Virtue of Poverty Part 5
The Virtue of Poverty V
“Follow the naked Christ in nakedness”
5th week of Lent 2021
Lourdes Pinto & Fr. Jordi Rivero
1/30/18 Diary of a MOC, “Mission of the 12”: Mt 10:1-24
My disciples wear My yoke – the wood of the Cross, united to Me. I am their All.
Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, Poverty:
Poverty and the Cross
Poverty has followed Christ even unto the cross. It was here that He really “espoused” poverty. Henceforth one cannot choose the one without the other: neither Christ without poverty, nor poverty without Christ. (p49)
If we observe the lives of the greatest lovers of poverty in the history of the Church, we see at once that love for Christ- the desire to “follow the naked Christ in nakedness”- as The Imitation of Christ says- lies at the heart of everything. (p50)
In the light of all this, poverty appears not so much as a virtue or a council, or an aesthetical ideal, or even only as a charism, but as an intimate sharing in the mystery of the person of Christ, and by that very fact, in the mystery of His Bride, the Church. (p50)
96. As a Spouse, Your Life Must Be Lived to Console Him —Diary of a MOC. p.269
During the Consecration of the Mass, I felt God the Father speak in my soul. He said, “Are you now ready to become My Son’s sacrifice of love? …You can no longer be concerned about what others think of you nor your reputation; you can be concerned only with pleasing My Son. You are no longer His handmaid but His spouse. As His spouse, your life must be lived to console Him and to be faithful out of love to His desires.” (2/19/11)
Poverty, the treasured Pearl
· “the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in the field which someone has found … he goes off joyfully, sells everything he owns and buys the field” (Mt 13:44). Jesus says that the man sold everything, not in order to look for treasure, but because he had found it. Poverty is not the price we must pay in return for the Kingdom. It is the effect, not the cause, of the Kingdom’s arrival. (P.44, Poverty)
· I have found the Pearl of great value- poverty.
Jesus Christ, our God, becomes poor. The perfect expression of His poverty is his obedience unto the Cross. He is crucified naked. His nakedness is the ultimate expression of his poverty. He voluntarily allows Himself to be stripped of all his glory and power. The poverty of his nakedness reveals our pride, vanity, sensuality, self-love…
When the treasured pearl of poverty is found in Jesus crucified, the soul must be willing to sell everything in order to possess this pearl. I must allow and cooperate with the Holy Spirit to strip me of everything that is mine – material things as well as the more difficult interior things: desires, expectations, securities (worldly as well as talents…), opinions, plans, reputation, knowledge, a total abasement. This can only happen through the burning flame of the Holy Spirit.
– St John of the Cross calls spiritual poverty “nakedness,” which he defines as the renunciations of those goods which can remain in the soul, such as desires, appetites, and consolations. (p113, Poverty)
– 2nd Nail of Purification: Simple Path To Union With God
* Now we no longer feel His consolations as we used to, and we must walk in the darkness of faith in perfect trust. We still have emotions, but now, having experienced profound intimacy with God, our union is no longer contingent on consolations (2nd degree of poverty). (p.209)
* You now live in peace in the darkness of faith without My sweet consolations… (Simple Path # 67, p.209)
* 69. Desolation United to Me —Diary of a MOC.
In times of desolation, your life has the greatest power and is most fecund. In My desolation on the Cross, My life shone most brilliantly the love of God the Father. My desolation made My faith in My Father radiate its perfection.
–Through My desolation, I gave birth to My Church and all her sacraments.
–Through My desolation, I gave birth to all My sons, My priests.
Through My desolation, the Holy Spirit expanded the maternal Heart of My Mother to embrace all of humanity.
–It is in your times of desolation that the Holy Spirit and My Mother wish to unite you more intimately to Me.
–It is in your times of desolation that you are given the opportunity and grace to suffer with Me.
–It is through your desolation that you can come to know the pain, suffering, and love of My Heart.
–It is through your desolation united to Mine that your life will also be most fecund.
My desolation was so important for the salvation of the world that the Father willed for My Mother to continue suffering My desolation on earth. Her suffering of solitude was her continuation of My desolation, and it produced and continues to produce a shower of graces for the world.
I desire for the souls who love Me to live their times of desolation united to Me and completely abandoned to the Holy Spirit. In this way, My hidden force will acquire the power of God to overcome the darkness in the world. My Cross is not My Cross without the power of desolations lived with perfect faith. (3/2/11)
Why is poverty the most treasured Pearl? Through poverty, the soul’s nakedness becomes clothed in God, in His Light!
It is the Flame of Love, the Holy Spirit, that brings us to discover the pearl of great value, poverty, and exclaim: “I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH POVERTY!!!!!”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Mt 5:3)
110. Spirit of Poverty —Diary of a MOC. p303 (Simple Path)
I wish to teach you about poverty, the spirit of poverty. There is physical poverty, but the spirit of poverty is much more beneficial for your soul. It saddens Me greatly when My sons (priests) and religious live physical poverty but remain only there and do not allow the Holy Spirit to bring them to live the spirit of poverty… The spirit of poverty is lived when you allow the Holy Spirit, My Blessed Mother, and Myself to strip you of everything interiorly: your desires, expectations, plans, attachments, securities, consolations in friendships, even consolations from Me so that you are left completely empty. It is a soul that has been stripped of everything, that is empty and can be filled with My life…
My Lord and my God, what can I do to participate in this work?
Jesus answered, Allow yourself to be perfected through suffering. Suffer with greater trust in Me… Suffer with greater abandonment and love (7/8/2010).
Spiritual poverty and material poverty cannot be separated. Each requires the other. Christianity has never advocated a disembodied spiritual poverty that could dispense with real poverty altogether or even coexist with material excess. (p89, Poverty)
* “nor two tunics”– My disciples must live simply as I did, poor, never in excess. (1/30/18, Mission of the 12)
The poor “in spirit” are the poor who are “believers.” It is as if Jesus had said: blessed are you poor, “because you have believed.” (p98, Poverty)
116. What it Means to Believe —Diary of a MOC. p.311 (Simple Path)
…The intellect can receive My Word and manipulate it, but the Spirit penetrates a heart with My Word and transforms it. To believe is to abandon yourself to Me so that I can make you a new creation through My Spirit. What is required to believe? Humility and simplicity. That is why I say you must be like a child to truly come to believe and follow Me…
Connection of poverty in spirit with humility & simplicity
St Augustine: “The humble man is poor in spirit.”
The poor in spirit see themselves as totally dependent on God for everything and can only relate to God as a debtor, in a spirit of pure gratitude. (p101, Poverty)
Two essential elements of the poor in spirit: humility and trust in God (trusting abandonment)
These two elements are joined in what is known as the psalm of spiritual childhood: (p102, Poverty)
Lord, my heart is not proud ….
as a child has rest in its mother’s arms,
even so my soul.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
both now and forever
–(Ps 131: 2-3)
* 12/13/11, Simplicity
The spirit of poverty is far greater than physical poverty. It is detaching from your own ideas, desires, plans, dreams, goals... It is a 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.
Return to Unity
The 2nd level of humility, desiring solely the Cross as one with Christ, and the 2nd and 3rd level of poverty walk hand-in-hand. They are the fruits of the nails of crucifixion from Chapter 4 of The Simple Path to Union With God.
Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, Poverty:
By giving humanity the commandment to “love God with all your strength” as the first commandment, God was inviting men and women to concentrate on one single love, thereby in a certain sense inviting them to renunciation and poverty. “To love God,” says St John of the Cross, “means divesting oneself of everything that is not Him.” (p112, Poverty)
To reach unity, we must take the opposite route and proceed by way of decrease, subtraction, and surrender… This is the way of poverty. (p112, Poverty)
Two movements in human beings:( p114)
1. Movement within –towards the depths of the soul. Movement towards unity.
2. Movement outward – towards action (willing, knowing, having). Movement towards multiplicity.
What happens at the conclusion of this journey back into interiority? A Nativity takes place, “the birth of God in the soul.” (p115)
And in what manner does all this take place? Precisely through spiritual poverty. 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.
And what is the subsequent fruit of all of this? Not only does the Father beget His Son within you, but you yourself are begotten as a child of God and receive power.
St Augustine: (p119, Poverty): “Do not go outside. Go back inside yourself, for truth dwells in the inner man.”
Having reached the center of himself, in the starkness of his own being, man finds not only himself, or silence, or the absence of everything, or emptiness. He finds instead the Being, the Word, the Presence, the Fullness.
Therefore, the message from Eckhart and the Mystics, in general, is not that one should abandon one’s commitments and retire once more from the world, but that one should “reestablish the balance and the vital rhythm between exteriority and interiority, between unity and multiplicity. We need to rediscover the riches contained in the depths of the soul, so as to pour them into human relationships, which can only be saved through the inner renewal of individuals.” (p120)
* I desire to draw you into the depth of My Sacred Heart to immerse you in Love. (Simple Path #36, p 126)
St Francis of Assisi: (p121, Poverty)
“There are many people who spend all their time at their prayers and other religious exercises and mortify themselves by long fasts and so on. But if anyone says as much as a word that implies a reflection on their self-esteem or takes something from them, they are immediately up in arms and annoyed. These people are not really poor in spirit. A person is really poor in spirit when he hates himself and loves those who strike him in the face.”
Blessed Angela Foligno: (p122)
“True poverty of spirit is such that the soul can perform works without any intention and without concern for any merit.”
The beatitude of the poor in spirit leads to that of the pure in heart
87. How to Respond to Christ’s Desire for Unity —Diary of a MOC.
I desire to draw you into true unity, the unity of the love of the Most Holy Trinity. The union of sorrows will bring you into the union of Love. The gaze of the Father is upon you. Be love. Live solely for Love, forgetting yourself.
My Lord, how do I live solely for Love, forgetting myself?
Live to please Me. To live in the unity of the Trinity is to live gazing at the Father, through the Son, to please Him in all things. (3/18/12)