Spiritual Minute: “All Those Poor People”

The Poor

We are all spiritually poor before God.

Christians often talk about “all those poor people who need our help so badly.” I have a big problem with this. Should I say that again, A BIG PROBLEM. First, I know that statements and actions often proceed from a conflicted heart. There is a very real sense in which love and condescension can come from the same heart at the same time. But we must love as much as possible with an integrated heart, with our entire being, our heart, soul, strength, and mind. We cannot see those whom we serve through the eyes of pride (a log in your eye if you will). Serving the poor, whether they are morally, materially, or spiritually poor, is not a question of the rich serving those in need. The true Christian serves the poor with full awareness that HE HIMSELF IS POOR. In fact, the holy ones of God believed in their very great poverty before God to such an extent that they could not allow anyone else to be considered more wretched than they considered themselves. This arose from an experience of God in the depths of the soul, an experience that could only come about on account of radicalized humility and poverty. Such a poverty allows the riches of God’s eternal love to be unleashed in the soul. Such a poverty already exists in every particular person. The saints are so very holy on account of their recognition of this poverty, and their ability to achieve by grace, total dependence on God.

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