St. Norbert and Poverty
I have frequently been at the courts of princes, I have possessed abundant wealth, I have not denied myself the pleasures of the world; nevertheless, believe me, brethren, this abundance of worldly goods is real poverty. Never was it better for me than when I was without them, because the entire freedom from these worldly goods gave me the fullness of those that are heavenly, which are more pleasant for their sweetness, more lasting for their constancy, better constituted for the satisfaction they give to the heart of man. – St. Norbert
In the first years after his conversion Our Holy Father took up the mantle of poverty with great zeal. His severe privations and voluntary sufferings were such that his early followers were often forced to abandon him. When he had established Prémontré St. Norbert was no less devoted to following Christ in all things, especially in His poverty. The reputation of the poverty of the Order soon spread and Prémontré become known as the “house of poverty”.
Riches pass away, but holy poverty is a lasting good and a token of a happy eternity – St. Norbert
St. Norbert was also filled with charity towards the poor of society. He sought them out and gave them both material and spiritual nourishment. As Canons Regular of Prémontré, in common with many religious, we take a vow of poverty – a vow St. Norbert urges us to take seriously and to live honestly.
Let us pray therefore for all religious, that they may be ever preserved in their vows and may each day take up their cross anew. Let us pray too for the poor of our world, for the lonely, the troubled and those in all kinds of need.
V) Pray for us, O Holy Father Norbert,
R) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray,
Awake O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit by Whom St. Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop, was guided in order that, filled with the same Spirit, we may love what he loved, and live as he taught us. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.