Spiritual Poverty

In the Gospel of Mathew Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  In Luke’s Gospel he says, “Blessed are you who are poor, yours is the kingdom of God.”  Jesus challenges the rich young man in Mark to “Go sell everything you own, give the money to the poor, and follow me.”  Thus, Catholic tradition has always regarded poverty as a major virtue – a twin to humility.  Gospel poverty, however, is not the grinding poverty many in our world suffer as a consequence of the sinful disparity between the wealthy and the rest of the world.  Rather, Gospel poverty is about subtracting all that is unnecessary from our lives to focus on God alone.  When we strip away all the layers of imagined desires and imagined necessities, we are free – free to center our lives on God.  Poverty is about letting go of all our possessions, whether they are physical, mental, emotional, or even spiritual.  As we move towards less and let go of attachment we discover more and more joy – divine joy – in our lives.

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