After living this vow of holy poverty under obedience to The Order of Julian of Norwich for about a year, I have gained many insights about wealth and poverty. One thing I realized is that a vow of poverty is an intentional lifestyle of surrendering any sense of entitlement to wealth, status, and possessions.
As I had lived in frugal simplicity for many years before taking my vow, that only reflected a personal inclination or value. Having an intentional vow as a conscious frame of reference for making daily choices has helped me become more aware and more grateful toward the means I have at my disposal.
Rather than practicing mere frugality, I now think in terms of blessing, gratitude, and wise stewardship. The vow has increased my compassion toward other people, especially for whom poverty is not a choice. I have become more grateful for what God has provided. My choices are made with the wisdom of holy discernment.
The earth is the Lord’s and all that’s in it, my stuff included!
Calvin Wulf is a writer, spiritual director, and retreat facilitator who lives in Colorado with his wife Lisa. He has a passion for Christian spiritual formation drawing from the ancient spiritual traditions of the Apostles, and Christian sages through the ages. He is also a vowed oblate of the contemplative monastic Order of Julian of Norwich.
TAGS: Holy Poverty, Spiritual Formation, Christian Living
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