Happy Are You Poor by Fr. Thomas Dubay

Has anyone read this marvellous book? I read it about a year ago and I just now was reminded and struck by how insightful it was.

If I had to summarize it in one word, it would be: radical. One of his main points is that the line we hear over and over again about what that verse means, that it can apply to the spiritually poor who are otherwise living a comfortable life with a big house and lots of clothes etc, is wrong. The verse in the Bible, alternately translated as ‘happy’ or ‘blessed’, literally means the materially poor.

He then goes on to examine the ways such an understanding impacts how we live and how we ought to live. It’s quite challenging, not as in hard to read but challenging in that for me at least it made me take a look at my own life. Our Lord said the way is narrow, and indeed it’s so easy in our culture to fall into materialism and consumerism. The way is wide. I am by no means wealthy, but nonetheless it made me question how am I living up to the Beatitudes.

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the book and how it relates to moral theology, how we should live, and what about our attitudes toward the poor need to change. I almost put this in the social justice forum but on second thought out it here.

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I need to read that one again. Fr Dubay’s works are all gems! It is a loss that he is not an “internet Catholic celebrity priest” because every Catholic ought be exposed to his books.

Going to be recouping from surgery later this month, will read this one again!


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