Lady Poverty

For St. Francis, his practice of poverty was not about not having things. “Things” are part of life…some “things” are even essential to life. Francis did not want to “own” or “dominate” things. He was brother to all and nothing was subordinate to him. He lived in relationship with everything. Poverty was, for him, a complete letting go of everything but God. In poverty, he was completely dependent upon God for everything. In poverty, Francis practiced a deep asceticism which aided him in his ability to renounce the instinct to possess and to satisfy every desire. He made the journey from being a self-centered playboy to a humble man who simply tried to be present to all while being free from everything. His was a life of total abnegation and utter availability. With Lady Poverty as his bride, he lived in peace and harmony with all things. He owned nothing yet was one with everything, a brother to all.

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1 Response to “Lady Poverty”


  1. 1 Jerry April 2, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Your post illustrates a truth and a challenge. Because, as you point out, St Francis truly was poor in spirit in the Biblical sense: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them,”

    The challenge for all of us who honor his life and his example is, of course, how to approach that true poverty amidst all our possessions. I know how very far I am from that, but I can at least pray for help in taking steps, however small, to that true poverty.


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