by Raniero Cantalamessa
Noteworty quotations and ideas from the book Poverty:
4 Types of Poverty-
1.) Negative Material Poverty- dehumanizing and must be combated: poverty is a social condition that is endured.
2.) Positive Material Poverty- liberates and raises people: poverty as an evangelical ideal to be cultivated.
3.) Negative Spiritual Poverty- absence of spiritual wealth and of truly human values: the poverty of the rich.
4.) Positive Spiritual Poverty- humility and trust in God, the finest blossom on the tree of biblical poverty: the wealth of the poor.
*Perhaps the greatest sin committed against the poor is indifference, pretending not to see. (2)
*Doubleglazing keeps the distance rather than having it get under our skin. (3)
*Let them into your heart so they don’t seem like someone else’s problem- rather they should be a family problem. (4)
*We must love them (respect and recognize dignity), assist them (God created us to help out) and evangalize them (gotta meet physical needs 1st). (14)
*Old Testament shows a God “for the poor”, New T shows a God who became poor. (23)
*We need to ask the Holy Spirit to make us fall in love with poverty, because any lover of poverty will easily find ways and means of practicing it. (31)
*Jesus never fell into the trap some of His imitators later fell into, of making material poverty absolute, using it as a measure of perfection and ending up being rich in the worst things there is: in themselves and their own justice.(39)
*Poverty in today’s consumer society indicates a capacity to moderate one’s desires and to use things wisely with out becoming enslaved. (56)
*”Spiritual poverty” has an objective value, and means an actul lack of the goods of the spirit. “Wealth of the poor” has a subjective value and denotes the state of mind of someone who knows he has no resources of his own and so trusts totally in God. (60)
*The word for poor used in the Gospel (ptochos) indicates the destitute, the unfortunate, those who need alms in order to survive. The corresponding Hebrew term, anawin, originally indicated people who were “bent over,” in other words abased, humiliated, and opresseed.
*The negative element, expresseed here in terms of humility and poverty, consist in the absence of self-sufficiency and pride… the positive aspect or element that goes hand in hand with this sentiment is unconditional trust in God. (101)
*No longer have the attitude to understand, but of someone determined to act. (104)
*Trust in self was replaced by trust in God alone, with no attempt to use God and immediately translate that trust into human certainties and guarantees. (105)
*Christ’s poverty was 1st of all a rejection of all prestige… Evangelical prestige does not consist in excelling in honor and prestige, but excelling in humility and service. (107)
*He calls spiritual poverty “nakedness” which he defines as the renunciation of those goods which can remain in the soul, such as desires, appetites, and consolations. (113)
*A person cannot provide a more favorable environment in which God can act in this way than by detaching himself not only from things but also from all his or her activities and ideas. (115)
*As we were saying in relation to material poverty, the first thing to do is to fall in love with this ideal, and ask the Holy Spirit to “attract” us, to draw us towards it. And then to begin practicing it, at least in small things. (121)
And now my thoughts 🙂
I fully agree that as a “wealthy American” that I am to live a life of humility and full trust in God. I need to not doubleglaze over the poor but be someone that acknowledges thema dn respects their dignity. Instead of only trying to understand the issues, I need to be a part of those that take action to hel.
Instead of wanting power and materials in life, I want a life of simplicity and where I do things not to glorify myself but to see change in the lives of others. I want to be inviting and open to others who are not like myself.
I thank God for the struggles that have drawn me closer to Him. I strive for a humble heart and full trust in who he is.