Virtue of Poverty Part 4
Lourdes Pinto, 1/30/18
Diary of a MOC, “Mission of the 12” (Mathew 10:1-24)
My little one, I have chosen you to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God on earth. The mission is not easy, for the ways of God are never the ways of the world. All who are chosen by God to fulfill His plan on earth are hated by some, rejected by others, ill-treated, persecuted, for I came upon the earth to set one against another, for the ways of God will never be accepted nor appreciated by those who live for the things of this world. You have been asked by God to bring Him victim souls. A victim soul must fix his eyes on Christ, must desire with all his being to become one with his Master, must be willing to learn from Him and imitate Him. He must be willing to fight against all his disordered desires. This requires certain disciplines for my disciples:
1) “take no gold, nor silver, nor copper”- that means detached from the riches of this world, trusting that God will provide.
2) “no bag for your journey” –that means that My disciples must allow My spirit to detach them from all disordered attachments. (my Lord how do we know what a disordered attachment is?) Anything that weakens your desire for Me, distracts you from loving Me, takes your gaze from Me.
3) “nor two tunics”– My disciples must live simply as I did, poor, never in excess.
4) “nor sandals”– a life dedicated to sacrificial love, penance, renunciation.
5) “nor a staff”– My disciples lean on Me; I become their support; I lead the way.
My disciples wear My yoke-the wood of the Cross, united to Me. I am their All. My disciples are the men and women consumed in love and desire for Me. They choose to live this way of life for love of Me and the consuming desire to be made perfect- which is to become Love. Only in this way will My disciples reflect the face and light of God in the world. These are my victim souls that possess the power of God on earth.
Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, POVERTY
The Old Testament introduces us to a God who is open “for the poor,” while the New Testament shows us a God who Himself becomes poor. Only the gospel tells us About God who makes Himself one of them, choosing weakness and poverty for Himself: “Though he was rich, Jesus Christ became poor for your sake” (2 Cor.8:9).
The two essential components of the ideal of biblical poverty are now made clear: to be “for the poor” and “to be poor.” John Paul II combined both aspects in his catechesis on poverty: “The Church feels ever more strongly the impulse of the Spirit to be poor among the poor, to remind everyone of the need to conform to the ideal of poverty preached and practiced by Christ, and to imitate Him in His sincere and active love for the poor.” (p27)
Poverty in the Life of Christ (p36)
- “Although (Christ) was rich, yet for your sakes, He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.” ( 2 Cor 8:9)
- St Thomas comments: “He endured material poverty in order to give us spiritual riches.”
Christ’s poverty is an aspect of His self-abasement in the Incarnation.
- “became a victim for sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21)
- Blessed Angela Foligno explains Christ’s three kinds of poverty:
“Christ’s poverty was of three kinds: Christ, the way, the guide of our souls, exemplified the first degree of the most perfect poverty by choosing to live poorly and to be poor, bereft of all earthly possessions. He kept nothing for Himself: no house, vineyard, coins, money, estate, dishware, or any other possessions. He neither accepted any earthly goods nor wanted to accept anything but a life of extreme bodily neediness, with scarcity, hunger, thirst, cold, hard labor, austerity, and hardship … The second degree of poverty, greater than the first, was that He wished to be poor with regard to relatives, friends, and all earthly affections … The 3rd and supreme degree of poverty was that Christ stripped Himself of His very self, became poor with regard to His own power, wisdom, and glory.”
- Therefore, Jesus was poor in things, poor in supports, and poor in prestige.
o Saint Angela of Foligno’s story:
Some saints show marks of holiness very early. Not Angela! Born of a leading family in Foligno, Italy, she became immersed in the quest for wealth and social position. As a wife and mother, she continued this life of distraction.
Around the age of 40, she recognized the emptiness of her life and sought God’s help in the Sacrament of Penance. Her Franciscan confessor helped Angela to seek God’s pardon for her previous life and to dedicate herself to prayer and the works of charity.
Shortly after her conversion, her husband and children died. Selling most of her possessions, she entered the Secular Franciscan Order. She was alternately absorbed by meditating on the crucified Christ and by serving the poor of Foligno as a nurse and beggar for their needs. Other women joined her in a religious community.
Diary of a MOC, “Mission of the 12” (Mathew 10:1-24)
A victim soul must fix his eyes on Christ, must desire with all his being to become one with his Master, must be willing to learn from Him and imitate Him. He must be willing to fight against all his disordered desires. This requires certain disciplines for my disciples:
· 63. The Purification of Your Desires —Diary of a MOC.
The purification of your desires is the first stage of purification in My Sacred Heart. You begin to move only according to My desires and not yours. You no longer do what you want to do, nor go where you want to go; but now, you go only where I take you. You choose to live each day according to what is most difficult, not what is easiest. This will require a greater discipline of your will, greater silence, and stillness of soul in Me.
· Hebrews 12:10-11 “For they (parents) disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
1) “take no gold, nor silver, nor copper”– that means detached from the riches of this world, trusting that God will provide.
2) “no bag for your journey” –that means that My disciples must allow My spirit to detach them from all disordered attachments. (My Lord how do we know what a disordered attachment is?) Anything that weakens your desire for Me, distracts you from loving Me, takes your gaze from Me.
3) “nor two tunics”- My disciples must live simply as I did, poor, never in excess.
· 12/13/11, Simplicity
The call to simplicity is the call to detachment from the attachments of the flesh, both exterior and interior. As you grow in simplicity, you are emptied of all the attachments that prevent you from being filled with My life, My Blood. As you detach from material things you grow in the virtue of poverty. As you become poor in the things of the world, you become rich in the things of heaven. The poor in spirit are rich spiritually, thus gaining true happiness on earth. Thus, you see that the tactic of Satan is to make you desire richness in the things of the world.
But the spirit of poverty is far greater than physical poverty. It is detaching from your own ideas, desires, plans, dreams, goals... It is complete abandonment to Me, your God and Savior. This requires great diligence and abandonment to My Spirit. I desire the simplicity of the innocence of a child with its mother... It is pleasing to the Father and to the Son to have you place your complete trust in Us.
4) “nor sandals”- a life dedicated to sacrificial love, penance, renunciation.
o Golden rose of Rosa Mystica – penance - acceptance of the little daily crosses - and also doing one’s work in the spirit of penitence.
5) “nor a staff”- My disciples lean on Me; I become their support; I lead the way.
Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, POVERTY
The third type of poverty is the most profound of all because it goes beyond the level of possessions and touches the sphere of being. (p37)
In Christ, poverty shines out in its most sublime form: not in the fact of being poor (which can be an imposed or inherited state), but of becoming poor and becoming so out of love, in order to enrich others. (p38)
o “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col 1:24)
o “Will you be My victim soul?” voluntary choice
Misunderstanding arises from attributing excessive value to the external, material manifestations of poverty. John the Baptist was much more rigid in terms of asceticism than He was. 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 thing there is: in themselves and their own justice. (p39)
Reasons for Christ’s poverty, why He became poor: p.40-41
1. “Since in the wisdom of God the world was unable to recognize God through wisdom, God decided to save those who believe through the foolishness of our proclamation” (1 Cor 1:21)
In other words: since the world did not recognize and honor God when He revealed Himself through creation, in splendor, power, wisdom, and wealth, so He has now decided to save fallen humanity by the opposite means: through poverty, weakness, humility, and foolishness. He has decided to reveal Himself “in the guise of his opposite” in order to challenge human pride and wisdom.
o “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18)
o “but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness,” (1 Cor. 1:23)
o “He became poor for your sakes, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9).
A gift is most precious when it is the result of self-denial when the giver deprives himself of what is given. And the Word, in some sense, deprived Himself of His divine wealth in order to share it with us. God’s poverty is an expression of His agape, of the fact that He is love. “Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us” (Eph 5:2).
2. The second motivation for poverty is mission or Apostolic
“Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money- not even an extra tunic” (Lk 9:3). Christ’s teaching contains two different levels or forms of poverty: one required of everyone in order to enter the Kingdom, the other required of a few in particular in order to announce the Kingdom.This second and more radical demand Jesus makes to those He calls to share in His work of proclaiming the Kingdom and being totally devoted to its cause: the apostles, that small group of disciples who followed Him. (P 47)
o My little one, I have chosen you to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God on earth. The mission is not easy, for the ways of God are never the ways of the world... You have been asked by God to bring Him victim souls. (1/30/18, Mission of the 12)
o Respond by suffering all with Me in My sacrifice of love. Respond with courage and zeal, believing that God has chosen you to participate in the triumph of My crucified love to save the world. 8/6/17
My little one, you are preparing the way for My Second Coming. It is My hidden martyrs of love, crucified through Me, with Me, and in Me, that will usher in the reign of My Kingdom on earth.
HOLY SPIRIT: Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, POVERTY pp30-31
Only in the Holy Spirit can we live this new law of becoming poor, which Jesus Christ presents to us. John Paul II wrote:
The whole work of renewing the Church, which Vatican II so providentially proposed and initiated, can only come about in the Holy Spirit, in other words, with the help of His light and His energy. –p.30
Wherein lies the difference between renewal “in law” and renewal “in the Spirit”? Positive law, being external to human beings, does not change the state of their hearts. In a word, it does not “give life”. It pushes a person to do or to avoid something by coercion, under threat of punishment or blame. It is based on fear.
The interior law, on the other hand, which is the Holy Spirit Himself (Rm.8:2), changes the heart. It not only commands you to do something, but it helps you to do it. The Holy Spirit creates that new heart which willingly does the things God commands because it loves God and trusts him. It is based on love and moves a person to act by attraction.
The Holy Spirit is able to renew the evangelical ideal of poverty in the Church, by infusing a love for poverty. More precisely: by infusing Christ’s love for poverty.