Monday, July 22, 2013

Gospel Poverty

This topic has been on my mind recently.

I read Connie Rossini's Contemplative Homeschool post this morning and found it both apropos as well as reassuring.

God Calls You to Holy Poverty

These passages spoke to me in particular:

"When we have too many possessions, we easily become attached to them and place our trust in our own resources, rather than relying on God. Our many earthly concerns distract us from heavenly matters. We find it difficult to advance in holiness.

What is Gospel poverty?

In his book Happy are You Poor, Father Thomas Dubay gives an excellent apologetic for the virtue of poverty. He argues that Gospel poverty means more than simply giving of your time and talent, more than being detached from what you own, more than giving of your surplus. If I truly love my neighbor, I will be more concerned about his being fed and clothed than about my owning the latest gadget. If I do not actively aid the poor, my faith is dead (see James 2:14-17). We are commanded to lend without expecting repayment (Luke 6:34), and to share our goods until there is an approximate equality among all (Luke 3:10-11)."

And Connie's conclusion is very helpful:

"An examination of conscience

Since we all have different family sizes, jobs, levels of health, and positions in society, the Church does not give us specific rules on living Gospel poverty. Following the lead of Father Dubay, I offer here some reflections as an examination of conscience:

Do I make buying decisions based on an image I want to portray?
Do I give at least 10 percent of my income to the Church and charitable organizations?
When was the last time I volunteered to help those in need?
Am I a slave to fashion or the latest product craze?
Do I practice hospitality?
How do I handle interruptions of my time?
Do I waste energy?
Is there any item it would be difficult for me to give up?
Do I trust God with my finances?
What do I do with serviceable items I no longer need?
Do I consider the poor in the voting booth?
How much do I spend on entertainment?
Do I value silence?
Am I content with what I have?
Am I grateful?"

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