Pope John Paul - "poverty merits for heaven"?


What do you think about this statement… Is it good to be poor?..
“***The poor should not be ashamed of their poverty, nor disdain the charity of the rich; for they should have especially in view the Redeemer, who, though He might have been born in riches, made Himself poor in order that He might ennoble poverty and enrich it with incomparable merits for Heaven." ***
(Pope John Paul).

quote: cozay.com


Poverty in the Modern World

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.


Good article, but I think it only partly addresses the OP’s question.

First of all, keep in mind that when the Pope speaks, he is speaking not just to us, but people all over the world. When we in the West think of the poor among us, we tend to think of people who were born in bad circumstances, have had a run of bad luck, or who have been lazy or in trouble with the law.

I believe the Holy Father here was speaking to those who find themselves in material poverty today: those in our own mostly affluent society who have limited income with little hope of improving their lot, but mostly to those in the desperately indigent areas of the world where poverty is more a fact of life.

The Pope reminds these poor that poverty in these conditions is not something to be ashamed of. He also wants them not to slip into despair or use poverty as a pretense for violence or harboring a resentful or jealous heart. If it is truly one’s lot to be poor, one can and should use those circumstances to acknowledge one’s dependence on the Lord and grow in the holiness that is found in not having the burden that often goes with attachment to great possessions.

There is no virtue or vice in being poor, per se. Both poor and rich can be either holy or hellish. The rich have their own problems in gaining sanctity, but the Pope’s words here are addressing the poor.


There’s plenty of scripture that speaks of this.


An remember we are all called to be poor in spirit.


Yes , a good site and a good reminder , esp. needed in our times when ’ health and wealth ’ motto as the aim of Christian life has become standard in many circles. It is easy to even look down on the poor for their standing in front of God , as is prevalent in many pagan faiths !

And this might have been the main reason for our Lord having been very stern with the Pharisees !

May we be blessed with the joy that come from sharing with those who are so loved by our Lord !


Thanks all for your answers! I really appreciate it! stay blessed!:slight_smile:


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