Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On Minority

To end the month, no words of my own, but a quotation from a Spanish Capuchin Franciscan scholar, Lazaro Iriarte (d. 1989), on the charism of minority. May these words guide my reflections on religious life throughout Advent and Christmas. May they also pierce through all my pretensions.

For the Order, minority has been the least appreciated part of the inheritance bequeathed to it by its Founder, and the first to be discarded, despite being fairly easy to understand and the least open to juridical complications....The whole complex set of problems about poverty that arose in the fraternity after the death of the saint, all the internal squabbles and external complications which were hardly inspired by the gospel ... arose from the impossible attempt by the sons of St. Francis to continue to "be poor" without having the courage to continue being "lowly."

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