Real Poverty

February 12, 2016

Lent is a season for alms giving and greater detachment from material comforts.  We are called to make demands on ourselves in our daily lives; letting go more and more of a comfort-loving and lazy approach to life.  During these weeks we ought to be striding towards God at a fast pace, carrying no dead weights that hinder our progress.

 

In his Expositions on the Psalms, St. Augustine wrote, "If we are truly happy with possessing only what is necessary we will realize how many of the things we have are superfluous; but if we seek what is superfluous, we will never have enough."  What is it that you are seeking?  The human heart can be filled only by God, and it will never be satisfied by earthly goods.  That same holy doctor, St. Augustine, also advised Christians to "Seek what is sufficient, seek what is enough.  The rest is a burden, not a balm; it drags us down, rather than elevates us."  

 

We should genuinely not consider anything as our own, as belonging to us.  Christian detachment refers not only to financial concerns and their consequences; it also means being detached from our health, from the plans we have made, etc.  St. Josemaria Escriva lets us know that this requires "a long-term preparation, by practicing daily a holy detachment from self, so that we are prepared to bear sickness or misfortune gracefully if our Lord permits them.  Begin now to make use of everyday opportunities: something you may have to do without, small recurring pains, voluntary mortifications, and also put into practice the Christian virtues." (Friends of God)

 

There are many fruits of poverty and detachment.  By this virtue, the soul readies itself to receive supernatural goods and the heart exapands, making room for a sincere concern for others.  God grants a special joy to a detached soul, even amid the privation of what seems most necessary.

Lenten Guidance

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