From the text:
We can formulate the following universal principle: for the “I,” his hunger, thirst, desire, pleasure, and so forth are first a “physical” matter, while those of the “Thou” are first a “moral” one. (I am to give to others of what is mine, but not take what is theirs; the others are “widows and orphans,” not I. Conversely, I am the one who has to turn the other cheek, not they. And, in the extreme case: I may never sacrifice another—certainly not for myself; but perhaps I not only may, but must sacrifice—myself.) All of this, moreover, I have to do for the neighbor who is, literally, right next to me.
Poverty for the married consists, first of all, in generous sharing of common income and possessions. This does not exclude “private property,” by the way, but rather expressly includes it. In other words, each one can take from the common “petty cash”—so as to have the means to give the other (and others) a gift. (The right to have is ancillary to the ability to give to the point of giving even oneself. This holds for the possession of things, of one’s own bodiliness, and even of the preserve of one’s person and its mystery.)
Poverty does not concern only I and Thou, but transcends them. It becomes an affair of the couple as such in their relation to children. No one lives for himself. . . . (full text).
See more articles from the Fall 2004 issue devoted to “Consecration and the States of Life.”