Lent begins today. A day of beginning; a day to renew.
Often Lent is seen as a season of "giving up;" it is probably better to think of it as a season of "giving to."
In our local community, we are pondering the vow of poverty throughout the Lenten Season. The life of St. Francis was marked by absolute poverty, giving up all for God. St. Clare followed him with a determined vision to maintain "the privilege of poverty" in her convents.
Living in a culture wholly immersed in greed for material goods, religious poverty speaks a powerful witness. In our congregation, we consciously maintain a vital balance. We follow St. Francis and we have a stable apostolic work, which requires the use of material goods.
It's an art, and one that requires constant renewal. How do you use goods as necessary, but not begin to accumulate "things"? How do you possess while avoiding being possessed by things? How do you keep from getting caught up in the acquisitive spirit of the times?
They are good questions to ponder in the season of penance; the time of renewal.
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
--submitted by Sister M. Luka, Kansas City in Kansas