?

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity share a portion of our Community Constitutions to answer the question 'what is Franciscan poverty?' This is a first of a series of discernment helps that give a better understanding of how we live consecrated life, in particular the vow of poverty. This question comes from a recent visit with a young woman.

Poverty, voluntarily embraced for the sake of following Christ, expresses our commitment to live poor in fact and in spirit as a response to the Gospel. We place our treasure and our hearts in God.

By our poverty we gladly submit to the common law of work through which we share in the creative activity of God by using  the talents He gave us in manual and intellectual endeavors to build the new earth.

While work is our means of support, we do not labor for personal gain, profit, or the satisfaction of wants. We witness to the human meaning of work, embracing it with liberty of spirit for the praise of God and as a service of love for others. As Franciscans our labor is characterized by trust in God, humility, courtesy and joy..

We live in moderation and in total dependence concerning the use and disposition of temporal goods. As a gospel community we hold all things in common, and we share what we have with one another and with those in need.