Rich Yet Poor

by Lianne Tiu

Let us face it: We live in a community of rich people; we wear jewelries, use electronic gadgets, own cars, … but does it mean we cannot practice poverty which Christians are invited to follow?

Poverty is a virtue. It has nothing to do with dirtiness, ugliness or bad taste. It is not so much the external appearance; what is important is the attitude of our hearts – that they be detached from material possessions.

How to practice poverty will depend on each person’s calling within the Church. Some Christians are asked to give up everything as a testimony to poverty. But for most of us, the practice of poverty will be in the context of our families. This includes living within our means, not spending unnecessarily or creating needs, not owning anything superfluous, and cheerfully accepting shortage or discomfort when it arises.

Poverty is not to treat material possessions as our main source of happiness. It is to use them, which are God’s gifts, as means to achieve higher ends. We administer things well to serve God and others, keeping in mind that many are in want.

Instead of throwing things away, poverty is keeping them in good condition and making them last.

We can be rich yet poor. May we learn poverty from Jesus Christ, who is rich Himself, yet chose to be poor.

(Reference: “ Josemaria Escriva’s love for the virtue of poverty” by Jaime Cardinal Sin; “The Virtue of Poverty” by St Josemaria Escriva)

As published in the January 22 issue of the Parish Bulletin.