Life in Christ
Jesus enjoins his disciples to prefer him to everything and
everyone, and bids them “renounce all that [they have]” for his
sake and that of the Gospel.
Shortly before his passion he gave
them the example of the poor widow of Jerusalem who, out of her
poverty, gave all that she had to live on.
The precept of detach
ment from riches is obligatory for entrance into the Kingdom of
All Christ’s faithful are to “direct their affections rightly,
lest they be hindered in their pursuit of perfect charity by the use
of worldly things and by an adherence to riches which is contrary
to the spirit of evangelical poverty.”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
The Beatitudes reveal
an order of happiness and grace, of beauty and peace. Jesus cele
brates the joy of the poor, to whom the Kingdom already
The Word speaks of voluntary humility as “poverty in
spirit”; theApostle gives an example of God’s poverty when
he says: “For your sakes he became poor.”
The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their
consolation in the abundance of goods.
“Let the proud seek and
love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs
is the Kingdom of heaven.”
Abandonment to the providence of
the Father in heaven frees us from anxiety about tomorrow.
Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They
shall see God.
42 § 3.
340 St. Gregory of Nyssa,
1: PG 44, 1200D; cf.
342 St. Augustine,
De serm. Dom. in monte
1, 1, 3: PL 34, 1232.