Eugene’s model for living the spirit of poverty was what he learnt from the first Christians:
The first Christians followed that counsel faithfully to the letter. They still had fresh before them the example of their divine Master.
It was to live oblation by “imitating the virtues and examples of Jesus Christ”:
who chose to be born in a stable
and to die upon a cross,
after having lived deprived of everything,
for he was without the small coin needed to pay Caesar’s tribute,
and did not even have a place to rest his head.
1818 Rule, Part Two, s Chapter One. §1. The Spirit of Poverty.
The spirit of poverty is the spirit of simplicity, of not cluttering our lives by clinging to useless possessions, ambitions and occupations. The spirit of poverty challenges us to remove all in our lives that is an obstacle to being open to the presence of God and others –especially our king-size egos.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! Philippians 2:4-8