Monday, November 10, 2008

Only the poor are free…

"How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs." (Matthew 5:3)

What an opening line! I always say it's the opener of Jesus' inaugural address. "How happy are the poor in spirit." It's crucial, a key to everything Jesus is teaching.

Poor in spirit means to live without a need for your own righteousness. It's inner emptiness; no outer need for your own reputation. If you're poor in spirit it won't be long before you're poor. In other words, you won't waste the rest of your life trying to get rich because you'll know better.

Richard Rohr, from Jesus' Plan for the New World

I think this openness to poverty is surprisingly crucial to being a Christian in a world concerned, now as in the New Testament era, with getting and spending. As Wordsworth said, in those pursuits we lay waste our time.

St. Francis was right when he took Lady Poverty for his bride. Only in her arms will we find solace for the hunger of the world, and only when we are free from that hunger will we be free to follow Jesus wherever he may be leading us (Matthew 19.16ff). We'll never know (John 1:37-39) until we are free, and are prepared to get up, leave everything, and go with our Lord.

Only the poor are free to know the truth.

4 comments:

  1. A much needed reminder right now. Thank you.

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  2. I love sharing this online journey with you, Mike. Isn't this quote just wonderful from Mr Rohr. He has his finger right on the pulsebeat.

    I was just saying before I feel very grateful (and excessively rich) when I consider that I have only read one of his books, and that already has the look of a well-thumbed, well-loved book (Everything Belongs). I get excited when I think about reading more of his stuff. His vision is so beautiful :)

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  3. "I think this openness to poverty is surprisingly crucial to being a Christian in a world concerned, now as in the New Testament era, with getting and spending."

    Yes, and thanks.

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  4. Thank you, people...

    Yes, Sue, Rohr is irreplaceable! Did you know you can get a daily meditation from his website?

    It's an honour to be able to share your journey too, Sue. Blogging's a Good Thing, I reckon...

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