Happy Are You Poor

And one by one that closet of mine full of fashionable clothes, shoes and jewelry began to shrink.

So let me guess what you are thinking, by reading the simple phrase you have concluded that I will be speaking about getting rid of my material possessions for the Glory of God. Well you are half way there but there is more to this story then it seems.

This summer God has put incredible challenges on my path to spiritual growth and I can finally say that I have reached a new level of spirituality because of the challenges. When the winter term was over at Carleton University, I decided to pick up one of the books I had set aside for summer reading. Boy was I in for a surprise. I walked over to my bookshelf and realized that there was a book sticking out that I purchased not too long ago. I then decided that it was Him hinting I should read the book so I pulled it out and started reading the first chapter.

I always would hear priests, Catholic leaders and fellow Christian friends speak about being humble and frugal as the Gospel teaches. Little did I know what these words actually meant? Not until I read the book by Father Thomas Dubay (Happy Are You Poor: The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom, Ignatius Press, 2002) did I finally begin to realize what God expected of me as a practicing Catholic. After reading the last page of the book I went to Mass the next day and prayed about what I learned from Father Dubay. In summary, Father Dubay calls all Catholics to contemplate what is meant behind the idea of Gospel poverty. He mentions that many have misunderstood this term and others have over complicated it. Yet the message is very simple and clear, when we look at Jesus Christ’s life and the lives of the Saints we then begin to understand what Gospel poverty is all about. As we are made in the image of God and strive to be more like Jesus Christ we must challenge ourselves to a more simple life to achieve spiritual freedom.

And so after this revelation from God through Father Dubay, I have set for myself a routine schedule to go through all the material items I possess and ask myself, “do I really need this?” And not only do I keep my tangible possessions in check but I also, in the midst of quiet prayer, reflect on myself. I think of ways to become more ‘poor in spirit’ and offer up whatever God desires of me. Through this occurrence God has shaken my old habits and transformed my spirituality into something much more profound.

by Agnieszka

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