To Vincent, poverty was the foundation stone of the Congregation. He felt that to practice this, the first of the Beatitudes, would free the confreres to go anywhere and do anything.
Core to the Vincentian tradition is a genuine solidarity with the poor; to show the poor God’s love in a tangible concrete way.
The Church and the Congregation both call on us as priests to share our lives with the poor – to share not just money and goods, but our lives, to stand alongside them in their joys and sorrows, in their trials and tribulations.
How do we practice this in a modern world?
- be poor in spirit
- learn to see all life as a gift
- be poor in fact; accept some of the privations that poor people experience
- eat what is set before you
- develop a simple lifestyle
- give generously to the poor from your own personal belongings
- often examine conscientiously how you live and work and do you share with the poor
- hand over your earnings to the community joyfully
- ask the required permissions humbly
- be sparing in the things you acquire
- be willing to labour hard