I would like to share with you an article that was published nationally in "The Tau," a publication of the Secular Franciscans. I hope you enjoy it...
Poverty…The word itself sends chills through every being that draws breath. But it poverty really the worst thing a person can experience? Do we fully understand what poverty is and where we can find it in its purest expression?
Poverty is our deepest need for God in our lives. We do not desire God on our own, for we are incapable of such a desire without something else. Our desire for God is actually God’s desire for us.
When we feel compelled to pray, it is not our desire that fuels this need, but rather God’s desire for communication with us and it is his Spirit that inspires us to respond. The need for God is the need for us to have pure poverty in our lives. This is not the physical poverty that plagues man in this world. It is our own radical dependency that we have upon God. Without God, we have nothing of worth in our lives. When we do have God and acknowledge that this dependence exists, then we have become poor and a deep relationship with God is possible.
Poverty can be seen and fully experienced in the crucified Christ because here, Jesus, the Son of the Living God, is totally and solely dependent upon his Father. He has submitted completely to the will of God and it is in this moment of real and raw poverty that we witness the two wills meld into one—that of the Father. With his dying breath, Jesus, in complete submission to the Father, utters “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Lk 23:46)
In this very moment of history, a moment that transcends all other moments, we can see poverty in its purest form. Jesus, the all-powerful and omnipresent Son, yields entirely to his Father’s will in a pure act of love that becomes living and breathing poverty.
Here, in this moment, frozen in time for all generations, we understand that the Son of God, like us, possesses only one thing—the love of God for him. He has nothing else, desires nothing else. Indeed, even if he had something it would, in no way, compare to this treasure.
Gaze upon the face of Christ crucified. Contemplate his action at that moment in time and realize that this moment touches the present. Let your imagination take you to the crucifixion and realize that what you are seeing is poverty at its highest meaning. In this way, the Savior of the world becomes king of the universe. It is only through this kind of poverty that this is possible.
We become poor in spirit when we know that God truly is our all, our everything. Nothing is important besides this. Gazing upon the crucified Savior of the world, we find the loving eyes and heart of Divine poverty and are able to say with confidence, “Lord, we seek your perfect poverty, so that we may enjoy the complete and pure embrace of God’s love.”
In uniting with Christ’s poverty of the cross, we enter into perfect communion with God our Father and, in turn, with each other. Thus, we come to understand the spiritual meaning of Poverty!