Monday, September 10, 2012

Spirituality: The vow of Mother Poverty


          Christ asks only that we open our heart to him in all simplicity, in the acknowledgement of our own poverty and misery, to obtain from him the gift of our conversion to him, which we all need if we are to share in the joy of his Kingdom.  St. Ignatius of Loyola explains this point by saying that poverty is the first step to be taken to share in the Kingdom of Christ, by following him, imitating his style, and so attaining liberation. 
          For this is an enriching poverty.  Paradoxical as it may sound, the poorest who have freely opted for this poverty are the richest, for they have discovered the hidden treasure, which is authentic independence from things and chiefly from their own selves.  This option for Christ poor – a Christ on the cross, naked and despised, who is waiting with open arms to liberate us – snatches us from our false hopes and idolatries.  Things are no longer ends, little gods, but become means; our trust is placed in God alone, the source of peace and happiness.  We adhere to that marvelous power which is at work on Calvary and contains the germ of the resurrection.

(Pedro Arrupe, S.J., “The Seven Words of the Living Christ” [1977])