Why do religious take a vow of poverty?

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me” (Mt 19:21).

The vow of poverty is a way of imitating Our Lord, freeing one’s heart for Him, and proclaiming one’s utter dependence on Him who said: “And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying.  For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.  Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well” (Lk 12:29-31). 
“Love alone leads to perfection, but the three chief means for acquiring it are obedience, chastity, and poverty. Obedience is a consecration of the heart, chastity of the body, and poverty of all worldly goods to the Love and Service of God. These are the three members of the Spiritual Cross, and all three must be raised upon the fourth, which is humility.” – St. Francis de Sales

 

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