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Answer 1: Partially it is a form of self discipline, to remove yourself from greed, envy, and covetousness; and to focus your efforts on doing the work of God.

It also ensures that any one member of the monastery or friary community will use a bare minimum of the resources available to it, thereby causing the entire community to consume less, which, in turn, means that there will be more that can be used for such things such as helping the poor.

Answer 2: Friars have always been called to live lives pursuant to the so-called "evangelical counsels," which are vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. With friars, poverty, then, is quite intentional. Many friars are also mendicant, which means that they literally beg for their food, and money to support the friary, and the order.

Starting in the 6th century AD, monks did not vow the evangelical counsels, but did take the Benedictine vows of obedience (to the head of the monastery), stability (committing to a particular monastery), and what was called "conversion of manners" (largely forgoing private ownership of things, and celibate chastity).

It was, in fact, the arrival on the scene of the very mobile (and so stability was, right there, not required) friars, in the 12th century, and their "evangelical counsels" vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, that caused monasticism to start re-thinking their own vows. Not long thereafter, even monasticism began vowing the "evangelical counsels;" and modern Roman Catholicism's canons 654-658 of the Code of Canon Law now require the "evangelical council" or "councils of perfection" vows of chastity, poverty and obedience of all holy orders.

Both monks and friars, then, are now avowed to a life of poverty; they have no choice.

The answer to the question, then, "why did monks and friars live a life of poverty," is that monks, at least, didn't necessarily have to, at first. Friars always did. Eventually monks (and nuns), too, did... and still do...

...because, in the main, they've promised to (though a vow is actually more potent and binding than a mere promise).

If the questioner is asking why the need to require friars and monks (and nuns, and priests, too) to live lives of poverty in the first place, then Answer 1, above, is probably about right.

That answer, in fact, explains why monks starting from the 6th century lived lives of poverty even before the friars came along in the 12th century, with their "evangelical counsels" vows of actual poverty, and caused the church to compel even monks to take vows of poverty, too. Even before monks were avowed to poverty, then, they saw the value of living a life of it so that more could be given to the persons they served... typicallly the poor and impoverished.

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โˆ™ 2012-09-01 08:33:11
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Q: Why did monks and friars live a life of poverty?
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Related questions

How were friars and monks different?

Friars live the evangelical counsels (vows of poverty, chastity and obedience) to service the community. Monks practice asceticism (living alone or with other monks) and devotion. Monks are self-sufficient, whereas friars live among other people and rely on donations. Friars are can also travel within a wide area, but monks stay in the same place.


How did friars differ from other monks?

Monks generally live and work together in a monastery while friars live singly or in small groups and work in the world.


How were monks different from friars?

First of all, friars are still different from monks as they both still exist in the Church. Monks take three vows of Obedience, Stability, and conversatio morum, a Latin term meaning fidelity to the monastic life (which includes Chastity and Poverty). Stability means remaining in one monastery for your entire life. Friars are mendicants, they are not vowed to one monastery, their vows are Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience, which are the three evangelical virtues that Our Blessed Lord preached to those who would be perfect. THe monks primary occupation is to pray and to be perfect, the friars primary duty is to live the evangelical counsels in the world and whatever the particular charism of their Order is, for instance, the Dominicans charism is preaching.


How were friars different from monks?

First of all, friars are still different from monks as they both still exist in the Church. Monks take three vows of Obedience, Stability, and conversatio morum, a Latin term meaning fidelity to the monastic life (which includes Chastity and Poverty). Stability means remaining in one monastery for your entire life. Friars are mendicants, they are not vowed to one monastery, their vows are Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience, which are the three evangelical virtues that Our Blessed Lord preached to those who would be perfect. THe monks primary occupation is to pray and to be perfect, the friars primary duty is to live the evangelical counsels in the world and whatever the particular charism of their Order is, for instance, the Dominicans charism is preaching.


What was the personality of a Friar?

Friars are like local monks, they live in poverty and move from land to land helping the local people and begging for food and clothing.


What Catholic order of monks is named after St. Francis of Assisi?

The Franciscan Order. However, they are not monks, they are friars. Monks live in a monastery and work there, friars live in a convent or friary and work in the "real world."


What is the difference between Benedictine and Franciscan monks?

Benedictines are monks and live in monasteries Franciscans are friars, not monks, and live in a rectory or a convent.


What do we call priests and brothers who live in a monastery?

Monks or Friars.


What do Franciscan monks do?

Franciscans are not monks, they are friars. Monks live in monasteries and usually work in monasteries. Friars work outside their residence and are sometimes assigned as parish priests, teachers and so forth.


Who was the founder of the religious order known as the Franciscan order of monks?

Saint Francis of Assisi (Italy) founded the Franciscan order of Friars Minor. They are friars, not monks. Monks live and work in a monastery while friars work in the 'real world' so to speak.


What Catholic order of monks is named after St. Francis of Assisi and why did the pope grant him permission to form this new order?

The Franciscan order was named after its founder, St. Francis of Assisi. However, they were not monks, they were friars. Monks live in monasteries while friars live in the world.


What is a monastery dweller called?

Monks and Friars live in a monastery. Nuns and cloistered women live in monasteries as well, not to be confused with convents.

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