A Lenten Examen from Br. Coyote

A Franciscan Manifesto for Divesting Your Ego


  1. Divest yourself of any monetary or material possession that is there for the sake of your ego and identity
  2. Do nothing that fosters greater social disparity; divest yourself of any real or perceived privileges
  3. Wear no uniforms or logos that identify yourself with a class of “winners”
  4. Recuse yourself from assuming or maintaining positions of power, authority or expertise
  5. Get free of defining your true self through your accomplishments
  6. Refrain as often as humanly possible to “show off” by drawing attention to your “gifts,” skills, or talents
  7. Never take a first class seat or an elevator when there is open seating or stairways
  8. Abandon any possessive or defensive position in conversations, conflicts or debates
  9.  Listen more than you talk, and be silent enough to listen to than other-than-human world.
  10. Laugh insanely at how often we are distracted by consuming things we’ve never ever needed

About John Michael

Pastor, teacher, husband, dog walker, gardener, petrocollapse agitator, contemplative, hiker. Currently serving as a Formation Coordinator for OEF and Dean of VT/NY conference of Lutheran Synod.


  1. The only thing I question is some of the rules about… staying away from 1st class seating and riding the elevator, taking positions of power or status and showing your talents.– As each one of these things gives a Christian a possible avenue of being a witness. Jesus went wherever people were. He ate and talked with people of all classes, and was not afraid of demonstrating the gifts God gave Him. He did all to show the love of God. As wealthy need God just as much as poor… in fact they need to be exposed to those who are genuinely happy serving as being served, which many of them have not experienced. Additionally, sharing the love and message of God through art or talent is also a wonderful avenue as it opens up peoples hearts that otherwise would not be receptive.

    Just some thoughts..

  2. Dwight Jenkins

    Swedenborg a Christian mystic would probably respond that it is the motive behind the action that determines whether something is done due to vanity or with altruistic overtones.

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