The Lord demands of us to honor His poverty by imitating it.
We shall be very far from perfection if we think that it is temporal poverty He is asking of us. Jesus aims higher. He wishes us to be poor in spirit. What is poverty of spirit? It is perfect love and the soul of true humility! A man poor in spirit, convinced that he has nothing and can do nothing of himself, makes of his poverty itself the most powerful and the most precious title to the Heart of God. The poorer he is, the greater will be his right to the divine goodness and mercy. Remark carefully that the more the poor man sinks into his poverty, the more surely does he find his natural place, for we are nothing. By so doing he so much the more honors God, his Creator; he makes Him so much the greater and more merciful. So said the Lord by one of His prophets: Upon whom shall I rest My looks of love if not upon the lowliest of the poor, and upon him who has a contrite heart?
Behold where the good God finds His glory — in our poverty, which returns all to Him, which renders homage to Him for all. God so loves the poor in spirit that He despoils His servants of everything, in order that by their poverty itself they may triumph. He paralyzes their intelligence, dries up their heart, deprives them of the sweetness of His grace and peace. He delivers them to storms of passion, to the fury of demons; He hides from them His sun, He cuts them off from all help, He conceals Himself in some way from His desolate creatures. — Oh, what a sorrowful state! No, what a sublime state! The poor man will triumph over God Himself! The more God despoils him the more does he thank Him as for a greater good. The more God tries him, the more does he confide in His inexhaustible goodness. And when the demon shows him hell, telling him that his sins accuse and condemn him — O how great is this man poor in spirit when he says to his God: "Yes, hell for me means justice. Hell is not terrible enough, not vengeful enough for the sins my malice has committed against Thee, O my Creator and my Father! I deserve a million hells, and therefore do I hope in Thy infinite mercy. I am worthy of it, the most worthy, since I am the most miserable of creatures! Satisfy Thy justice on me in this world, O my God! I thank Thee, I thank Thee for giving me a chance to pay my debts! Still more, O Lord, I deserve still more !" What can the good God reply to one so poor and so grateful? He will acknowledge Himself vanquished. He will open His arms to him. He will pour out upon him all His treasures. He will point him out to the angels, saying in admiration: "Behold the man that has truly glorified Me!"
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