Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"The First Flower In My Garden"

"Clare was the first flower in the garden of the Poor Man of Assisi. Poor in earthly goods, but rich in her utter poverty, she was a replica of Jesus, poor in the crib and on the Cross. At her time the Church generally and many Church men were enmeshed in financial matters and political maneuvering. Through the renewal of the ideal of poverty, St. Francis effected a 'reform of Christian life in head and members.'

In our...century there still remain large areas with millions suffering under extreme poverty. Poverty in itself is no virtue, but it should be made into a virtue...

These considerations should make poverty more attractive and lovable to us again. Whoever has poverty as his companion should embrace her, live joyfully with her, and be grateful for her realm of spiritual riches. And those who have money must cherish the spirit of poverty. How we ought to love a certain responsory that keeps recurring throughout this month:
Two things I have asked of Thee,
deny them not to me before I die:
Give me neither beggary nor riches!
Allow me only the necessities for life.

At least we can be moderate and frugal, and thereby find the way to the spirit of Christian poverty. St. Clare, help us."
(Fr. Pius Parsch, The Church's Year of Grace, Vol. 4)

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