Poor in Spirit
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
I like to recognize myself as a child of God and a child for God. By this, I mean having a childlike faith before God; the innocence and simplicity.
When a child wants something, nothing else matters. They keep it simple. When you have a childlike faith, all you want is God. Nothing else matters but Him. Well, maybe except for that car you’ve been saving up for. Yeah, just God and that car. Actually, maybe also the friend that gives you nice gifts. Yeah, just that car, the friend, and God. Wait, we can't forget about that place you wanted to visit all your life. Or even that goal you were trying to achieve. Of course you also have to include that memory you once had or the thing you need to get or everything in between. See how complicated it gets? Children keep it simple.
The beatitude of being poor in spirit calls us to keep things simple. God reminds us that the riches of the world are no match for his love and affection, so being rich in luxury has no meaning when there is no faith behind it. We get so sucked up into the world and all of its desires that we turn away from God. An excellent example of this is in the Prodigal Son. We know what it feels like to want everything similarly to the younger son. Yet, it is the poor in spirit that are the richest since they have the kingdom of God with them. To be poor in spirit, you must not want the riches of the world because we know the riches we need are in God.
As a child, you also feel quite small. Not in the kind of way that suffocates you, but you feel small because you see how big the world is. An exciting kind of small where you want to explore every single place and there’s an adventure in every corner. Feeling this kind of small before God is another form of being poor in spirit. Knowing that He is Almighty, but is also your best adventure companion feels like we can tackle the world. You, God, and the relationship between the two of you is all that matters. It’s nice feeling like God is our buddy we can spend our lives journeying with.
Next to God, we recognize our littleness. St. Therese de Lisieux (our patron saint of this year) pushes us to be aware of our littleness and the little things of life. Though we are small, we are mighty. It is okay to feel small and to have a childlike faith. When we look up to God and the great things He has done, we have no time to look down. The world is no longer a giant, intimidating ball, but is now our playground to share the love God gave us. We see things in bright, bold color and we don’t overlook the small things. Instead, we find companionship with them too.
A child-like faith is not always easy in our cynical world, but the Lord says ‘ask and you will receive’; this child- like faith is worth asking for, it is the epitome of being poor in spirit. We can trust the Lord’s promise and know that we truly gain the kingdom of God. Though we are not in Heaven yet, we can begin to see him loving us here and now. Take a chance on only wanting God above all. You may not get what you want, but surely you’ll be rich in what you need.