Some approached this and thought I may be speaking about my work with Exodus Forty this summer, or about the newly launched JMJ Squad that I am a part of, but instead I wanted to address something different. . .
As I begin this, I want to explain a little about the virtue of living poverty as a religious. Most people look at living poverty as giving up all of your possessions and having nothing of your own. As an Idente Missionary, I understand with the Founder Fernando Rielo's thought that poverty is more about the virtue of using things with proper care than anything else. An example would be that since chairs are for sitting I use them for sitting and not to be stood upon, but what this means in a deeper sense is something like how St. Francis regarded all of creation as a part of his family. Poverty can be explained in a way about learning how to deal with the hand you have been dealt. Learning your place in the world, and using all of your gifts(not only talents, but even the wealth you have been given) for the service of God and our brothers and sisters.
A little over a year ago I once spoke with a Franciscan priest who said that the irony of today for him is that his brown robe costs more to be made than wearing simple pants and a shirt from a department store. I think this points out an interesting point. Even in the literal poverty it means something different today. Some people look at the Jordan's and things I wear and think that I have perhaps spent money vainly when in fact they wouldn't know that in my personal collection of sneakers there is only one pair that I bought with my own money... The rest where gifts!
That goes for the majority of the clothing I wear as well. I may buy a few pieces here and there for special events, but most of my every day wear are actually either gifts or "hand me downs"; my t-shirts and hats actually are sponsored from my work with the AMDG movement, Exodus Forty, and JMJcat3.
I do understand that this is a unique case being the nature of my work, and especially only in places like America where there is so much surplus could this be possible, so that leads to my second thought on Faith and Fashion.
Fernando Rielo also understood and communicated that "Heaven is Beautiful", thus he encouraged not only the missionaries, but everyone to represent that beauty. He did this by encouraging men to shave, and for everyone to comb their hair; to make sure their clothes were nice and pressed and they smelled good. In Fernando's thought if we are to inspire others to Heaven, then they should get a taste of heaven upon every encounter with us. He made sure every missionary household represented that beauty. Not by spending a lot of money, but by taking extra thought and care as to how everything was put together.
These outfits that I post and attend events with, have the same thought process behind them. If you take time to look, I color coordinate everything from hat and glasses(or no glasses) down to the belt and socks(even if that means its a day for the "no socks" look).
The reason for the pictures is not for vanity. Dressing nicely is more about charity than anything else for me as I wish only to be a gift to each and every person I meet. Whether it is in my performance outfits, my special event gear, my shirt and tie look, or every day casual wear, its all with the intentions of poverty and charity for holiness. It is the Saints who bring the beauty of Heaven to Earth.
- The Symbol
- All is Love
PS: I talk about Fernando a lot, and I get a lot of questions... the man radically changed my life. Learn more about him HERE - http://www.identefamilyusa.org/our-founder.html
These are my thoughts . . . My Beliefs . . . My Actions . . . Everything I do. This is the documentation of my quest towards creating more unity in the community by authentic #LOVE.
This blog was started at:
and continued at:
But now, as I have matured in my understanding as "The Symbol" and no longer Brandon Feel-X Morel you can continue my journey with me here.
(click above images to get download link)