Poverty December 1
To be poor in the sense of the Gospel is to base our existence on the life of others and no longer to root our concern in ourselves (Const. 12.1).
Listen to Jesus. “Happy are those who are poor in spirit (Mt. 5:3).” They have nothing and they know it. They can’t count on anything and they accept it. They are totally insignificant and they live out their lives like that. They are powerless and they stay calm. How is it possible to call such people “happy”? The definition of happiness seems completely different: to have more than is necessary, to be assured of personal security, to be recognized, to live free of limitation. If there is any logic to support calling the poor in spirit happy it’s a logic that comes from another world, not ours. And it’s true. They are happy because there is room in their lives for God who transcends this world. The observance of the vow of poverty is based on a profoundly evangelical conviction, namely, that Jesus, by his Resurrection, is the bearer of ultimate security. He is the guarantor of all human aspirations, even earthly ones. Grounded in that conviction, the Christian can let go of the anxieties of his life, which is passing away. The love of God in Christ calms the profoundest of human fears. Assured of all, the religious is free to be concerned with others’ needs.
If the chimpanzee agrees to fight, it is because he counts on the help of the gorilla. (Mongo)
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