Poverty in Spirit More Important Than Material Poverty

St. Basil the Great Orthodoxby St. Basil the Great -
Poverty is not always praiseworthy, but only when it represents a free choice according to the Gospel commandment.

Many are poor in terms of possessions and very miserly in spirit, and those people will not be saved through their poverty but damned by their attitude of mind.

Not every poor person therefore is worthy of praise, but only those who of their own choice put the commandment of the Lord before all the treasures of the world.

Those people the Lord says are blessed when he proclaims “blessed are the poor in spirit.” He does not say the poor in possessions, but those who have freely chosen poverty in spirit.

What is involuntary cannot merit blessedness. Every virtue, and poverty in spirit more than any other, must be a free choice.

The same argument applies to Christ. In His own nature He is rich. Everything that the Father has is His. But for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich. Moreover everything that can lead us to blessedness has been experienced by the Lord first. He offers Himself as an example to His disciples.

Reflect on the Beatitudes. Analyze them one by one and you will realize that the theoretical teaching in them is drawn from practical experience.

~ St. Basil the Great

Comments

  1. What a glorious thing to be reminded of the wisdom God imparted to (and through) the great Fathers. Words like these cut through the haze of today’s political correctness and the counterproductive romanticization of poverty by the far Left to deliver substantive insights concerning the words of Christ. The unadorned truth of the Gospel is the most lively and refreshing water imaginable.