poor in spirit

What does this mean?

Blessed are the poor in spirit , for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

The poor in Jesus’ time were beggars who basically humbled themselves and asked for material help.

The poor in spirit are those who humble themselves before God and ask for His grace.

I’ve always believed it meant the opposite of being proud and arrogant, for one. To be meek and humble but also to be less than a winner in terms of the world’s values is a good thing. If this world doesn’t get us down to some extent, if we’re happy with how things are, if we don’t hunger and thirst for a greater righteousness, then there’s something amiss in us; we fit in too well, conforming too comfortably to the world.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matt 5:11-12

Many Pope’s have spoken on this and there are quite a few books written on the twelve Beatitudes, but he’s my simple summation.

The first of the Beatitudes, Blessed are the poor in spirit; the Christian must not be overly attached to material goods, or seek only happiness in this world, true happiness is dependence upon God.

It’s a journey in faith to get closer to this trust in God. It’s a disposition. A way of thinking.

It means you are detached from earthly goods.


M-Dent, I will go looking for some of those books, and what the Popes have said.

The meaning is such an idea to contemplate.
Poor in the true spirit of God ,

Poor in fullness of the Holy Spirit

Rejecting what the world offers in favour of what the spiritual life offers .

Here is a link with commentary that will be helpful: haydock1859.tripod.com/confraternity/id13.html

I would recommend you read the book Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI, in particular his commentary on the Beatitudes.

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