“‘Who is weak and I am not weak?’ says St. Paul. He might have continued: ‘Who is poor and I am not poor?’ Love makes us like those we love.[ℹ︎] If then we truly love the poor, truly enter into their poverty, we will be poor with them. We cannot love the poor by keeping at a distance, but only by being with them, by visiting them, by talking freely, openly with them, by being with them in the church, on the street, wherever poverty leads, wherever need is present. Speak with everyone out of your own poverty, but let your hands be rich, sharing freely of what you have. Blessed are they who are thus poor, for theirs truly is the kingdom of heaven. To them the King of Kings who is King of the Poor will say on the day of judgment: ‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked, and you covered me. Come possess the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.'” Francis de Sales
“Like every human organization the Church is constantly in danger of corruption. As soon as power and wealth come to the Church, manipulation, exploitation, misuse of influence, and outright corruption are not far away. How do we prevent corruption in the Church? The answer is clear: by focusing on the poor. The poor make the Church faithful to its vocation. When the Church is no longer a church for the poor, it loses its spiritual identity. It gets caught up in disagreements, jealousy, power games, and pettiness.” Henri Nouwen
“It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor;
blessed are those who help the poor.”
Proverbs 14:21 NLT
Abba, “I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was naked and you covered me. I was homeless and you called me to possess the kingdom prepared for me and for all the poor, naked, and homeless. . . . You have not kept your distance. You have entered into my poverty. You have greeted me with a full hand. You have gone where poverty drew you. Let me follow in your steps.” (de Sales)
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Did Jesus keep at a distance from you, or did he enter into your poverty?
- Are you aware of poverty drawing you and asking you to “share freely what you have?”
- We never learn these difficult practices if we keep “at a distance.” How can you practice “being with” the poor?
For More: Set Your Heart Free by Francis de Sales
Thanks for following and sharing my blog. I appreciate it! – Bill
de Sales, Francis. Set Your Heart Free. Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria, 2008.
Nouwen, Henri. Bread For the Journey. New York: Harper One, 1997.
[ℹ︎]”Because of his boundless love, Jesus became what we are that he might make us to be what he is.” Irenaeus