vivere sine proprio Living without Grasping
Sine proprio and contemplation • Contemplative view of person, world. • Exhortation to Praise of God • Praises to be said at All Hours • ability to look at creation, world as good without having to use it • it is good as itself, even without usefulness to me • the person is good, without having to use people for my ends • the self is good, without having any use for other purposes
Contemplation & Market • Act of contemplation is a critique of consumption, market • need experience of seeing ourselves as God sees us, as good • regardless of our usefulness • world of gratuity, gift
Our history in regard to poverty • MP 33, 38; • Rule VI • nemo dat quod non habet • need to claim gifts before able to give to others • grace not claimed is grace lost • acknowledge gifts we have, so we can give them to others • hermeneutic of depreciation in capitalism (I have what you need) • you are never measuring up
Franciscan Tradition • Distinctive Franciscan tradition • different from monastic tradition • (Acts 2, Olivi interpretation) • In private and in common • difference from monastic tradition • continuity with renunciation (Cassian)
Alms: Christological perspective • (ER IX) (Lk 12:30 – little ones,) • Mt 24: Happy is the servant • example of Jesus & disciples – reading of Gospel • right and inheritance of kingdom in alms for poor • source of dispute with John XXII • rooted in Incarnation • expressed in Passion • confirmed in Glorification • (Phil 2) (2Cor 6:8) • ; Ltr to Entire Order “give yourselves completely to Him who gives Himself completely to you”) Mt 8:19
Gospel Dynamic • Go! • Sell! • Give! • Come & Follow! • you will have riches in heaven • heaven is not just future • kingdom of heaven is present
Mission: witness (Rule chap. VI) • “in common” sine proprio • solidarity with poor • solidarity with each other • distinction: • voluntary poverty and involuntary poverty • critique of market commercial economy • economy of communion
vivere sine proprio: a journey • sine proprio as itinerarium: • constantly undertaken anew • Exemplars: • who have been examples for us of living sine proprio? • approach their lives with faith • different experience at different times of life (old age, sickness) • Changing Social reality in Society • typewriters? radios? credit cards? • continual acts of discernment, new technology, human will • way to get into our own life, reflect on it. • work, service, mission
Admonitions of Francis • Frequent mention of “vivere sine proprio” • “living without anything of one’s own” • “living without possessing, holding onto” • And its opposite: appropriare, thesaurizare • “holding onto” • “storing up a treasure” • “possessing” • Texts in Robert J. Karris, O.F.M., The Admonitions of St. Francis: Sources and Meaning (The Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure New York: 1999)
Adm. II: “makes his will his own” • The Lord said to Adam: Eat of every tree, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not eat (Gn 2:16-17). From every tree of paradise he could eat, because, as long as he does not go against obedience, he did not sin. For the person who eats of the tree of the knowledge of good is the one who appropriates to himself his own will and exalts himself concerning the good things which the Lord says and works in him. And thus through the suggestions of the devil and the transgression of the command came about (the eating of) the fruit of the knowledge of evil. Whence it was necessary that he incur punishment.
Adm.III: “leaves all he possesses” • The Lord says in the Gospel: Whoever does not renounce all that he possesses cannot be my disciple; and Whoever wishes to save his life must lose it. That person who offers himself totally to obedience in the hands of his prelate leaves all that he possesses and loses his body.
Adm. III, obedience • And whatever he does and says which he knows is not contrary to his will is true obedience, provided that what he does is good. And should a subject see that some things might be better and more useful for his soul than what a prelate commands, let him willingly offer such things to God as a sacrifice; and, instead, let him earnestly strive to fulfill the prelate’s wishes. For this is loving obedience because it pleases God and neighbor. If the prelate, however, commands something contrary to his conscience, even though he may not obey him, let him not, however, abandon him. And if he then suffers persecution from others, let him love them all the more for the sake of God. For whoever chooses to suffer persecution rather than wish to be separated from his brothers truly remains in perfect obedience because he lays down his life for his brothers.
Adm.IV: “store up a money bag” • I have come not to be served, but to serve (Mt 20:28). Those who have been constituted in a position over others should only glory in that superiorship in the same way as they would glory if they were deputed to assume the office of washing the feet of the brothers (Jn 13:1-20). And the more they are perturbed about their superiorship being taken away from them than they would be over the loss of the office of washing feet, so much the more do they collect for themselves a money bag(Jn 12:6; 13:39) to the peril of their souls.
Adm V: “nothing belongs to you” • Pay attention, O human being, to the great excellence in which the Lord God established you, for he created and formed you in the image of his beloved Son according to the body and in the likeness according to the spirit. And all creatures that are under heaven, according to their constitutions serve, acknowledge, and obey their creator better than you. And even the demons did not crucify him, but you with them crucified him and still are crucifying (him) as you delight in vices and sins.
Adm V (cont.) • Therefore, whence can you glory? For even if you were so clever and were so wise that you had all knowledge and knew how to interpret every kind of tongue and subtly investigate heavenly matters, in all these things you should not glory. Because one demon knew about heavenly matters and now knows about earthly matters more than all people, although there might be someone who has received a special knowledge of the highest wisdom from the Lord.
“these do not belong to you” • Similarly even if you were more handsome and richer than all people and even if you performed miracles, so that you made demons flee, all these things are against you and do not belong to you and in these you can have no glory. But in this we may glory in our infirmities and to shoulder daily the holy cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Adm VII: “acquire great riches” • The Apostle says, “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2Cor 3;6). Those are dead by the letter, who only desire to know mere words, so that they may be considered among others as wiser and might accumulate great riches to give to their relatives and friends. And those religious are dead by the letter, who don’t want to follow the spirit of the divine letter, but only want to know the words and to interpret (them) to others. And those are given life by the spirit of the divine letter, who do not attribute to the body every letter which they know or desire to know, but in word and example render them to the highest Lord God, to whom all good pertains.
Adm XI: “stores up blame” • Nothing but sin must displease the servant of God. And in whatever way any person may sin, and on account of this the servant of God uncharitably is disturbed and angered, he stores up blame for himself (Rom 2:5). That servant of God, who is not angered nor troubles himself about anything, lives in right relationship with others and does so without calling anything his own. And blessed is he, who does not keep anything for himself, rendering those things which are Caesar’s to Caesar and those things that are God’s to God.
Adm XIV: “truly poor in spirit” • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens (Mt 5:3). There are many who are caught up in private prayers and devotions and afflict their bodies with many abstinences and punishments. But at one mere word that seems injurious to their persons or concerning some thing that is taken away from them they take offense and are disturbed. These are not poor in spirit. Because the person who is truly poor in spirit is the one who hates himself and loves those who strike him on the cheek.
Adm XVIII: “holds onto something for himself” • Blessed is the person who supports his neighbor in his weakness in the manner that he would wish to be supported by him if he were in a similar situation (Lk 6:31). Blessed is the servant who renders all good to the Lord God, because whoever retains anything for himself hides in himself the money of his Lord God (Mt 25:18) and what he thought to have will be taken away from him (Lk 8:18)
Adm XXI: “guise of a reward” • Blessed is the servant, who when he speaks does not reveal his entire person for the sake of a reward and is not quick to speak, but wisely considers what he must say and how he must respond. Woe to that religious, who does not retain in his heart the good things that the Lord shows him and does not show them to others by his actions, but for the sake of a reward would rather show them to people by his words. That person receives his reward and those hearing him reap little fruit.
Adm XXVIII: “stores up in heaven the good things” • Blessed is the servant, who stores up in heaven as treasure (Mt 6:20) the good things that the Lord shows him and does not want to manifest them to people for the sake of a reward, because the Most High himself will manifest his works to whomsoever he pleases. Blessed is the servant who keeps the secrets of the Lord in his heart (Lk 8:15).