Saturday, October 5, 2013

Off the Grid

I'm reading Sandra Schneiders' new book, a sweeping testimony about where religious life has been in the last half century, and occasional glimpses of growing edges.
She writes about the alternate economy that we create with our vow of poverty. Forsaking an independent economic existence, we hold all things in common. That's all things! We sink or swim together. What one has, we all have; what one lacks, we all lack. We try to live that early Christian community proclaimed by Jesus and witnessed in the Acts of the Apostles.
It strikes me that we try to live 'off the grid'.
People in the sustainability movement try to live radically off the power grid - disconnected from electric power. They do this as a witness to the un-sustainability of modern life, and as a challenge to develop a more sustainable life.
By committing to evangelical poverty, we choose to live off the economic grid. Well, to be honest, most of us are only somewhat successful at this off-grid project. We still participate in the over-all economy. Nevertheless, we come together to experiment in Gospel living, in Gospel economics. We forsake an independent economic existence and choose to hold all things in common.
This commitment is much like a married couple who come together to build a life together. Any family can live in interdependence and hold all things in common. In this, religious life is like a large extended family. May we be a blessing to one another as we commit to Gospel economics.

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