"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven", Jesus taught us (Matthew 5:3). Can poverty ever really be a blessing? What is true poverty of spirit? If to live in poverty is to be in need, then perhaps poverty of spirit is recognizing that we have need of only one thing in our life: the merciful love of God. When we come to that realization we are emptied of self and our unnecessary desires. Yet notice what Jesus promises to those who are poor in spirit: God's kingdom! More than we can ever hope to possess on our own!
Why then, do we spend so much of our time trying to acquire things? St. Maria Faustina pondered this in her diary: "...I began to reflect on the spirit of poverty. I clearly saw that Jesus, although he is Lord of all things, possessed nothing. From a borrowed manger He went through life doing good to all, but himself having no place to lay His head. And on the Cross, I see the summit of His poverty, for He does not even have a garment on himself." As a Religious, St. Faustina took a vow of poverty and lived owning nothing of her own. Her life mimicked her Savior in this regard; what type of poverty are we called to?
That cannot be answered simply - it will require much reflection on each of our parts. Jesus, though Lord of all, possessed nothing. We, lords of nothing, possess much! What ties us down? What holds us back? Perhaps by reflecting on the life of Christ as St. Maria Faustina did, we can come to live this precious Beatitude and practice poverty of spirit in the choices we make each day.
St. Maria Faustina, pray for us!