Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 0 happy commerce ! We renounce the goods of this earth, which are but mire, and we receive in exchange the graces of God and eternal rewards more precious than the purest gold.
From the Sacred Scriptures we learn that the reward of poverty is most certain, and great beyond measure. It is most certain, because .Jesus Christ has said : Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdorn of heaven-(Matt. v. 3). To the other Beatitudes, Heaven is promised only as a future reward. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land-(Matt. v. 4). Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God-(Matt. v. 8). But to the poor in spirit God’s kingdom is promised as a present recompense: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Because, to those that are truly poor in spirit the Lord gives very great helps, even in this life. Hence Cornelius a Lapide says that since, by the decree of God, the kingdom of Heaven belongs to the poor, they have a full right to it. The reward ot poverty is very secure, and great beyond conception. “The less we have here,” says St. Teresa, ” the more we shall enjoy in God’s kingdom, in which the mansion of each is proportioned to the love with which we shall have imitated the life of Jesus Christ.” ” 0 happy commerce,” exclaims St. Peter Damian, “where clay is given away and gold received.” 0 happy traffic ! we renounce the goods of earth, which are but mire, and we receive in exchange the graces of God and eternal rewards more precious than the purest gold.
0 my Jesus, if hitherto my heart has been attached to the goods of this world, Thou henceforth shall be my only Treasure. 0 God of my soul, Thou art a Good infinitely greater than any other good, and dost deserve infinite love. I esteem and love Thee, therefore, above all things, and even more than myself. Thou art the only object of my affections. I desire nothing in this world. If I had my desire, it would be to possess all the treasures and kingdoms of this world for the purpose of renouncing them all and depriving myself of them for the love of Thee. Come, 0 my Love, come and consume in me every affection that is not for Thee.
The poor in spir-it shall also have the honour of sitting with Jesus Christ as the judges of the world. Behold, says St. Peter to Jesus, we have left all things and have followed thee: what, therefore, shall we have’? And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you who have fallowed me in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you shall also sit on twelve seats, judging the twelve tribes of Israel-(Matt. xix. 27, 28). God has promised eternal glory hereafter, and a hundredfold in this life, to all who abandon earthly goods for His sake. And every one that hath left house … or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hun dred/ old, and shall possess Life everlasting-(Matt. xix. 29). This promise is fulfilled in all the poor in spirit who, because they desire nothing on earth, possess all riches : As having no.thing and possessing all things-(2 Cor. vi. 10). The Redeemer has justly compared riches to thorns-(Matt. xiii. 22), for in proportion to their abundance riches torment the soul by cares, by fears, and by the desire of increased possessions. Hence St. Bernard says that while the avaricious, because their desire of riches is never satiated, like mendicants, thirst after the goods of this world the poor in spirit, because they wish for nothing upon earth, despise Mammon. ” The avaricious man, like a mendicant, hungers after earthly things; the poor man, like a prince, contemns them.” Oh, how great is the happiness
of him who desires and possesses nothing upon earth ! He enjoys true peace-a blessing more valuable than all worldly goods, which can never content a soul destined to be made happy only by the possession of God.
0 my God, grant that in future I may regard only Thee, think only of Thee, and sigh after Thee alone ! The love that made Thee die on the Cross for me, makes me die to all my inclinations and desire only Thy holy grace and love. My dear Redeem r, when shall I be entirely Thine as Thou art mine ? Oh, take me and make me live o:ruy for Thy glory. Trusting in the merits of Thy Blood, 0 my Jesus, and in thy intercession, Oh my Mother Mary, I hope for all things!