The Evangelical Counsels

"Besides its precepts, the New Law also includes the evangelical counsels. The traditional distinction between God's commandments and the evangelical counsels is drawn in relation to charity, the perfection of Christian life. The precepts are intended to remove whatever is incompatible with charity. The aim of the counsels is to remove whatever might hinder the development of charity, even if it is not contrary to it.

The evangelical counsels manifest the living fullness of charity, which is never satisfied with not giving more. They attest its vitality and call forth our spiritual readiness. The perfection of the New Law consists essentially in the precepts of love of God and neighbour. "
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1973-4)

                                                                                          Simplicity of Life



"It is especially important that the priest understand the theological motivation of the Church's law on celibacy. Inasmuch as it is a law, it expresses the Church's will, even before the will of the subject expressed by his readiness. But the will of the Church finds its ultimate motivation in the link between celibacy and sacred ordination, which configures the priest to Jesus Christ the head and spouse of the Church. The Church, as the spouse of Jesus Christ, wishes to be loved by the priest in the total and exclusive manner in which Jesus Christ her head and spouse loved her. Priestly celibacy, then, is the gift of self in and with Christ to his Church and expresses the priest's service to the Church in and with the Lord.

Since the charism of celibacy, even when it is genuine and has proved itself, leaves one's affections and instinctive impulses intact, candidates to the priesthood need an affective maturity which is prudent, able to renounce anything that is a threat to it, vigilant over both body and spirit, and capable of esteem and respect in interpersonal relationships between men and women. A precious help can be given by a suitable education to true friendship, following the image of the bonds of fraternal affection which Christ himself lived on earth (cf. Jn. 11:5)."
(Pastores Dabo Vobis: 29,44)
"Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to "obey and submit" to the Church's leaders, holding them in respect and affection. Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.

Priests can exercise their ministry only in dependence on the bishop and in communion with him. The promise of obedience they make to the bishop at the moment of ordination and the kiss of peace from him at the end of the ordination liturgy mean that the bishop considers them his co-workers, his sons, his brothers and his friends, and that they in return owe him love and obedience."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1269, 1567)

"Perhaps the easiest of the promises that priests make, simplicity of life, challenges them to conform themselves to Christ the High Priest in their way of life. As we know of His life, it was anything but luxurious.

But what does simplicity of life really mean? A vow of poverty is straight forward. You do not own anything. The books you buy, the clothes you wear, and the food you eat are not your own. You live without those earthly ties. Simplicity of life flips this vow on its head. Priests receive a salary from the parish, health insurance, retirement, and even money for food. The salary is modest. Most other clergy of other denominations receive more. They pay income tax. Housing too is usually provided.

What they buy they own: the car, the clothes, the books, and the computer. They also try to give back like their parishioners, a full 10 percent back into the parish, and hopefully more. Priests live comfortably but they are not wealthy. Ultimately the reason for this promise is a call to live in the world, in the midst of the people they serve.

Yet the challenge is to live in a way that witnesses the Gospel. Any priest who overdoes it in the way they dress or perhaps the car they buy can easily scandalize the faithful. A life of simplicity requires a priest to live not only within his means but also with respect for the poorest of his parishioners. He shows that the most important thing is not what he has but who he is before God."
“Poverty is the fundamental virtue because all things flow from that:

poverty of the will, that we call 

poverty of the desires of the body, that we call chastity;

and then the obvious poverty, 
freedom from material possessions.

                                                                 Poverty is the ultimate freedom.”

                                                                 (Cardinal John Joseph O'Connor)