Poor and poverty

My mother seems to think as a fundamentalist protestant that you want to have money and for some reason Jesus’ mission was that we have wealth. Oh boy. What does the church teach about being “poor in spirit”? I know God has a special place for the poverty stricken persons. Jesus did say things about being hard to get into heaven being wealthy. What did he mean by that? The “eye of a needle” thing. I don’t know what to say to her. God provides for your needs.


Blessed are the poor in spirit does not necessarily mean that a person needs to live in poverty. It does mean that a person relies on God for his or her spiritual and material needs. It’s more a stance of humility than pride.
In the story of the publican and the plebeian, the publican boasted of his good works and standing before God. On the other hand, the plebeian asked for God’s pardon and mercy. He recognized that he was a sinner. Therefore he went home justified whereas the publican who prayed to himself, rather than to God did not.
The eye of the needle is actually a mountain passage. In order to pass through this passage, caravans had to off load their merchandise from their camels and reload them once they had passed through the eye of the needle.
While riches allows us to feed the hungry and clothe the poor and are not in themselves a bad thing, they are “the root of evil.” Very often those who have the least, like the widow giving her last mite, give the most. They know what it is like to be without and so share the little they have with others.
You might want to look at the story of the rich young man which inspired St. Francis to give up his wealth and his philandering ways. Although the young man followed all the commandments, he was attached to his wealth and could not give it up even for the kingdom of God.
Where your heart is lies your treasure.

Do you mean Francis of Assisi or Francis Xavier? Or another?

Francis of Assisi.

Your mom is wise.
3Jn2 says “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

The story was about the Pharisee and the Publican. It was the Pharisee who was proud in his “prayer” about all his good works and who looked down on the publican, who was the one who humbled himself and went away justified.

Where does that say material wealth?
Psalm 34:6

Exactly. Thanks for the correction.

Right. Well I guess it might be kind of about the person’s discipline. Some might be able to handle wealth. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wealth itself. But it should be understood what it is for. And how it is to be used. I have heard the man who owns “Domino’s Pizza” is of the faith. He supports charities, some Catholic I hope, and I’m sure he does. Keep the “self” out of it. For example, paying off someone to fire someone. That’s corruption. And self absorbed. That’s the “me” coming out. We are unimportant (to an extent, be we are to be treated with dignity by others) and should be really concerned about the other. You can’t take it with you and it spoils you here sometimes. Hope that’s clear.



READ the Beatitudes in Matthew Chapter 5:thumbsup:

I don’t necessarily think material wealth is a bad thing in fact if used correctly it can be a very good thing but that being said I feel like the health and wealth prosperity gospel tends to forget about the poor. You know a lot of people say that money is the root of all evil but that is not what the Bible says the Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil

The way I’ve heard it, the “eye of the needle” was the narrow gate of a fortified city, which was so restricted to make it hard for invaders to enter. The camels had to crouch down to pass through, which was with difficulty, hence the allusion to its difficulty in Jesus’ words.

From a distance the gate looked like the eye of a needle. (the larger question is, where did they get needles?)

I heard a priest on EWTN say (unconvincingly) that “poor in spirit” meant “poor in every way.” What would that look like?

The bible does not say that material poverty is blessed. This has instead a spiritual meaning.

Another indirect reference to poverty, I think, is in Jesus remark about what we have done for others we have done to Him, even down to a drink of water. Aside from other possible interpretations, I think it means that even the materially poor can give something to others,
even if it is just a drink of water – no one is exempt from giving to others, of not seeing Christ in our brothers and sisters.

billcu 1
Jesus did say things about being hard to get into heaven being wealthy. What did he mean by that?

Citing the case of the rich young man in Luke 18:18-25, Dr Chafuen remarks that many authors think that Jesus was condemning the possession of riches, but “the Late Scholastics indicated that this was not the correct interpretation. Citing Luke 14:26, where Jesus says, ‘If any man come to Me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be My disciple,’ the Scholastics pointed out that this passage does not enjoin Christians to hate their fathers. Such doctrine would contradict the Fourth Commandment. Thomist and Scholastic interpretations of this passage is that the entrance to the kingdom of Heaven is denied to anyone who values things more than God. In Matthew’s Gospel (10:37), the same passage reads: ‘Anyone who prefers father or mother to Me is not worthy of Me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to Me is not worthy of Me.’ It would be a violation of the natural order to value a created thing above its creator, as did the young ruler who pursued riches as his ultimate goal. Christians For Freedom, Dr Alejandro Chafuen, Ignatius, 1986, p 44].

Just as Christ’s Parable of the Talents most strikingly acknowledges Christ’s respect for the work of business, so does the Parable of the Dishonest Steward – the steward is dishonest, “but the nature of his work is not. In fact by praising his shrewdness, Christ admires his opportunism. While the steward abuses the trust his master extends to him, it must be recognised that the nature of the work that is entrusted to him is fundamentally good. The sin of the steward is his misuse of his master’s business, not the work of business itself.” Entrepreneurship in the Catholic Tradition, Fr Anthony G Percy, Lexington Books, 2010, p 47].

Hating your father, mother etc too does not go along with the Idea that it is a bigger sin to wrong them rather than to wrong a stranger.

I believe and always will ,is that Jesus LOVES all of us, but Jesus see if we love too help the Poor, remember what Jesus said when he seen a women put in the collection ,I tell you she has given her last too me,touches my heart, than those that have-given from their wealth…

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