The poor in spirit

 When we talk about poverty, we generally understand it in material terms. You know you’re poor or lacking something when you don’t have it. Nonetheless, a person can be rich while living poorly, or inversely, someone could be poor yet very attached to his or her “riches.”

We’re going to use the term “poor in spirit” to refer to a person who knows how to give not only material things but also in the interior aspect: way of thinking, opinions, time, etc. Nothing belongs to that person and he or she always adjusts to others and puts them before his own judgement. Why? Because he is poor and gives everything out of love.

It’s painful when, of my own will, I lower my head and decide to give more value to another’s opinion. It’s worse when I overestimate myself and think my thoughts and ways are the best. When you decide to ask, “How do you prefer to do things?” even if, inside, you want to do it your way, you’ve already taken the first step.

Poverty is very connected to silence, for it grows in the silence of prayer. Be poor, don’t have anything you can be proud about, and give God what you have. Don’t keep anything for yourself, considering your miseries or victories. Be like the widow who have her coins, and, in this way, you will reach freedom. This makes sense only in God, because the world says that you always must be first, number one.

A person’s maturity is seen in this: the detachment from exterior as well as interior things. This shows whether he is mature or a slave of his own self. He who cannot say no to himself every so often can come to have a huge problem. When Christ invited the rich young man to follow Him and leave his riches and comfort behind, he saw that he couldn’t and went away sad. Jesus looked at him and loved him, but he couldn’t respond with the same love.

Poverty in spirit implies freedom and simplicity without useless excess or superficiality. This is a gift we must ask for. Whoever obtains it is blessed, for nothing makes him get too big-headed nor oppresses him downward. This person knows that everything comes from God, which is why his heart is in Him alone. Whoever is truly poor is also truly humble because he admits being in need and dependent on God.

The fruits of truly living poverty in spirit are trust, peace and serenity in your soul. Like a child trusts his dad, so should a soul rest in God’s arms and say confidently, “He already knows, and He's already working.”

 -Ana Belén Parrales